Kent Rabish grew up on a small family farm in Pinconning, Michigan. Where the days were long, the work was hard, and you never took anything for granted. One day, while exploring the property, Kent came across a still hidden in the back of the barn. Grandpa George had been putting the excess grain to good use.
Fast forward a few decades. Kent is at the tail end of a successful business career. The memory of Grandpa’s still comes calling. With a little imagination and a lot of elbow grease, Grand Traverse Distillery opened in 2005. Northern Michigan’s first craft distillery.
We’ve come a long way from the family farm, but we’ve never strayed from our roots. We use only local grains, from farms just a few miles down the road. We distill, age and bottle every spirit that carries the Grand Traverse name. It’s an authenticity that would make Grandpa George proud.
The Grand Traverse Distillery experience feels like family. Mainly, because it is. While Kent brings experience and smart business acumen to the equation, the next generation of Rabishes brings a spark of energy and enthusiasm to the day-to-day happenings.
Landis Rabish, our Master Distiller, is well-versed in the craft. His creative flair and painstaking attention to detail blend perfectly when making our exceptional spirits.
Of course, none of our success could happen without a full team of true and trusted friends who make what we do possible and oh-so enjoyable.
In March of 2023, we lost Landis Rabish, our Master Distiller. Landis was an amazing man who sparkled with life and a passion and creativity for the spirits-making process. He joined Grand Traverse Distillery—following in his dad and our founder’s footsteps—after graduating from Central Michigan University in 2010. His impact on our efforts was immediate. His attention to detail and painstaking craftsmanship helped our distillery quickly gain a reputation for excellence across Michigan and beyond. Landis’ quick wit and easy laughter made the work we do seem a lot less like work. The high standards he set were our guiding light. All we do now and into the future is built upon the foundation that Landis helped establish, with his dad, Kent.
Thank you, Landis. You will be missed and always appreciated and loved.