Death’s Door Spirits takes its name from the most treacherous waterway in the Great Lakes – Death’s Door Passage which separates Washington Island in Lake Michigan from the Door County peninsula of the Wisconsin mainland.
A leader in the craft spirits movement, Death’s Door distills premium spirits from grain with a base that includes hard red winter wheat, corn and malted barley.
The company began as an economic development project with founder Brian Ellison working with neighbors to bring sustainable agriculture to their 22-sq. mile island’s economy. He worked with farmers to grow the organic hard red winter wheat and at first, made bread and other baked goods before moving to beer. Today, what began as five acres is 1,200.
The gin was the first product. Today, Death’s Door also makes vodka and white whiskey. For the gin, he uses a mix of wild juniper, coriander and fennel. The end result is a taste of all three botanicals – the juniper berries, coriander seeds and then the fennel seed for a soft finish. It undergoes three separate distillations. None of the botanicals are crushed or macerated, and it contains no citrus.
Located in Middleton, WI, the distillery, completed in 2012, is one of the region’s largest and has a capacity of more than 250,000 cases of finished product. In 2014, Nielsen reported that it was the top selling domestic gin in the U.S. Last year, new packaging – bottle made in the U.S. and ergonomically friendly to bartenders – was introduced. Visit www.deathsdoorspirits.com for more information.