KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Among the hundreds of breweries and distilleries in Michigan, there will be another this fall in Kalamazoo. The owners tells us that they plan to make their mark by anchoring an up-and-coming neighborhood on the north side.
Things are moving quickly for Green Door Distilling Company. City commissioners approved their small distillers license Tuesday night. In coming months, expect to see food trucks in the parking lot and hammocks nearby, as you walk up to the tasting room.
For several years, Western Michigan University engineering graduates Jon Good and Josh Cook say they've wanted to open a "family-friendly, welcoming" distillery. The thought is to include family cook-outs, ultimate frisbee and other community events.
“We’re trying to coin the phrase, ‘destination distillery,’ so we want you to come here and actually experience something: we don’t want you to just come get a bottle and maybe one cocktail and leave," said Good.
The distillery will be along east North and Porter Streets and will produce their own craft products, like bourbon, whiskey, vodka and their flagship "un-aged, flavored whiskeys."
“We want to become more of an anchor for this area and bring some more tourists over here, and help Kalamazoo understand that yes we’re in the north side neighborhood, but it’s a safe place to be now," said Cook.
Cook said they plan to craft their spirits from scratch, and are passionate about producing their own quality products.
“If it’s a craft product and we’re labeling it that it’s Green Door Distilling whiskey or vodka it’s going to be made by us, it’s going to be made here, and we’re not going to cut any corners," said Cook.
“If it says honey whiskey on it, you’re going to get a flavored whiskey that is only made with our whiskey and our honey, no added flavors, no added preservatives, no added sugars," he said. "That’s something else we’re really passionate about.”
In addition to wanting to revitalize the city's north side, they said it is important to be within walking distance to other breweries. Fellow business owners have been helpful too with some major donations. For instance, Good and Cook pointed out that Bell's Brewery gave them their old water filtration system, and Water Street Coffee Joint donated several chairs.
They hope to have all their licenses by late October and open their tasting room. For more, follow them on Facebook here.