In 2006, Nick Quint told people that he wanted to come out of retirement at age 61 and build Madison’s first Distillery. People laughed at him, including the people at the bank. But despite people’s discouragement, Quint’s business savvy told him that the demand for micro distilleries might mirror the demand and growth microbreweries had experienced in the early 2000s. So, setting out to prove everyone wrong, Nick began teaching himself the ins and outs of distilling and in 2007, Quint started Madison’s first distillery (the 2nd in Wisconsin)-Yahara Bay Distillers.
The distillery started slowly with only a handful of products, but soon began to grow thanks to help from friends, family and volunteers. With Quint’s stepson and head distiller, Lars Forde at the helm of the still and wife/co-owner, Catherine Quint, running the distillery art gallery, Yahara Bay became more than just a family-run Madison business. In 10 short years, Yahara Bay has gone from producing 3 products to over 40. They distribute to 20 different states, have one of the largest import bottling businesses in the Midwest, and expanded into a new 20,000 square foot facility complete with an event space, tasting room, art gallery, and retail space.
Although YB spirits can be found in places like the Miami and the Las Vegas, the company hasn't forgotten its local roots. Madison will always be YB’s home. YB spirits are still crafted one batch at a time, using local ingredients. Labels are often hand applied and some are even signed by our head distiller.
Yahara Bay’s growth can be attributed to the dedication of the team and a few simple concepts: never compromise quality or integrity, have a consistently strong commitment to the community, and most importantly work together as a family.