We had an interesting evening at Middle West Spirits open house, a new micro-distillery that has opened in the Short North. Sadly they are not allowed to sell any of their product yet, but they hope it will be available in May, and we will be eagerly awaiting it. This is the first micro-distillery in Columbus and it is very exciting that there will be a local artisanal product available.
You can learn more about the owners Ryan Lang and Brady Konya and hear about how and why they started the business in the in-depth interview they did with Walker Evans from Columbus Underground. Ryan comes from a long line of bootleggers. On the tour we learned about their high tech German still, the lengthy and labor intensive process of distilling vodka and why their product won’t give you the hangover that cheaper industrial vodkas will.
Ryan and Brady have all sorts of exciting ideas including vodkas flavored with local fruits and herbs and are planning to expand their range into gin and whisky. They try to source as many of their materials from within a 100 mile radius as they can, and most of their raw materials are organic. They are also trying to close the supply chain by returning the spent mash to farmers for animal feed and selling some of the by-products for organic cleaning products.
The first product to be launched is OYO vodka (O-Y-O) with a very Ohio theme. Oyo is derived from the Native American name for the Ohio River meaning beautiful and the botanical drawing of a tree on the bottle is the buckeye, synonymous with Ohio.