When 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 invested his life savings and started Madison’s first distillery (the 2nd one in the state of WI)-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 began to become more than just a family-run Madison based company. In 8 short years, Yahara Bay has gone from producing 3 products to over 40. They distribute to 20 different states, and have one of the largest import bottling business in the Midwest.
Although YB spirits can be found in places like the Mall of America and the Venetian resort in Las Vegas, the company has never lost sight of its local roots. Madison will always be YB’s home. Each spirit is still crafted one batch at a time, using local ingredients. Labels are often hand applied and some even signed by our distillers.
Yahara Bay’s growth can be attributed to their hard work and a few simple concepts: using local ingredients, never compromising quality or integrity, consistently having a strong commitment to the community, and most importantly, working together as a family (3 Generations Strong!).