2021 40 Under 40 award recipient: Nathan Blury

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Nathan Blury. Courtesy 616 Media

Nathan Blury, 36

Co-owner/Co-founder

Saint Liberty Whiskey/Original Tin Cup Co.

If you’ve enjoyed taking your drink from the bar to the edge of the river along Canal Park, or at any Grand Rapids’ refreshment zones, you have Nathan Blury to thank.

Blury’s group, DrinkGR, worked to champion the re-launch of the hospitality sector out of the pandemic through the expansion of the city’s social zones and refreshment districts.

“What was originally just three areas on the east side of the river — minus a small blip on Bridge Street — now includes 105 city blocks! I am proud to say that almost every on-premise licensee has the equal opportunity to participate in a refreshment area because of that expansion,” Blury said.

Blury boasts an eclectic career in the beverage business. He is the co-founder of the Original Tin Cup Co., a Michigan-based drink ware company and Kickstarter Top 100 Project of 2017, and the co-owner of Saint Liberty Whiskey, a craft distillery that honors women bootleggers from the Prohibition era.

Additionally, Blury is a social media personality and creator of the “Cocktail and Conversation” and “Drink With Nate and Katie” blog pages, as well as a contributor to several local TV stations.

Although not an area native, Blury said his “adopted West Michigan family” has been a major influence on his professional life.

“The people of West Michigan have shown me the importance of adapting and being open to change,” Blury said.” In my time here, I have seen the birth of ArtPrize, a wild expansion of breweries and now distilleries. Hospitality and community support of those in need has also been a major influence in my life.”

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