FERNDALE, Mich. — It’s time to mix up a cocktail and offer a toast to one of the country’s first micro-distilleries, Valentine Distilling Co. The 10-year milestone has been completed by Valentine and to celebrate the local distiller is investing $1 million in its production operation to fulfill customer demand.
Founded by Rifino Valentine, Valentine Distilling Co. has seen exponential growth since opening its doors more than 10 years ago. With a constant demand for the ever-growing list of award-winning spirits, an expansion of the production facility has become a necessity. The investment to make such an expansion happen: $1 million.
The expansion begins with the introduction of Sherbert. No, not the sweet treat. A new custom-made, 1,500-gallon still imported from Italian distillation company, Frilli. Named after Valentine Distilling Co.’s resident distillery dog, this still will have the capacity to produce 1,000 barrels of whiskey each year for the award-winning micro-distillery.
“We wanted to build the best still to maintain the quality of our products. Frilli has been building distillation equipment since 1912 and has a phenomenal track record and experience in triple pot distillation, and that’s just what we need to keep up with the demand of Valentine spirits,” said Rifino Valentine, founder and owner of Valentine Distilling Co.
This is the first still Frilli has ever shipped to America, and Sherbert is one of the largest stills being placed in a micro-distillery in the United States.
“We are honored to build this still for Valentine. We are excited to ship to the U.S. for the first time. The creation of this still will allow Valentine to continue to produce even more of their exceptional products,” said Frilli representative Simone Martini.
The whiskey being distilled with Sherbert will be ready to bottle in 2023. So, although the whiskey connoisseurs out there won’t be able to taste this whiskey today, the wait is sure to be worth it.
In 2016, Valentine Distilling Co.’s production relocated and expanded from the Cocktail Lounge location in Ferndale to a 15,000-square foot warehouse down the street from the Lounge. The warehouse is lined with state-of-the-art copper stills and whiskey barrels from floor to ceiling. Since beginning this custom still build with Frilli, Valentine also made the decision to expand once again in the current warehouse facility to add an additional 5,000 square feet for a rick house to store the aging barrels once the product leaves the still.
Valentine has seen immense growth throughout the years, and the addition of this still and additional expansion is critical to keep up with high demand for its award-winning products.
“The quality of Valentine’s distillate is unparalleled. And quality is why the consumer comes back again and again. Rifino and his team understand this and have propelled themselves on the path of authenticity and quality,” said Christophe Bakunas, Spirits Director at Cream Wine Company in Chicago. “The demand is absolutely there for Valentine, so we were ecstatic about the investment being made to focus on fulfilling demand for their products.”
A Valentine-style “ribbon cutting” ceremony and open house will reveal Sherbert and debut the expansion of the production facility on March 22 at Valentine Distilling Co. The celebration will take place from 6-9 p.m. at the Wanda Street location. Registration for a complimentary ticket and details of the event are now available on Eventbrite.
Keeping to his philosophy, Valentine explains that no matter how big they get, Valentine Distilling Co. will keep ingenuity and quality in mind, above all. It takes a dedicated entrepreneur and a continued commitment to creating excellence to be a staple in the distillery industry, and that is exactly what Valentine Distilling Co. has done. It’s been more than 10 years since Valentine Distilling Co. debuted its first product, its award-winning vodka, and the micro-distillery looks forward to the next 10 years.
About Valentine Distilling Co.
Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. When Valentine first started production, there were approximately 15 to 20 micro-distilleries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000 known micro-distilleries in the country. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing