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Journeyman opens $40 million distillery destination

The Valparaiso, Indiana distillery will be Journeyman’s second location in the Midwest.

Journeyman's distillery campus in Indiana
Journeyman’s Valparaiso campus will feature a distillery, brewery, restaurant, and multiple event spaces

After establishing itself as a major player in America’s craft whiskey scene, Michigan’s Journeyman is growing, opening a new distillery campus in neighbouring Indiana this month. 

The American Factory in Valparaiso will feature a 35-foot-tall by 24-feet-wide Vendome copper still, and 9,000-gallon distillery production tanks. The US$40 million campus will likewise be home to Sea of Monsters craft brewery and Union Hall, a full-service restaurant, as well as event and entertainment spaces.

Journeyman was founded in 2010 by husband and wife Bill and Johanna Welter. The new facility is a homecoming for Bill, who is from Valparaiso. 

“I grew up in Valparaiso and my family has been in business in Valparaiso since the early 1970s,” he said. “Coming back to this incredible community and continuing the family business legacy feels like destiny.”

The 140,000-square-foot property has a storied history. In the 1800s, it was the original home to Barry Carriage and Wagon Works, the National Pin Company in 1873, and Buttermilk & Soap Factory in 1890. For Journeyman, opening this second location began five years, with construction beginning in December 2021. 

“Defying all odds is a reference to the fact that the building was slated to be torn down in the mid-1980s and now, today, is having the most unlikely rebirth,” Welter said. “We’re hoping to create over 300 jobs with the new location, and equally as important is our goal to tell the stories of the factory building, the people that worked here, and to also create new and lasting memories.”

Sea of Monsters Brewery will specialise in barrel-aged beers using Journeyman whiskey barrels, while Union Hall will incorporate native ingredients, throughout the Midwest, whiskey, and the distillation process. The beverage programme will feature barrel-aged cocktails, Journeyman spirits, Sea of Monsters craft beer, and more. 

Journeyman currently distributes in 35 states across the US. Distillery tours will begin this month. 

New personnel

In addition to the new facility, Journeyman has announced two new hires. Gregory Wynnyk will join the company as director of brewing and distilling, overseeing the product line at the Three Oaks, Michigan and Valparaiso facilities. Wynnyk previously worked as the head brewer at Alley Kat Brewing Company and the distillery manager at Alberta Distillers. 

Meanwhile, Jason Kempf joins Journeyman as director of marketing. Kempf was previously brand director, North America for both Southern Comfort and Woodford Reserve.

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