The Rapidian

Grand Traverse Distillery to bring artisan spirits to Downtown Market

With craft distilleries making a splash in the local culinary and agro-tourism scene, Grand Traverse Distillery will set up shop in Grand Rapids' Downtown Market this holiday season.
Kent Rabish at Downtown Market

Kent Rabish at Downtown Market /Courtesy of Grand Rapids Downtown Market

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About the Grand Rapids Downtown Market

"The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is the region’s new choice for fresh, delicious foods and amazing public market merchants. The Market is a LEED Gold-certified, $30 million, self-sustaining, mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods and growing. It incorporates entrepreneur and experimentation space for both emerging and experienced food artisans and merchants including a 24-vendor Market Hall and large outdoor farmer’s market."

/Courtesy of Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Grand Rapids Downtown Market, a "destination for local food innovation, education and experimentation," has announced Grand Traverse Distillery, maker of craft spirits including vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and bourbon, will open a tasting room at the Downtown Market.

Founded by Kent Rabish in 2007, Grand Traverse Distillery is based in Traverse City, and is the largest micro-distillery in Michigan. In his commitment to using local ingredients, Rabish uses corn, wheat and rye grown at Send Brothers Farm, just nine miles northeast of the distillery’s production facilities.

“Grand Traverse Distilleries is among the very few using the ‘grain-to-bottle’ method, which means we start with fresh, local rye, corn and wheat, and combined it with pure glacial water to create our artisan spirits,” said Rabish. “Single batch, hand made, one-at-a-time is how we bring our spirits to market, and we are excited to be the first local distiller to open a tasting room in Grand Rapids.”

The Grand Traverse Distillery Tasting Room at the Downtown Market will feature spirits to taste and buy by the bottle. The tasting room will also offer local products and mixers that best complement their spirits, such as syrups, peanuts and pickles, as well as clothing, glassware and barrels for those who want to age their own spirits.

“While artisan spirits are growing rapidly, Grand Traverse Distillery is committed to the re-emerging art of craft distillation, and we are thrilled to add an incredibly popular, ultra-premium Michigan brand to the Downtown Market,” says Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market. “They are a perfect addition to our space and mission.”

Grand Traverse Distillery will continue to make all of its products at its Traverse City facility. The spirits also are available at tasting rooms in Leland, on Traverse City’s Front Street and in Frankenmuth, with another tasting room coming soon at Black Star Farms.

Construction on the space will begin this month, and the tasting room will open in December.

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