2024 Judges to be Announced Soon!
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Distillers Challenge


Spirits Competition

Molly Troupe

Chief Spirits Judge

Master Distiller/Partner
Freeland Spirits

Featured in Forbes’ list of “30 Under 30” in 2018, Molly received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Master’s in Brewing and Distilling from the legendary Heriot Watt University.

At Freeland Spirits in Portland, Oregon, she creates products ranging from gin to whiskey to canned cocktails, incorporating local ingredients and both modern and multifaceted distillation techniques. She is a past board member of the American Craft Spirits Association.

Geoff Longenecker

Spirits Judge

Founder and Distiller
Seven Caves Spirits

After a career in law, Geoff turned his passion into a vocation by founding Seven Caves Spirits in 2016.

Originally inspired to make fine rums comparable to top-end bourbons and whiskeys, he’s expanded his core products to include gin, whiskey and unique small-batch spirits under the “Exploratory Series.” He also produces canned cocktails, and in 2022 partnered with Mike Love of The Beach Boys fame to create a line of RTDs called Kokomo.

Holley Voegtle

Spirits Judge

Distillery Consultant

With a Master’s in Biology and Chemistry, Holley discovered the art of beer and spirits while working in the craft beverage industry in Maui, eventually apprenticing at a small craft distillery.

Working her way up to Lead Distiller and Manager, she split her time to also work in QA/QC at Maui Brewing. In San Diego she has worked as a Yeast Lab Supervisor and continues to consult for craft distilleries.

Patrick Terwedo

Spirits Judge

Lead Distiller and Manager
You & Yours Distilling Co.

Patrick began his journey as a distiller at Few Spirits in Evanston, Ill., learning his craft from grain to glass. He moved on to become head distiller at Maplewood Brewery & Distillery in Chicago, expanding their production of whisky, gin and rum.

At You & Yours Distilling, billed as “California’s First Destination Distillery,” he oversees a range of quality craft spirits as well as canned cocktails.

Blake Heffernan

Spirits Judge

Master Distiller
Director of Operations
Old Harbor Distilling Co.

Blake ventured from Vermont to San Diego in 2014 to learn how to brew beer, getting his start at Home Brew Mart, birthplace of Ballast Point. He transitioned to spirits after helping BNS Brewery add a distillery component by making his first whiskey, a small-batch vodka and moonshine.

He became Head Distiller at You & Yours Distilling Co. then was hired to help start Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery in Queensland, Australia, before returning to San Diego.

Ale Ochoa

Spirits Judge

Lead Distiller
La Pulga Spirits

Ale is Head of Spirits at Fort Worth-based spirits brand La Pulga Spirits. She oversees the quality and new expressions of agave spirits, as well as provides education on agave spirits production.

Ale was previously the whiskey scientist and blender at TX Whiskey, where she led blending and product development.

Cheryl Dine

Package Design Consulting Judge

Design Perspective

Cheryl will join the judges for the Package Design judging. She is an award-winning designer and brand strategist, who helps clients develop brand-centered design for all media touchpoints – from print to digital to packaging.

Cheryl is an advisory board member for AIGA-San Diego, and believer in building strong communities through client work in education, health, arts, technology and sustainability.

Rich Cook

Director of Competitions


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Del Milholland

Associate Competition Director

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