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Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

Michigan distilleries gaining momentum thanks to craft cocktail movement

By Jessica Webster

the last word.jpg

The Last Word co-owners Paul Drennan, Adam Lowenstein, Robben Schulz, Justin Herrick, stand behind the bar filled with specialty drink mixers.

The locavore movement has changed the way many of us think about how and where we source our food, with a focus on fresh and local ingredeints. According to a story today on Michigan Radio, this philosophy is also being applied to cocktails, thanks to the craft cocktail movement. And in addition to fresh local herbs and housemade bitters and syrups, bartenders are increasingly seeking out locally distilled spirits.

In the 80 years since the repeal of Prohibition, alcohol production has been concentrated to a small number of distilleries, but much like we’ve seen with craft beer in the last decade, this trend is reversing. And much like we’ve seen with the craft beer industry, Michigan is taking a lead in the production of quality, regional spirits.

Robben Schulz, manager of The Last Word — a craft cocktail-focused bar in Ann Arbor — is interviewed, as is cocktail expert and instructor Tammy Coxen of Tammy's Tastings.

You can read full story on the Michigan Radio site.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Kyle Mattson

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10 p.m.

I just happened to purchase some gin made by Valentine (Ferndale) and Journeyman (Three Oaks) both are great and worth giving a try!

Jessica Webster

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

And I have really enjoyed New Holland's Knickerbocker gin!