And we’re nerds about them too

  • We use THE BEST ingredients we can find to make delicious, award-winning spirits. We have a deep understanding of each grain, herb, spice and fruit that we use, and we have mastered the art of balancing them to create beauty in a glass.
  • We create INCREDIBLE FLAVORS that we love, and you’ll love too. We don’t copy “trends” or what other people say we should do – we find our own muses and create original spirits using surprising and delightful combinations.
  • We’re RELENTLESS when it comes to quality and consistency – we do whatever it takes to ensure that each and every bottle of our spirits tastes as it should, which is much harder to do when using fresh fruits, herbs and spices like we do.
  • We are always EXPERIMENTING with new flavors, new ideas, new cocktails, and new techniques. Our passion for what we do leads us to continue exploring and learning. We change our tasting room cocktail menu several times per year, and we share our recipes and techniques freely. And, we introduce more offbeat, original spirits from time to time, in addition to producing our year-round spirits.

We’re a small distillery, so it’s OK if you’ve just found out about us

You won’t find our spirits all over the world, or even all over the US – you’ll only find us in the Midwestern United States. We do things by HAND, 60 gallons at a time, so we’re definitely not running 24 hours a day or with an automated system, and not everybody knows about us yet. We’re definitely not trying to build up a big brand to sell it off, and we’re not investment bankers – we just love making spirits and sharing with them people, so we do crazy stuff like peeling fresh lemons for each batch of gin, and bottling each spirit one bottle at a time. Our owners are directly involved in the day-to-day operations, whether running the still, filling barrels or overseeing a bottling run, or working with bar, restaurant and retail partners, or speaking directly with our customers who visit our tasting room. Come visit us and see for yourself!

Meet Derek Kassebaum

Master Distiller, Co-Founder & Co-Owner

Derek holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also has read a ton of books, and experimented exhaustively with a wide range of grains, herbs, spices and fruits over the years. He has designed every aspect of the distillery’s manufacturing, and loves the process of layering and building flavors and smells through infusion, distillation and aging. He is the creative force behind all of the distillery’s amazing spirits.

Meet Sonja Kassebaum

Chief Cocktail Nerd, Co-Founder & Co-Owner

Sonja holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Colorado, and a JD from the University of Michigan. She has also read a ton of cocktail history and recipe books, and experimented exhaustively with a wide range of spirits, tools and techniques over the years. She too loves the process of layering and building flavors, and elevating a cocktail into an experience in a glass. She is the lead creative force behind the distillery’s marketing, tasting room cocktail menu, events and classes.

Meet Ethel the Still

Still #1, Distillery Star

Ethel the Still was handmade and custom made for us in southern Germany to our specifications. Derek worked with the still manufacturer to design her, and she has several custom elements that make her unique. Ethel is truly one-of-a-kind. Her capacity is 250 liters, or the equivalent of about 60 gallons. She is one of the smaller stills in commercial production today – but she is versatile and skilled, and Derek and she know how to make boozy magic together. She loves making spirits, it is what she was born to do!

Drink Better with Us

You can find our spirits around the Midwestern US at a variety of bars, restaurants and retail outlets. If you don’t see them, please ask! We participate in, organize and host a range of tasting events, pairing dinners and cocktail classes around the area, and we have events going on at our tasting room as well. Here is our current event calendar, with the next few things we’re doing away from the distillery: