Craft spirits maker begins distribution
A local distillery has launched its Michigan distribution.
Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids launched two of its spirits into statewide distribution this month.
The distillery’s gin and vodka are now available to all restaurants, bars and retailers in Michigan.
The distillery opened in May, and distribution is coming right about when co-owners Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor expected in their timeline.
“We wanted to make sure we could meet demand here and work out our kinks,” O’Connor said. “A lot of times, distillers go into distribution and can’t satisfy demand. They get an initial launch and can’t provide more.”
Van Strien said one of the most common questions from a restaurant group is, “If we run a featured cocktail at our three locations, will we run out?”
Now, Van Strien said that assurance is possible and within the first week, The Winchester in Grand Rapids had a cocktail menu featuring spirits by Long Road Distillers.
Van Strien added that several other local businesses will carry its products: Donkey; Siciliano’s Market; Rishi’s International Beverage; and Essence Restaurant Group.
“To see some of the places we respect so much have our products . . . it’s a lot of fun,” Van Strien said.
O’Connor said they welcome restaurant and bars to bring in owners, managers and staff to show them the manufacturing process.
“We encourage other folks to reach out,” O’Connor said. “We love to host potential partners. We want to educate people on what makes our products different and what’s unique about it. The more people we talk through the process, the better.”