… according to others, so far. Piecing it together one writer’s contribution at a time.
Honest Spirits. Local People. ℠
“For Merrill, the journey started in the early 2000’s, when he was first exposed to craft alcohol at his father’s winery in Washington state. He was only there for a few years before returning to Kalamazoo, but in 2011, he went back on a few trips, when he learned to ferment that wine and transform it into brandy. He was captivated. “You know, when you walk into a distillery and the tanks are fermenting and the still’s running, it’s the smells that really grabbed me,” Merrill says. “It’s like walking into the best bread bakery you’ve ever smelled. The big copper still in the corner, all of the aspects of it. It’s an awesome place to spend your day.”… – Robbie Feinberg, WMUK.org
“For Nic Merrill, distilling is in his blood…(his father is a distiller and wine proprieter in Washington) Merrill and his wife, Joanna, spent time with him before deciding to open their own distillery in Kalamazoo. ‘We wanted something to make our own, we’re repurposing the wood (from our building), we’ve found grain close by, we’re speaking to some wineries. Part of our vision is local…In a beer town, ‘it’s the spirits that we’re excited about‘… –Emily Monacelli, MLive.com
“The path to opening a distillery can take many twists and turns. Just ask Nic and Joanna Merrill…The husband and wife duo say they’ve been welcomed with open arms by the distilling community nationwide, as many companies have taken them in, shown them their operations and helped them understand the business–especially what not to do.” –Joe Boomgaard, RevueWM.com
“…it wasn’t until (Joanna and Nic) were visiting Nic’s dad, a winemaker and distiller, on the West Coast that the idea for the Kalamazoo Stillhouse was planted. During their visit they were given the chance to taste his father’s award winning vodka right off the still and both knew immediately that they had found their niche. With one wordless glance Joanna and Nic knew that they were going to pour all their time and energy into bringing distilling to their beloved hometown.” – Erica Shier, WomensLifeStyleKazoo.com