RISING STAR: JOURNEYMAN GENERAL MANAGER MIKE BROWN ON EXPANDING A HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCE FOR CRAFT SPIRITS, DINING AND EVENTS
In Three Oaks, Mich., the Journeyman Distillery has become a destination for lovers of craft spirits — particularly rye whiskey — good food and golf. Mike Brown is the general manager of Journeyman, which has a big move ahead.
The Michigan distillery includes the 180-seat Staymaker restaurant and tasting room, as well as event spaces, lodging and a putting green. And soon a second campus — encompassing 140,000-square feet is scheduled to open in Valparaiso, Ind., about 45 minutes away, the hometown of founder/owner Bill Welter.
“Craft distilling is still exploring its growth,” said Brown. “It is quite rare to see distilleries have restaurants and extended hospitality experiences, so we are certainly on the forefront of changing what spirits and distillation means for the typical adventure seeker, and finding some comfort in what used to be only in Lexington, Ky., is now across the globe.”
Scheduled to open in late 2022, the Valparaiso campus will include three restaurants supported by a commissary, in addition to a larger distillery and craft beer production. Among the restaurants will be a high-end steakhouse with a beef-aging program, a fermentation lab and an ice house producing custom ice for both in-house concepts and as a service.
Listen to Brown describe how this multi-level hospitality experience is expanding in the Midwest and how the company is navigating labor and supply challenges.