Tucked away in the charming town of Three Oaks, Michigan, just a few miles east of Lake Michigan, stands the historic Warren Featherbone Factory. The building, which functioned as a corset and buggy whip factory in the late 19th Century, has been gracefully converted into Journeyman, Michiana’s very own “grain to glass” distillery.
Journeyman, which opened in October 2011, is not your typical distillery and differentiates itself from the slew of other Midwest breweries and distilleries by focusing on authenticity.
To create truly authentic spirits, Journeyman Distillery engages in just about every step of the alcohol-making process. The grain, which is sourced from local organic farmers, is transported to the distillery where it is milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, bottled and served, all on site. Even the bottles, with their distinct shape, label and wax, take a cue from those of the 1800s.
Journeyman can also hang its hat on being a kosher and certified organic distillery, a claim that only a handful of other distilleries in the United States can make. Bill Welter, owner of Journeyman Distillery, didn’t begin distilling organic spirits accidentally.
“I’m someone who’s focused on organics, on supporting this idea of a higher-quality product,” Welter says in a video posted on Journeyman’s website. “It’s really an effort to support organic growers. We’ve got grains coming in throughout the Midwest from organic farmers. That’s our way of supporting the idea and really helping to progress this organic movement.”