Middle West Spirits - New Distillery in Columbus, Ohio

Middle West Spirits in Columbus, Ohio was founded in 2008 and opened for commercial distillation in 2010. The distillery completed its first major expansion in 2016 by adding a new 55’ tall distillation tower to accommodate their Vendome Copper & Brass Works column still and related distillery equipment. To make all the equipment fit in the existing space the distillery literally had to ‘raise the roof’ to get the equipment to fit. At that point, the footprint of their downtown property was maxed out. If they wanted to expand, they had to find another location and that is exactly what they did in 2020.

Three years ago, Middle West Spirits purchased a 14 acre property with several commercial buildings on Alum Creek Drive in Columbus, six miles from their original location. The second distillery is expected to begin distillation in the next couple of months. We spoke with Middle West Spirits Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Lang to learn more about their massive expansion plans.

Middle West Spirits Production Will Increase 10X

Lang said the new distillery will allow them to expand production capacity 10-fold. He says the new distillery will not only make them the largest distillery in Ohio but also a ‘top 10 grain-to-glass whiskey & spirits producer‘ in the United States overall.

Phase I of the project is focused on production while Phase II, which has not started yet, will focus on creating a visitor center and experience. Phase I includes a 75,000 square foot distillery with new milling equipment, four 12,500 gallon cookers, 14 50,000-gallon fermentation tanks, a massive 78′ distillation tower to hold a 60” x 55’ Vendome Copper & Brass Works column still, a grain recycling center, packaging and bottling facility and more. The project also includes new office space to support growing its headquarters and positions the site for the possibility of future growth. MA Design is serving as lead designers on the expansion project.

“We are excited about the Alum Creek development and the future of our company. The expansion of our operations allows us to hit capacities, aging goals and the volumes needed to continue to develop our brands and partnership programs,” said Lang. “Our team has worked tirelessly over the last 15 years to bring us to this point, and we are excited to start the next chapter of Middle West.”

Middle West Spirits - General Manager Josh Daily and Co-Founder & CEO Ryan Lang at Columbus Ave Distillery
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Middle West Spirits General Manager Josh Daily and Co-Founder & CEO Ryan Lang.

“Middle West is making an immense impact on the local community by creating jobs and revitalizing a key property on the east side of Columbus that hopefully brings further investment to that corridor,” said Andrew J. Ginther, Mayor of Columbus.


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“Middle West Spirits is an Ohio-founded company that continues to expand brands globally with talent from the Columbus Region,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio President and Chief Executive Officer. “This investment will revitalize vacant buildings that will be home to new distillery operations, office space and create 80 new jobs.”

According to JobsOhio Middle West Spirits is making an overall capital investment of $38,700,000 in this phase of the project.

Middle West Spirits Distills Their Own Brands and Contract Distills

Middle West Spirits was built on four generations of distilling traditions and deep experience in manufacturing. Middle West’s passion for producing spirits from grain to glass has created a focus on elevating the distinctive flavors of the Ohio Valley River in ways that honor their roots and reflect their originality as makers.

The company currently produces 15 of its own branded products, including Middle West bourbon, rye, and wheat whiskey varietals, with the popular Double Cask Whiskey Collection, OYO vodkas, Vim & Petal and Lux & Umbra gins. New products are currently in production and will be released later this year.

In addition to producing the Middle West Spirits’ collection of whiskeys, vodkas, and gins, the company works with select partners to help them bring their signature spirits to market.

“From day one we have sought to develop the very best spirits we can from the agriculture that surrounds us. Most of that is for our family of brands. But through our distillery partnership program, we also support the development and growth of the partners we work with,” added Lang.

While the majority of the spirits produced at Middle West are made for their own brands they also offer contract distillation services. Middle West Spirits’ Strategic Partner team has collaborated with dozens of companies and celebrated brands such as Hotel Tango, Horse Soldier and Old Line Spirits to develop unique products for their portfolios. The expansion will allow the distillery to continue to add to these partnerships with facilities that include cutting-edge distilling technology, bottling and labeling capabilities, test kitchens and ample barrel and finished product storage space.

Distilling Operations to Continue at Both Locations

Once the new Alum Creek Drive facility is operational Middle West will distill out of both locations to meet demand. In addition to the distillery, guests can continue to enjoy the full Middle West experience at the original Courtland Avenue facility, which houses the company’s retail Bottle Shop and acclaimed Service Bar restaurant.

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Middle West Spirits Columbus Avenue Distillery

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