Our Founders

Inspired by four generations of distilling traditions in the Middle West family, the small enterprise built its foundation on the belief that authenticity in the world of artisan spirits meant handcrafting products from scratch, while celebrating the distinctive flavors of the Ohio River Valley.

Co-founders Brady Konya and Ryan Lang founded Middle West Spirits in 2008, and opened the distillery for commercial production in 2010. With deep experience in marketing and manufacturing, Brady and Ryan have focused on championing Ohio’s world-class agriculture, small business innovation, and culinary inspiration to produce a line of artisan spirits that reflect their originality as creators, their integrity as producers, and their passion for the craft of producing spirits from scratch. At the core of their efforts, they commit to equal parts inspiration and education, working to challenge the palate while honoring Ohio’s unique role in the history of America’s distilling traditions.

Central to the distillery’s identity is the belief that craft spirits should be made with care, by hand, by creators who originally distill their own products. In today’s growing micro community, marketers often use words like “artisanal” to disguise the industrial sources of many distilleries’ core products—which are neither artisan nor handcrafted, and seldom deserve the premium they command. Middle West Spirits is proud to practice the time-honored craft of producing our spirits from grain to bottle, and honored to support the farms, craftsmen, trade partners, and retail customers who desire an authentic expression of world-class, American-made craft spirits.

Enjoy every sip!

 

Our Partners

Cultivating strong Ohio-based partnerships has been a cornerstone of Middle West’s efforts since its founding in 2008. Our partners are part of our family — a collection of companies that share a belief in Ohio’s promise. We each champion the Ohio story every day, knowing that a stronger Ohio brand means a stronger foundation for the future we all share.

 

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Over the past few years, we’ve had the great privilege of working with Jeni and Charly Bauer on three different seasonal ice creams that break the boundaries of flavor. In October 2011, Jeni’s launched a signature flavor fueled by the rich and complex character of OYO’s flagship wheat whiskey. The OYO Whiskey and Pecans ice cream is available in Jeni’s scoop shops across Ohio and Tennessee, and by the pint in more than 400 specialty retailers across the U.S.

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Tavern Vinegar Company

Born in the 170-year-old stone-walled basement of Chef Jonathan Sawyer’s home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Tavern Vinegar Company was established to celebrate single-origin, single-varietal, barrel-aged vinegars. Sawyer, a Food & Wine top ten best chef and the brainchild behind Cleveland’s venerable Green House Tavern, was inspired by the notion of creating recipes derived solely from ingredients that can be procured locally. The result is a growing line of handcrafted vinegars, including a flagship malt vinegar aged in OYO Whiskey barrels. Production of the new vinegars now resides in the Columbus distillery, signaling the beginning of a partnership dedicated to a shared passion for handcrafted products with an ethos that’s all Ohio.

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Rockmill Brewery

Middle West Spirits shares its OYO Whiskey barrels with Rockmill Brewery to produce an exceptional cask-aged Belgian Tripel out of Lancaster, Ohio. The brewery ages its dark Belgian ale in charred, white American oak barrels that have been seasoned with OYO Whiskey, resulting in a blend of unprecedented flavor. Rockmill’s award-winning products, including the cask-aged Tripel, are available in major markets across Ohio and Kentucky.