Craft spirits maker pours into downtown


Grand Traverse Distillery’s craft spirits are made in Traverse City with local ingredients. Photo via

A Michigan-made purveyor of craft spirits is opening a tasting room downtown.

The Downtown Market said today that Grand Traverse Distillery — which makes vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and bourbon — is the market’s newest tenant.

Construction on the tasting room will begin this month, and it will open next month.

The space

The Grand Traverse Distillery tasting room will feature spirits to taste and buy by the bottle.

It will also offer local products and mixers that complement its spirits, such as syrups, peanuts and pickles, as well as clothing, glassware and barrels for those who want to age their own spirits.

Kent Rabish founded Grand Traverse Distillery in 2007, and it has become the largest micro-distillery in Michigan.

Traverse City operation

The distillery creates grain-to-bottle spirits, using local ingredients, including corn, wheat and rye, which are all grown nine miles northeast of the distillery’s production facilities at Send Brothers Farm.

“We start with fresh, local rye, corn and wheat and combine it with pure glacial water to create our artisan spirits,” Rabish said. “Single batch, handmade, one at a time is how we bring our spirits to market, and we are excited to be the first local distiller to open a tasting room in Grand Rapids.”

Grand Traverse Distillery will continue to make all of its products at its Traverse City facility.

“We are thrilled to add an incredibly popular, ultra-premium Michigan brand,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO, Downtown Market. “They are a perfect addition to our space and mission.”

Tasting rooms

Grand Traverse Distillery spirits are also available at a pair of tasting rooms in Traverse City, in Leland and in Frankenmuth, with third tasting room coming soon to Traverse City, at Black Star Farms.

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