Founded in 2015, Driftless Glen Distillery is a Grain to Glass Craft Distillery. Most recently rated by Whiskey Advocate with a “90” for Bourbon Whiskey, the company has been named “Wisconsin Distillery of the Year”, by New York International Spirits Competition and shared as a “Top Ten US Spirits Brand You Must Try”, by London Spirits Competition. Its American spirit has over 5,000 barrels aging on-site making a name for itself Nationally and Internationally. “Grain to Glass and back to Farm” is the company’s philosophy which means it is a 0% waste distillery in terms of the creation of the spirits.
Driftless Glen recycles 100% of the by-product. The spent mash and grain go to feed local livestock, while the wastewater is sent off-site to an anaerobic digester, converting it back to energy. The used bourbon and whiskey barrels are sold to breweries, cideries, and wineries to create unique brews or are re-purposed by local artisans to enjoy in their homes which makes the company an environmentally focused distillery. Moreover, At Driftless Glen, the creativity doesn’t stop with the spirits. It also offers distillery inspired cuisine, a menu with delicious food created with its spirits as well as unique mixology by using its olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
An Eminent Leader
Renee Bemis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Driftless Glen Distillery. She leads the team working with each member to make executive decisions and assist where hurdles are presented. Renee isthe Elections Chairman for the American Craft Spirits Association. She and her husband have been awarded with the prestigious honour of being featured in an upcoming publication as Inc. Magazines Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies, as an Entrepreneur 360 Company and Renee has spoken at many Business Conferences and Woman Empowered Leadership Summits, sharing her story, leadership and successes within the spirits and food and beverage industry.
Driftless Glen believes that its impact on its customers is driven by their experience. They experience Driftless Glen first-hand when they visit the distillery. Bourbon and Whiskey groups are finding the enterprise online and socially, reaching out for their own private barrel picks. Consumers are hearing about it on the radio and through other media outlets. The team at Driftless is constantly promoting its spirits at events, with on and off premise locations in every state that carries the products.
According to the company, one of the major challenges that it faces right now is the misconception that Bourbon originates only from Kentucky. Apparently, there is a saying that goes, “You can’t call it Bourbon, Bourbon comes from Kentucky.” which the company believes is not accurate. Yes, the majority of bourbon comes from KY., but that is due to the pure water sources that are available there. Pure water sources make for the best bourbon. The water used in Driftless region is sweet and clean as it flows through 700 feet of sandstone and limestone, one of the purest aquifers, this natural resource of a double filter for the water was one of the reasons the company built its distillery on the Baraboo river.
Another current challenge is educating the consumer that not all distilleries hand craft their spirits. Driftless Glen is competing in the marketplace with popular products that are mass produced in a plant, and then sourced to the craft distilleries. There is no initial investment of all the equipment. Those craft distilleries put their own label on the product.
Thoughtfully Planned Growth
Driftless Glen envisions thoughtfully planned growth and expansion for sharing its spirits throughout the United States and beyond. It currently distributes to ten states and will also soon be distributed in Costa Rica. The company has considered additional locations for tasting room experiences within the states it is distributed. Its focus is on the core regions to ensure success as the brand awareness continues to grow.
“Driftless Glen is more than craft; they are pumping out a lot of Bourbon and Rye with over 5,000 barrels aging which is a huge number. Some smaller craft distillers have in the range of 200-300, so this is an impressive operation. We did a special blend and called it First marriage. It is really good. If you are looking to step out with a new craft distiller, this is a good one to go with.” – Blake Riber, Seelbach.com and Bourbon R Review.
“Review Tasting Notes – Driftless Glen Bourbon Whiskey – Some unique things going on here with a beautifully designed bottle with thumbprints on the side. A unique Bourbon Nose. Spicy, and well done!! Rich flavour and melts away. No real burn or bite which you would typically find from a 48% ABV. You can really start to find the barrel and the brown sugar. Unique flavors. Damn Good Whiskey.” – Daniel and Rex- Whiskey Vault.