Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Retail

Craft spirits maker releases cherry brandy

September 21, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Long Road Distillers Cherry Brandy bottle
The cherry brandy by Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers is 40-percent ABV. Courtesy Long Road Distillers

A local craft spirits maker is releasing a specialty cherry liquor today.

Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers said today it will release its cherry brandy at 4 p.m. at the distillery, at 537 Leonard St. NW.

Cherry brandy

The spirit comes in at 40-percent alcohol by volume and was made with 8,000 pounds of tart cherries from Heffron Farms in Belding.

Each bottle of the spirit contains 24 pounds of cherries.

Long Road said its cherry brandy has “the aroma of dark cherries, with hints of mulling spice, cinnamon and pepper” and the taste of “cherry and subtle almond, a result of the cherry pit contributing flavors to the final spirit.”

Local sourcing

Long Road has also collaborated with Heffron Farms for other fruit-infused spirits, such as raspberry vodka.

Heffron Farms is one of Long Road’s largest suppliers, supplying red winter wheat, corn, rye and other produce.

In the first year of the distillery’s operation, it used nearly 300,000 pounds of grain from Heffron Farms.

"Our goal from the very start was to create world-class spirits from locally sourced ingredients right here in Grand Rapids," said Brian Pribyl, head distiller, Long Road Distillers.

Pribyl said Long Road owes "a great deal of credit" to suppliers like Heffron Farms and Pilot Malt House in Byron Center for giving it "access to the cereal grain and malted grain that we need to produce spirits to our high standards."

"By using locally sourced ingredients, our lineup of spirits offers a sense of place and terroir, similar to a nice wine, that really highlights all that West Michigan has to offer," Pribyl said.

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