What possesses one to become a distiller¿ Well, our story is nontraditional, similar to our approach to distillation. Usually, this industry is dominated by baby-boomers, retirees, or middle-aged individuals that are looking to further their creativity; in other words, do something with their hard-earned nest-egg. This is not how our story begins.
Our story begins with two young entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited determination. As an undergraduate project Nick wrote the business plan for Ethanolo¿y. Originally, it was intended to be a retirement project; a dream. But as we all know, plans change.
The truth is Ethanolo¿y's roots had nothing to do with booze. Born and raised in Northern Michigan, Nick spent his summer days swimming for crawfish, water skiing and boating on Torch Lake. Basically, he was a prune from May to October, and when not on or in the water, he spent time on the tractor with Grandpa, and building forts with Papa. Whimsical, would be putting it lightly.
Fast forward, Geri met Nick during their undergraduate studies in the U.P. Geri's Yooper grit, snarky wit and shrewd intellect did not take long to creep into Nick's heart. After falling in love, getting married and focusing on the next phase in life, plus shoveling snow into June, they were ready for a change. Grad school on the west coast was the original destination. However, before laying down concrete plans, they left the tannic water of the "Yoop" for more glacial H20.
Spend an 80° summer day in the middle of Torch Lake and you'll be inspired. Grow up here, and this place is an integral part of who you are. Not a ripple in sight, cold beer in hand, Nick and Geri began to dream of a life worth living. A life that was deeply connected to the people and the land; where you support your neighbor, create something you are proud of and provide meaningful jobs.
After this moment, there was no turning back. Now Nick had to convince Geri to risk everything, pursuant to a dream.
With hard work and passion, Geri set out to learn the ancient alchemic art of distillation, and understand a unique, and nascent industry. Geri focused her attention on developing spirits with regional roots, while pushing the envelope on traditional and expected sensory profiles. After 12,000 hours of research and dedication, Geri felt she had enough basal knowledge and understanding to operate safely and produce a quality product. Nick concentrated his energy on carefully refining an innovative business model, while ensuring the creative mission is executed. Both founders appreciate that something so special can't be accomplished without the help of other pioneering individuals, and the Ethanology family. Together, with their two distillery dogs Mabel and Sofi, they founded Ethanolo¿y.
Mabel & Sofi
Every legit distillery has a "distillery dog." We have two.
Mabel, and Sofi are the tandem terriers that call Ethanolo¿y home.