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Family and Passion

We’re a family-owned organic craft distillery located in the heart of the Midwest, built on principles of hard work, premium ingredients, and a taste that defines our reputation.

Our story isn’t one of legends. It isn’t one that’s been told for centuries or passed down for generations. Ours is a new story. One that started in 2014 by one couple where one spouse was ready to leave the corporate life behind and the other spouse said “Why not?!”

So, in 2014 Kevin and Ann Thomas started Western Reserve Distillers, a family owned and operated organic craft distillery. We are proud to be producing award winning, world class spirits in Lakewood, Ohio, just a few miles west of downtown Cleveland, as Ohio’s first and only USDA certified organic craft distillery.

In the telling of our story, there is a family story before the distillery that should be told. Kevin’s corporate life had the family moving a few times in his career. Kevin, Ann and Jake (their son) started in upstate New York, to North Carolina, to Connecticut, to Switzerland, to Ohio. Ohio is where the family began to grow and grandchildren came along. With that in mind, Ohio was home and so was our distillery. But what to name it?

One of the things that drew us to Northeast Ohio is how much it reminded us of where we lived in Connecticut. We kept seeing the name Western Reserve everywhere, but didn’t know why, we only knew that we had lived in the Western Reserve Region of Connecticut. So when it came time to name the distillery, Western Reserve Distillers seemed to be the only name we should choose. After all, we were now building a distillery in the area that once was the western most region of the Western Reserve of Connecticut! Two paths in our lives had come together and were forging a new one. Perfect. Now on to a logo.

Our logo is a compass with the tip of the arrow pointing at a BEE. We are family owned and operated and in 2014 that meant Kevin, Ann and Jake were the worker “bees” but the real “bee” is their oldest granddaughter, Isabelle. Known by her nickname, IzzyB, in 2014 she was too young to work, too young to sell, and too young to drink distilled spirits. But we couldn’t have a family business without an important member of the family! So our graphic designer made us a BEE and she goes everywhere. Sitting at the tip of the arrow, IzzyB is our true north. The reason for being organic. The reason for wanting to leave this planet a little bit better than we’ve been given. The reason for putting great care and attention into every detail of every product that we put out for our customers, so that for generations to come, she has something to BEE proud of.

Our story is a new one to tell and it is a bit different than those of generations before. We don’t just distill one type of spirit, we distill them all! And our Agave Spirits (Tequila if in Mexico) is one that ranks among some of the best Tequilas around and you won’t find any palm trees or agave plants in Ohio. Will ours be a story told for centuries and passed down for generations? We hope so! For now, we’re focused on the present, the sustainable, the organic.

Western Reserve Distillers vodkas, gins and some bourbons and whiskeys are distilled using 100% organic grains from Twin Parks Organic Farm which is approximately 75 miles from the distillery. Our rum is distilled using 100% organic dark molasses from the Louisiana Delta and our agave spirits are made from 100% organic blue weber agave from Jalisco, Mexico.

In a world where bigger is always considered better, we have opted to follow a different path. Each and every one of our products are carefully crafted with an attention to detail often lacking in the products produced by major brands today. We have high standards here at Western Reserve Distillers and if we aren’t happy with what we are tasting, it doesn’t go into a bottle or a barrel. We believe that taste makes the difference.

Western Reserve Distillers attention to detail continues from the farms to the distillation and distilling equipment. Our enviable beauty of a still was custom built and handcrafted to our exact specifications and needs by KOTHE Destillationstechnik in Germany. It’s a 3000L hybrid potstill with an elongated whiskey helmet and has two (2) distillation columns with a final condenser for turning the vapor back into liquid or “eau de vie” (water of life). All of our products are twice distilled with a stripping run where we capture all liquid off the still and then a final run where we capture only the hearts; which is the purest part of distilled spirits we want with flavors and aromas that make our products unique.

In our distilling process, Western Reserve Distillers is keeping our carbon footprint low by capturing the hot water that comes from the distillation and reusing it to heat our mash tank, helping to keep our utility costs down. Our grains come from Twin Parks Organic Farm in 2000lb reusable sacks and the totes that the molasses and agave are shipped to us in are also reused for storing finished spirit until ready for bottling.

“The Distillery” at Western Reserve Distillers is a casual, farm to table restaurant that brings together distilling, dining and drinking in one location. All of the handcrafted cocktails made at the bar are made using Western Reserve Distillers organic spirits and fresh ingredients. The food that is prepared in our kitchen meets those same high standards we use for our distilled spirits using only the freshest ingredients we can find often mimicking the flavors being used in the cocktails. Just one visit and you will see for yourself why we say, “Taste makes the difference.”


Why Organic?

From their first conversations, founders Kevin and Ann Thomas knew Western Reserve Distillers would have to be an organic distillery. At Western Reserve Distillers we believe that when you start by using the cleanest and best ingredients, you can’t help but make a better product. We also know that by using organically and sustainably grown ingredients we are preventing the release of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals into the environment that can eventually wind up in the rivers and ground water endangering not only our lives but wildlife as well.

Does it take more work? Yes, but we believe it’s worth it. Western Reserve Distillers is proving everyday that you can make award winning spirits with organic and sustainably grown ingredients. You don’t have to compromise on flavor to be conscientious of the environment.

Environmental Preservation:

Organic farming avoids harmful chemicals, safeguarding soil, water, air, and supporting ecosystem health and biodiversity.

Enhanced Biodiversity:

Organic farms boost biodiversity, fostering natural ecosystems that benefit pollinators and natural pest control without chemicals.

Improved Soil Health:

Organic practices improve soil health and prevent erosion by using crop rotation, cover crops, and composting, avoiding harmful chemicals.

Water Safety:

Organic methods reduce water contamination, ensuring safer drinking water and protecting aquatic life and watersheds.

Health Benefits for Consumers:

Organic products are chemical residue-free, offering safer consumption options and reducing health risks from conventional agriculture chemicals.

Support for Sustainable Practices:

Choosing organic promotes long-term sustainable farming, working with nature to create a self-sustaining, healthy environment.

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About Salient

The Castle
Unit 345
2500 Castle Dr
Manhattan, NY

T: +216 (0)40 3629 4753