Indigenous to Britain and northern Europe, the Bilberry highlights our juniper and eight other botanical’s found in our gin. A cousin to the huckleberry and blueberry the bilberry is smaller and of fuller taste and is extremely hard to grow, thus seldom cultivated. The fruit is mostly collected from wild plants growing on public lands. It is an everyman’s right to collect bilberries irrespective of land ownership. The bilberry is dark in color and usually appears black, thus the berry was commonly refereed to as a black heart in 19th century south-western England. I hope that this truly unique berry and its flavors of tart fig, pepper, and black licorice rest well on your pallet.
At 90 proof our gin botanical’s are macerated in a 100% Organic wheat base spirit and then distilled. The definition of small batch each gin run produces less then 10 gallons of distillate. Our gin is clean, bright, and fruity with subtle hints of black licorice.
According to Thomas Hardy’s novel, The Return of the Native, the bilberries were called, “black-hearts.” Everyone has a bit of a dark heart, but there’s always a sweet return at the smell and taste of familiar things.
Everything about Journeyman Distillery is handcrafted, and we like that our home reflects that attention to labor. The original maple factory floors are from the 1800’s. We have an original concrete bar made in Grand Rapids, with coordinates etched into the side—to mark this historic and unique location. We’re using wood from the family barn in central Indiana; wood that was once the flooring for an early 1900s schoolhouse. We feel that EK Warren, the original builder of the factory—while being a staunch prohibitionist—would be proud to see his building shining bright. Our bottles are like our building: steeped in family history that we’re thrilled to share with you.
The decision to have a organic distillery was largely a personal one and a decision that came rather easily. Several years ago Bill decided to make a more conscious decision about what he was consuming and where was his food coming from. In an effort to support local organic farmers our Distillery will be buying organic grain that is grown by family farmers in the great Midwest. The concept is to support the idea of eating with a sense of place. Whether it’s local sprits produced by Journeyman, hand crafted cheeses, or local organic Michigan fruits, Journeyman believes organic demonstrates a respect for the land and its people. Please support your local farmers markets and locally produced products.
When drinking Journeyman Distillery products your consuming an organic product that we believe tastes better because it is organic. Your assisting family farms of all sizes, you’re supporting a global organic economy and you’re helping to reduce the toxic load of chemicals in the air, water, soil, and bodies.
Journeyman Distillery is certified organic by Midwest Organic Services Association. MOSA is a non-profit organic certification agency, rooted in the Midwest. Journeyman Distillery uses organic grain that is produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, artificial pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, feed additives, or genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).