GRAND RAPIDS — Vander Mill LLC and Long Road Distillers LLC have struck a partnership to further capitalize on the growing market for craft spirits.
While Grand Rapids-based Vander Mill will continue to focus primarily on its brands of craft hard cider, it ultimately plans to carve out a niche in spirits by offering a handful of apple-based liquors like brandy and vodka.
“I’ve had a long-term view that craft spirits are going to be the thing of the next decade,” Vander Mill CEO Paul Vander Heide told MiBiz. “If you go to almost any bar or restaurant, regardless of the experience, they’re selling the spirit market that is almost exclusively dominated by these big brands. … When you look at that market, there is such a big opportunity to bring more personality and story line to craft spirits, just like with beer and cider.”
The two companies plan to co-develop an apple brandy using Vander Mill’s apples that “will become a more widespread brand for both of us,” Vander Heide said. READ MORE…