For Immediate Release:

Media Contact:
Claudia Coffey
(502) 587-7220 (O)


Photo Credit Phil Icsman of Moonshine University


Moonshine University is Rolling Out Its First Custom Distill Job for Midwest Heavyweight Binny’s


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (January 17, 2018) – Revelers in Chicago and across the Midwest will be among the first to enjoy a custom crafted spirit for Binny’s Beverage Depot. Moonshine University’s newest custom spirit experience, My Craft Distillery is hosting the Midwest’s largest spirit aficionados and vendors who will produce, from grain to glass, the program’s first custom barrels. Binny’s Beverage Depot, one of the country’s largest wine, spirits and beer retail chains has brought a team to Moonshine University to produce a custom whiskey.


My Craft Distillery allows spirit lovers from around the globe the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create their very own spirit, completely customized to their taste and have a hand in every step of the process from crafting the mash bill and selecting the perfect barrels for aged spirits, to bottling the finished product.


Guests will spend approximately one week developing and customizing their spirit to their exact specifications. They will work one-on-one with a team member from Moonshine University to formulate a mash bill, or recipe, that will produce approximately 50 gallons of their spirit, enough to fill a barrel if needed.


“It’s an absolute honor to have representatives from Binny’s, who specialize in one of the largest selections of bourbons and whiskeys in the country to be the first to create their custom brand at My Craft Distillery,” said Colin Blake, Director of Spirits Education at Moonshine University. “Their discerning taste and appreciation for whiskey sets the bar for the type of guests we hope to see take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”


During the development week, in addition to the hands-on work in the distillery, guests will enjoy a custom tour of Kentucky distilleries and a visit to Kelvin Cooperage Barrels, where they will pick out which custom barrel for their aged spirit and toast and char it themselves.


For aged spirits, once the development week is complete, the aging barrel will be on display at Moonshine University. There, guests can monitor the maturation process at regular intervals until they deem the product ready to be bottled. At that point, guests can choose between standard or custom packaging options and have a hand in dumping the barrel and filling their bottles. The empty barrel and the full bottles are then theirs.


“Customer service is our most important core value and this program is an extension and enhancement of our ability to provide the best experience and ultimately product to Binny’s customers, said Brett Pontoni specialty spirits buyer for Binny’s. ” The opportunity to partner with the absolute best educational institution in the spirits world is an easy decision for us. The best work with the best.”


The Binny’s team will be monitoring the aging for at least four years, potentially longer, until the bourbon that was produced hits its peak of maturity. Binny’s will be telling the story and giving progress reports to its customers during the whole process. Binny’s anticipates releasing the end product with much fanfare when aging is complete.


Custom craft distilling process is open to individuals and companies looking to delight their friends or customers with a one-of-a-kind created spirit. Pricing varies based on the type of spirit the guest chooses, but ranges from $15,000 to $20,000. Spirit options include bourbon, whiskey, rum, brandy, gin and absinthe. The all-inclusive experience includes lunch each day, accommodations, certification as a Stave & Thief Society Certified Bourbon Steward (for those producing bourbon or whiskey) and an initial dinner meeting in downtown Louisville with the experts from Moonshine University. Guests will also receive a 15 percent discount on all future Moonshine University classes.


For more information about the My Craft Distillery program and to sign up go to To speak with a representative from Moonshine University, please contact Claudia Coffey at 502-587-7220 or


About Moonshine University

Founded in 2012, Moonshine University is part of the Distilled Spirits Epicenter along with its sister company, Flavorman, an international custom beverage development company founded by David Dafoe. Together, the sister companies make up a beverage campus that houses a fully equipped distillery, state-of-the-art classroom, bottling line production facility, extensive sensory library and a 24,000-square foot beverage innovation laboratory. Moonshine University is the exclusive education provider of the Kentucky Distiller’s Association.

About Binny’s Beverage Depot

Binny’s Beverage Depot is the Midwest’s largest wine, spirits, beer and cigar retail chain. The Chicago-based retailer has grown from a single location in the shadow of Wrigley Field in 1948 to 38 locations throughout Illinois. Chicago knows: If you can’t find it at Binny’s, it’s probably not worth drinking.



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