Craft spirits maker releasing all-Michigan gin
A local distillery is releasing a spirit made from 100 percent Michigan ingredients.
Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids said today it will begin statewide distribtion of Michigin on Feb. 6.
The company said the gin will be the first gin to be made with all-Michigan ingredients, including juniper harvested by Long Road staff on Beaver Island.
Juniper is normally sourced from Europe or the Pacific Northwest, but a plentiful bounty is found on Beaver Island, a lesson Long Road Co-Owner Kyle VanStrien learned while sitting around a campfire last summer with his cousin, who grew up on Beaver Island.
In September, a team of 12 Long Road staff members gathered more than 200 pounds of the berries, a journey VanStrien and Long Road Co-Owner Jon O’Connor detailed on the GRBJ Podcast.
Other Michigan ingredients in the spirit include red winter wheat from Belding for the base spirit, as well as a botanical mix of lemon verbena from Zeeland’s Visser Farms, lemon balm from Creation Farm in Beulah and Galena hops from Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport.
“The finished product is unlike any other gin on the market, due to the unique flavors we were able to extract by using local juniper and distilling it fresh,” O’Connor said.
Long Road, at 537 Leonard St. NW, will host a launch party for the spirit on Feb. 6 and offer 50-percent off gin cocktails.