A little Kentucky in West Michigan

EK Distillery moves north to Rockford
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Eastern Kille owner Brandon Voorhees. Photo by Amanda Kamppinen.

When Corewell Health purchased Eastern Kille’s original Ottawa Avenue building, it provided owners Steve Vander Pol and Brandon Voorhees the opportunity to scale up their operation.

Bottles of Eastern Kille Distillery’s spirits. Photo by Amanda Kamppinen.

First, they opened a Wealthy Street outpost serving up cocktails with the excellent spirits they produce. Then, this winter, they opened the new $4.2 million distillery, cocktail bar and restaurant in Rockford.

The new space sits on 16 acres of field and forest next to the White Pine Trail and is home to a beautiful new distillery space that looks like it belongs with many of the gorgeous distillery buildings in Kentucky. It features 8,000 square feet of distillery space and 4,000 square feet for its restaurant.

Eastern Kille hopes its new facility helps create a little enclave of outdoor and beverage fun in Rockford.

“With our neighbors Third Nature Brewing and direct access to the trails, we look forward to making this a new destination and unique experience for visitors from across the state and country,” Vander Pol said. “We look forward to the full summer experience with outdoor space to eat, drink and play with the whole family, including the dog.”

Eastern Kille concentrates on whiskey, with five special bourbons aged in various European casks throughout the year.

“Good whiskey takes time– and is a distinct product of the climate where it is aged,” Vander Pol said. “Michigan’s notoriously fickle weather creates a whiskey profile unique to our state. Our new facility highlights nature’s impact on our whiskey as we continue in our goal to make world-class whiskey in West Michigan.”

Along with their whiskey, Eastern Kille features its other spirits in cocktails throughout its menu. As for food, it features pizzas — including vegan and gluten free options — and small plates perfect for soaking up a delicious tipple.

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