Member Spotlight: Grand Traverse Distillery

Unlike other distilleries, Grand Traverse Distillery is focused on using resources from access crops as well as grains grown by local farmers to distill their spirits. Supporting local agriculture is very important because it helps provide jobs in the community, and ensures spirits are distilled with fresh local ingredients.  Grand Traverse Distillery has been crafting locally made spirits since 2007, and has five tasting rooms across Michigan so people have the opportunity to taste the spirits for themselves.

The Grand Traverse Distillery has distilled many award winning spirits ranging from vodka, whiskey, gin, and rum. One of their most popular spirits that they distill is called “True North Cherry Vodka”. True north cherry vodka is distilled using 100% Grand Traverse county wheat, local cherry juices, and a touch of chocolate to create a truly Traverse city cherry vodka. A great way to enjoy Grand Traverse Distillery True North Cherry Vodka can be done easily by mixing it with your favorite lemonade. If you are a Whisky lover, Grand traverse Distillery also has a popular rye whisky called “Ole George”. Ole George is a smooth and robust rye whisky, boasts a 100% rye mash bill including 5% malted rye. 

When purchasing local spirits from Grand Traverse Distillery, as well as other local distilleries in Michigan, it is important for the public to be educated about how to read the labels on spirits. Spirits that are not distilled locally will say “produced by” or “manufactured by”, which means that the spirit was bottled by another company. In order to verify that you are purchasing from a local distillery, check the label for “distilled by”, which ensures that the distillery is distilling their own spirits. Being able to read spirit labels helps Grand Traverse Distillery and Local Distillery’s know what products are being distilled locally. 

As we know covid-19 impacted businesses severely around the country. Grand Traverse distillery had also felt the effects of the pandemic forcing them to close all of their tasting room locations. After closing, Grand Traverse distillery realized they could transition from distilling spirits, to producing hand sanitizer.  Since producing hand sanitizer they have donated bottles to health care workers, made custom blend sanitizer for local businesses at reduced cost to keep essential workers safe, and released it for the public to keep its community safe. 

Grand Traverse Distillery tasting rooms are located in Traverse city, Frankenmuth, Leland, and Mackinaw city. 

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