This press release dropped into my inbox this afternoon, and should get all of you beer/spirits fans at least a little bit excited.  Let’s start with the big news – the people involved.  This project involves a few heavy hitters that should prove to make this a place that will get people talking.  The founders are:

  • Jeff Hunt – one of the founders of MadTree brewing
  • Mike Florea – executive chef and operating partner at Maribelles
  • Jeff Reichard – president of Holt & Richard Inc
  • Dan Hueber – owner of the V Collective
  • Mike Powell – former VP of Operations at Panera Bread
  • John Pattison – creative director at Project Red
  • There is also one more partner that is a “craft beverage innovator, that will be revealed at a later date” – and while I might have my guesses here… we should wait for the official news.

Jeff Hunt had this to say about the jump from beer into the “spirit world”:

I started in the craft industry with a love of beer, but it grew into a love of flavors,” says Jeff Hunt. “A love of crafting new things. With Karrikin comes the ability to expand and grow new craft beverage categories as well as diversify and mature in that creative process.

Karrikin will be open in the fall of 2018, and located in a 30,000 square foot facility at 3717 Jonlen drive in Fairfax.  They’ll have 1000 gallon pot and column still from Vendome Copper & Brass works of Louisville along with a 30bbl brewhouse from W.M. Sprinkman.

According to Karrikin Spirits, they will create unique profiles within the classic spirit styles as well as introduce flavors from around the world. Innovative mixed cocktails, hard sodas, and non-alcoholic soda will be some of the new offerings brought to the market. Products will be available at the distillery location, bars, restaurants and retail stores.  Craft Spirits will definitely be their core retail product, but they will also feature a full-service bar, a quick service bar and restaurant with a wood fired grill.

“Karrikins” are compounds found in the smoke of a forest fire that stimulate dormant seeds to sprout. New growth and innovation fuels Karrikin’s approach to the craft beverage industry.

“Experiencing life through food and beverage is my passion. I love Cincinnati and this industry. I’m fortunate and excited to be part of a team that has the same values, says partner Mike Florea. In addition to sales, Florea will design an eclectic, well-balanced menu with sharable plates that will pair with house drinks.

I’m pretty excited to hear about this project, and you’ll be hearing more about it not just from me, but from everyone else around Cincinnati too soon!

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