Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an “artisan” distillery?
An artisan or “craft” distillery is a small distillery typically equipped with a small-batch potstill. Potstills are generally regarded as producing more flavorful spirits than the high rectification columns used by the large volume distilleries. Artisan distillers are dedicated to quality spirits as opposed to large industrial distilleries which are generally interested in producing large volume. Using no artificial flavors and relying on the skill of the distiller an artisan distillery can create spirits of tremendous variety and superior quality.
2. How is a hand crafted artisan vodka created?
Three key factors in making a small batch vodka are:
I. Selecting the right ingredients, whenever possible we use locally sourced ingredients. Making a good mash which is crucial to the outcome of a good vodka.
II. Making the proper “cuts”. By this we mean knowing when to separate the undesirable “heads” and “tails” from the highly desirable “middle cut” of the distillation. In a large continuous type distillery this is determined with instrumentation. In a potstill it must be determined by the distillers senses.
III. Creating a filtering methodology to achieve the desired end result. Every distillery does it a little different. While we have a general guidline of how long filtering should take we rely on the distillers taste.
3. Why “Rehorst”?
Founder Guy Rehorst (Pronounced – Ray•Horst) is a fourth generation Milwaukeean. His ancestors- immigrants from Germany helped build the city as tavern and store owners, police officers, and machinists. They along with their contemporaries worked hard to build the city and with the same dedication we work hard to produce superior spirits. It is in their honor that we named our first product “Rehorst”.
4. How many times do you distill Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka?
One of the biggest marketing ploys in spirits is “Distilled _ Times.” There are a lot of nerdy things that we could go into – but to keep it simple our vodka is distilled as many times as necessary to produce a superior vodka. The amount of times required has more to do with the efficiency of the distillers still and his/her technique than anything else. Typically more than three distillations is a waste of time and adds nothing to the final product except a good marketing story.
5. So why are some vodka’s distilled 5, 6, or even 10 times?
Outrageous marketing claims are nothing new in the world of Spirits advertising. Simply put, distilleries try to differentiate themselves by claiming their product is distilled more than others. Will you fall for it? Why don’t they talk about the quality of their grains? The characteristics that a copper pot still delivers? The superior taste of spirits comes from these things more than an industrial method.
6. What kind of ingredients do you use?
Some macro distillers add sugar or citric acid to their vodka to “smooth” them out. Federal law allows a limited amount to be added without having to list them as an ingredient. We think the only reason to do this is to cover up bad taste in an inferior distilled product. We use no additives in our spirits, what you taste is just the pure, 100% additive free product.
7. Are your products gluten free?
Several organizations that provide guidance on gluten free diets say that distillation separates gluten from the final spirit even when the source grain includes gluten (a good post highlighting these reports here). To play it 100% safe, Rehorst Vodka, Kinnickinnic Whiskey, Still & Oak Bourbon and Pumpkin Spirit are the only products we make that use gluten base ingredients.
8. Do you give public tours of the distillery?
Every day – here are the Tour times.
9. Where can I find Great Lakes Distillery Products?
10. I own/manage a bar, restaurant or liquor store and would like to carry Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka, how can I get it?
If you’re in Wisconsin our products are available through Capitol Husting and All State Liquor.
Contact them at (414) 353-1000