Bar Conversations

Episode 67: Bourbon, sustainability and sourcing locally with Great Lakes’ Guy Rehorst

Whiskey Weeks 2021 continues with Guy Rehorst, founder of Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Guy joins us to talk about bourbon, sustainability, creating a bottled-in-bond gin, importance of sourcing locally/regionally, creating cocktails and how they’ve changed over the years, what’s next for him, what’s next for the distillery and more.


Guy Rehorst, founder of Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, joins us at the 1-minute mark as Whiskey Weeks 2021 continues.

  • Trying their Still & Oak Straight Bourbon  
  • How difficult was it launch a distillery in Wisconsin in 2004?
  • What drew you to the business as you were the founder of a high tech manufacturer previously?
  • Did the idea really come to you when you were out at a restaurant?
  • Changing laws to allow tastings/have a tasting room in Wisconsin
  • You were a founding member of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Craft Distillers Advisory Council and a member of the DISCUS Science Committee, why was the important?
  • Sourcing locally from Wisconsin/region 
  • How does it help to be able to work with growers/know the growers 
  • Crafting a pumpkin spirit 
  • Sustainability is big thing with you all to the point you do small batch 
  • You all have a unique empty bottle buy back program 
  • Balancing a variety of distilled spirits 
  • Creating a bottled in bond gin 
  • Making cocktails and how those trends are changing 
  • What has changed over your 20 years?
  • Are you still distilling or have they kicked you out of that?
  • What’s next for Great Lakes?
  • What’s next for you?

SHOW PARTNER: Check out Nose Your Bourbon social media and etsy so you can train your nose to find the nuances in bourbon. Visit or

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