HOLLAND — The way Coppercraft Distillery owners run their business is creative, memorable, but most importantly, local.
Local means a farmer drives his tractor about 10 miles down the road and drops off a huge trailer of corn to produce their spirits.
Local means in-house mixologist Jenney Grant is a regular visitor to the Holland Farmer’s Market, methodically selecting the freshest ingredients possible for her inspired cocktails featured in the Coppercraft tasting room.
Local means the distillery collaborates with nearby breweries such as Our Brewing Company to ensure they have the barrels they need for aged beers.
Even the Coppercraft tasting room is adorned with reclaimed wood from local barns and factories to provide a unique local experience.
“We try to focus on as local as possible,” Grant said during a recent tour of the tasting room with a vintage industrial vibe.
Walter Catton and Mark Fellwock started Coppercraft Distillery in 2012. After producing enough spirits, they opened the tasting room, located at 184 120th Ave, in November 2013.
Since then “grain-to-glass” business has taken off. Grant said Coppercraft produces four clear spirits — gin, rum, vodka and citrus vodka — and four aged spirits — corn whiskey, high wheat whiskey, rye malt whiskey and applejack.
This summer the company will unveil its bourbon, which it hopes will become a flagship product. Coppercraft also is brewing a special juniper-forward gin for the Tulip Time Festival in May and a smoked cherry malt coffee whiskey, Grant said.
Coppercraft spirits are distributed in more than 100 retail locations, including various restaurants and bars in Michigan. However, the craft spirits industry is still in its infancy, around 15 years behind the craft beer industry, according to Grant.
Consequently, the company has ramped up production to meets its positive growth forecast. It purchased a new Vendome copper still, equipment now requiring a two-year wait, nearly doubling its weekly output to 10 barrels.
In 2015, Coppercraft hopes to expand into Colorado, Illinois and the east side of Michigan.
“We are hitting the markets that celebrate craft,” Grant said.