Three Oaks, MI Distillery

Journeyman Distillery Story:

Original article and interview by Lauren Eggert-Crowe

Bill Welter started Journeyman Distillery on Oct. 7th 2011. He’s producing small batch organic rye whiskey among many other fine spirits at the old Featherbone factory in downtown Three Oaks Michigan.  If you’re traveling through Three Oaks, Michigan, you will see an old Corset and Buggy Whip Factory built in the 1880s. Step inside and find Journeyman Distillery, where handcrafted small batch whiskey is made every day.

Lauren Eggert-Crowe spoke to Daniel Milsk  for Midnight Mixologist about Journeyman’s mission and uniqueness 3 years ago and it seems like they just keep getting better!  They also now have a full service restaurant Staymaker.  Check out the menu!  Looks amazing any you know the cocktails will be great.

Journeyman Distillery bar and restaurant

Journeyman Distillery bar and restaurant

What is your role at Journeyman Distillery?

My role at Journeyman Distillery varies from day to day. One day I may be handling promotional materials, to barrel management, to bartending, to licensing. As a small company we have an “all hands on deck” mentality. If something needs to get done, whom ever is available to do it does.

What is a typical day like at Journeyman Distillery?

During the less crowded weekdays patrons can spend the time with our knowledgeable staff and learn about our products. During the weekends the distillery looks like it belongs in Chicago as a hopping bar. We offer tours on the weekends, and invite guests to learn about our process at Journeyman Distillery.

What is the process like for creating the highest quality batch of your fine spirits?

Starting from the highest quality organic grains we insure a delicious product right from the start. Our distillers practice a hands on approach while producing our spirits, resulting in a handcrafted, and delicately handled process batch by batch.

As a grain to glass distillery we start from crushing whole grains direct from the farmer, all the way through fermentation, distillation, and finally bottling and enjoying our labors. This all occurs on site in our Historic Featherbone Factory in, Three Oaks, Michigan.

Journeyman Distillery Still

Journeyman Distillery Still

What are the qualities does Journeyman Distillery look for to make sure you’ve made a great batch?

Every batch of Journeyman Distillery spirits is monitored by our artisan distillery by taste, and experience through out every step of the process. We practice taste tests straight from the still, and also as our spirits are aging in barrels.

What sets Journeyman apart from other distilleries? What makes your products unique?

Journeyman Distillery is one of few organic and kosher distilleries operating in the United States. Currently distributing in 9 states in the union, as well as parts of Europe.

How did you learn about distilling spirits? What have you learned since starting at Journeyman?

I have learned while working at Journeyman Distillery that whiskey is not just about the alcohol. Any distillery encompasses a wide variety of skill sets including chemistry, mathematics, food production, artistry, and patience. Then, on the flip side of production comes the branding aspect, which includes promotion, customer service, sales, and of course finally enjoying the final product.


Want to know what they have –

We stole a couple of their recipes from their online menu just as a teaser!

 E.K. Warren

More commonly known as a Mark Twain we’ve renamed this classic after Renaissance Man E.K. Warrren; an inventor, conservationist, entrepreneur, financier, philanthropist, political influencer, spiritual and community leader and builder of the Featherbone Factory building where you sit today. E.K. didn’t drink and in fact was a staunch prohibitionist but we believe if he had we would surely enjoy this mix of our Last Feather Rye with the simple ingredients of lemon, simple syrup, and bitters. Enjoy this timeless classic with cheers to EK Warren.

1.5 oz Last Feather Rye
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters


 Fire and Ice

This cocktail was featured at our first annual Corsets, Whips, and Whiskey event. We hope it spices up your evening.

1.5 oz W.R. White Whiskey
1 oz pineapple juice
.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
1 inch slice of a seeded habenero pepper

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shaking this coctail will enhance the drink with the spicy habenero. Strain into glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and piece of remaining sliced habenero.

Contact info and tours:

Distillery Tours

Original article and interview by Lauren Eggert-Crowe