Whiskey stored in a bottle gets better with age, whereas a message sent in a bottle is the best way to avoid exorbitant stamp prices. Empty your own glass envelopes with today’s Groupon to Middle West Spirits. Choose from the following options:
- For $159, you get a half-day whiskey-craftsman workshop (a $350 value).
- For $299, you get a half-day whiskey-craftsman workshop for 2 (a $700 value).
- For $2,400, you get a private half-day whiskey-craftsman workshop for 16 (up to a $5,600 value).<p>
Workshops are the first Saturday of every month, starting February 4.
In Middle West’s hands-on workshops, artisan distillers impart traditional techniques used to produce their locally sourced, hi-proof spirits. After an orientation and introduction, up to 16 students gather in the 3,200-square-foot, open-air micro-distillery among gleaming drums and equipment that show the reflection of awe-struck visitors and time-traveling Prohibition agents aghast at modern society. Courses articulate Middle West’s time-tested process of fermenting batches exclusively with made-from-scratch ingredients. After the distillery shuts down so that visitors can operate the equipment by hand, the company’s head distiller discusses the craft and its history, and pupils learn how to select grains, prepare mashes, and age spirits in barrels, bottles, or jobs at the steel mill. A broad selection of whiskies and bourbons tantalizes the senses as students prepare their own barrels that they can personalize with their name for the batch’s lifetime.
During the five-hour workshop, Middle West provides a full lunch and light snacks, including samples of their own OYO whiskey and pecan ice cream. Students go home with a Middle West production-team shirt and a workshop diploma that can be framed or folded into an origami highball glass.
Middle West Spirits
Brady Konya and Ryan Lang aren't from Ohio, but they loved the area for its business-friendly community and rich natural resources, and decided Columbus was where they had to build their distillery. The duo's passion for the Midwest colors everything about Middle West Spirits, from the name down to the Ohio-grown soft red winter wheat in their whiskey and award-winning vodka, which they also infuse with honey and vanilla beans or stone fruit. Inside the distillery, which sprawls over 10,000 square feet of open air, Brady and Ryan craft these artisan OYO spirits—named after the original word for the Ohio River Valley, pronounced o-y-o_—in 600-liter pot-and-column stills. Hand-built onsite by German craftsmen using copper, stainless steel, and bits of Saturn's rings, these stills earned Middle West Spirits a place on _Popular Mechanics' 5 of the World's Most-High-Tech Distilleries list.