What a long journey! So lets go back to the beginning of it all. Way back in 2007 this whole concept of distillery and brand development started, we were in London on an expat project. As the automotive world, economy, and world financial market was collapsing by 2008, I had this insane idea to start a distillery. To the insane, it make perfect sense to spend over $500K of savings while foreclosures and job loss were taking place all around. By late 2009, we were back in Grand Rapids full time, had secured a building and filled it with distilling equipment, filling lines , machinery and no idea what to do there after.
In 2013 we started our construction on a new tasting room in a beautiful downtown Rockford. It was named the Underground for its NY city long and narrow design.
A defining year was 2017. We saw our business grow slowly over the last few years and had completed our 84th formulated and developed spirit product. And now we are put to the ultimate test! To endured all the new hrtles thrown at us and come smelling like a rose. And as life would have it just coming out of it, it didnt matter what you smelled like and highly probable that it was pleasant. One big hurtle was moving the entire distillery that took 7 years to slowly build and cram it down to 3 months. It tool 9 full sized semi trailers packed from floor to ceiling to clear out. And not to mention starting a second new tasting room downtown Grand Rapids named the Hemingway Lounge that required construction and build out. And a promotion bar booth in Van Andel Arena. Oh and a litigation over a whiskey brand. The collective process was a very trying and exhausting time. It put all of us in a space where you can confidently say if I get through this, i can get through anything.
To some extent, I was witnessing an advanced stage of business cancer. You just had to plug away and hold on at all cost.
2018 gave us a new second wind. We closed the underground Rum and Martini tasting room a year earlier, focused on Hemingway Lounge and the distillery setup again. The new building is a great location. It will have onsite tasting room and restaurant and production in the back. Ample parking on property.
We will send out invites on social media for our new location re-grand opening soon.