Ann Arbor Distilling Co opens doors in downtown Ann Arbor

Patrons began walking into the newly opened Ann Arbor Distilling Co's tasting room in downtown Ann Arbor a few days ago and Rob Cleveland hopes they notice one thing, the combination of industrial and rural aesthetics.

"We're industrial meets farm," says Cleveland, managing director of the micro distillery. "It's a turn-of-the-century building. It has a lot of brick and concrete. It's a very robust building. We also built out the building with wood from Urban Ashes and Recycle Ann Arbor that was salvaged."

Cleveland and Ari Susssman have been working on opening the craft distillery for the last two years. It is located at 220 Felch in the same building as Icon Interactive, a digital marketing agency Cleveland serves as the founder & CEO. Cleveland and Sussman saw a demand for locally made craft cocktails in downtown after watching decades of success from local craft brewers.

Ann Arbor Distilling Co is currently selling bottles of its vodka, gin and rum cocktails or serving cocktails made of those liquors in its tasting room. It is also working on making its own whiskey and bourbons, liquors that traditionally take years to distill.

"We are also looking at having apply brandy in the not-too-distant future," Cleveland says.

The craft distillery held a soft opening last Saturday and opened its doors to the public yesterday.  Its tasting room encompasses 1,000 square feet and has a capacity of 35 people. It has another 5,000 square feet of production space that can produce up to 60,000 gallons of liquor annually. Cleveland expects to start distributing Ann Arbor Distilling Co's liquors by the bottle in local retailers by second quarter of next year.

Source: Rob Cleveland, managing director of Ann Arbor Distilling Co
Writer: Jon Zemke

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