Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers released Batch No. 3 of their award-winning MICHIGIN® on Monday, November 12. The gin was crafted from 100% Michigan ingredients, starting with water fresh from Lake Michigan, red winter wheat from Heffron Farms in Belding, and juniper harvested by hand on Beaver Island.
In 2017, MICHIGIN® was named the “Best Gin in the World” and awarded a Double Gold Medal at the Fifty Best Competition in New York City. Ever since the Michigan-made spirit has been highly sought after and one of the distillery’s most popular products. Each batch is eagerly anticipated not only by visitors of the distillery but by retailers and bars throughout Michigan.
“The making of MICHIGIN® has become so much a part of who we are,” says Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road. “The adventure of crafting this product from scratch is the epitome of what we’re all about at Long Road – creating products that are world-class and doing it the right way, all while using locally sourced ingredients.”
MICHIGIN’s base spirit is distilled from red winter wheat from nearby Heffron Farms in Belding, Michigan that was milled on-site at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side. It is then redistilled with a variety of Michigan botanicals, including Beaver Island juniper, lemon verbena, mint and fennel from Visser Farms in Zeeland, and Galena hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport. Batch No. 3 includes the addition of white pine. The resulting gin is unlike any other and offers a clean, fresh taste of Michigan from start to finish.
Juniper is commonly sourced through spice purveyors and originates from Europe or the Pacific Northwest. It was a family connection in late 2016 that tipped off the Long Road team to the abundance of the berry on Beaver Island, the largest island in Lake Michigan approximately 30 miles northwest of Charlevoix. Despite the extra work that goes into producing MICHIGIN®, the team insists the resulting gin and the connection to Michigan farmers and the Island make it all worthwhile.
“Picking juniper is a hard job – but there’s no better place to do it that on the Island,” according to Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of the distillery. “It’s one of the most beautiful places in Michigan and the residents of the Island have offered a warm welcome each time our team visits!”
MICHIGIN®, initially, has the familiar aroma of fresh pine and juniper berries, but quickly transitions into scents of cucumber, cedar, and tropical fruits. The rich juniper flavors lead the way at first taste and gradually shift to notes of melon, vanilla, and hints of bright citrus and mint. It’s sure to please in a gin cocktail, on the rocks, or all by itself.
Long Road MICHIGIN® is also available in statewide distribution for licensed retailers, bars and restaurants through Imperial Beverage Company, who distributes Long Road’s portfolio of spirits.
For more information about Long Road Distillers or to find out how you can get your hands on MICHIGIN®, please visit: www.longroaddistillers.com.