Spirits maker plans tasting room Up North


Long Road Distillers in northwest Grand Rapids features cocktails, farm-fresh food and to-go bottles. Photo via fb.com

An award-winning spirits maker in Grand Rapids is planning to expand Up North.

Long Road Distillers said today it plans to open a tasting room in Boyne City.

The location will be the company’s first tasting room apart from its headquarters on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at 537 Leonard St. NW.

The new tasting room will be located in downtown Boyne City, at 118 Water St.

It will share a storefront with the Outdoor Beerdsman, a designer of custom apparel.

“They invited us to open a space inside of their existing shop,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-founder and co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “It’ll start small. I think there’s opportunity for us to grow into it.”

Long Road did not announce an opening date for the tasting room. It is in the process of gaining approval for the site from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

Visitors to Long Road Boyne City will be able to sample the company’s lineup of handcrafted spirits, participate in special tasting events and purchase merchandise and to-go bottles.  

The distillery said northern Michigan has become "a vital part of the Long Road story."

“Michigin, our 100-percent Michigan-ingredient gin, depends on ingredients grown in northern Michigan,” said Jon O’Connor, co-founder and co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “Our team spends several days each fall harvesting juniper on nearby Beaver Island, and we’ve incorporated galena hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport to add a citrus component to the gin’s botanical makeup.”   

O’Connor added that Long Road is "excited" to build relationships with farmers in the Boyne City area to partner on new products.

To staff up the location, Long Road Distillers is seeking applicants for a tasting room manager and retail team members.

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