Yahara Bay Distillers takes great pride in producing premium quality, small batch, craft spirits. Yahara Bay's apple brandy is made from hand-picked Honeycrisp apples from the Kickapoo Orchard in Gays Mills, WI. The cherry brandy is made with Montmorency tart cherries grown in Door County, WI, and the coffee used in the coffee liqueur is from one of a few carefully selected craft coffee roasters in the Madison area. By knowing the source of the grains, fruit or herbs used in their spirits, Yahara Bay is better able to control quality and celebrate "The Spirit of Madison."
For ten years, each and every bottle Yahara Bay has produced has been crafted in small batches in one 90-gallon copper pot still, affectionately referred to as “CARL” after the manufacturer, Christian Carl of Germany. Arriving from Germany in 2007, “CARL” was assembled piece by piece by Nick, Owner, and Lars, Head Distiller, and sits center stage in the distilling process. Customized with a vapor infuser, CARL allows YB to impart subtle yet distinct flavors into the spirits without boiling the aromatics directly in the liquids, which can cause a harsh, bitter flavor profile. The colors you see in Yahara Bay’s spirits come from spending time in the barrel, from the fruit itself, or from other all natural ingredients they use. No artificial flavorings or additives are blended in, so what you get is a crisp, clean, and natural flavor with each and every sip.
Refining the Spirit
From each distilled batch, the “heads” and the “tails" are removed, leaving only the “heart” of the product to be bottled. The “heart” contains the highest levels of purity of the spirit, which not only taste better, but helps you avoid impurity induced headaches, aka hangovers.
After refining and filtering, each batch creates enough liquor for approximately 600 - 750 ml bottles. Some spirits are bottled immediately, some sit for a few weeks with the fruits or teas to absorb natural flavors, while others are aged in American Southern white oak barrels to be harvested and enjoyed years later.
Head Distiller Lars Forde: “We are part scientists, part artists, but wholeheartedly, spirit aficionados. We hope you enjoy drinking our spirits as much as we enjoy making them.