Arizona Distilling Co. expanding, opening cocktail bar in new Tempe home

Arizona Distilling Co. expanding, opening cocktail bar in new Tempe home

Drinking liquor is a lot of fun. Making it is a much different story.

The fine folks at Arizona Distilling Co., at their distillery in Tempe, produce Commerce Gin, Park Rye Whiskey, as well as Mission Vodka – among a few other spirits and beverages. However, they also now produce the first legally produced bourbon in all of Arizona, Copper City Bourbon, which must be aged in virgin oak barrels.

“Everybody thinks it’s all fun and games,” says co-owner Jason Grossmiller. “Who

wouldn’t want to own a distillery? But it’s only fun and games until you have to work.”

Up until late last year, the company was still shockingly small as it only had nine people working, the four owners and five employees. And yet, the company was still crafting and shipping out over 35,000 cases of liquor each year. That was all until the moment last year when the building the distillery was located in was sold by its owners, and the difficult job of producing a lot of fine liquor suddenly became a whole lot more stressful, as they had to look for a new home for their establishment.

After a nine-month search, Arizona Distilling Co. have fully turned their bad situation into a perfect one as they found a lovely old location for their new home and plan on opening a small bar by the end of 2016, with hopes to expand it into a full-on restaurant, eventually.

“We loved the old location,” Grossmiller says. “We used to do tours and tastings. But that space was more of an industrial building. It wasn’t air-conditioned. We got some bad Yelp reviews, people complaining that it was too hot.”

They moved only about 400 yards from their old location, and are moving into a sizable storefront at 601 W. University Dr., which co-owner Jonathan Eagan says is “ultimately … a much better location.”


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