It wasn’t exactly divine intervention that led Jon Bohlinger from a ministerial path to making the devil’s brew. But we’ll give the Big Guy an assist.
“I was a seminary student, which I really think suited me to learn how to drink,” joked the founder of Gentleman Scholar Distillery, which debuted its corn vodka last week.
Turns out the cloth wasn’t the Columbia Heights native’s calling. After earning an MBA degree and working in IT, Bohlinger decided to enter the liquor industry and partnered with childhood buddy-turned-lawyer Jesse Griffin and investor Kevin Burkhart, whom they met at an entrepreneurs event. The three alcohol-making amigos moved into a building with a Minneapolis street address, St. Paul ZIP code and a suite technically in Lauderdale.
“We’re really, really in the heart of the Twin Cities,” Bohlinger said of their spot near Hwy. 280 and Como Avenue SE.
The Tax and Trade Bureau requires that the Minneapauldale distillery list Minneapolis on its labels, even though Lauderdale handles its licensing, he said.
Like Du Nord’s Chris Montana, it was reading about the Surly bill — which chopped Minnesota’s distillery license fee off at the ankles — that triggered Bohlinger’s ethanol ambitions. Bohlinger, the gents’ lead distiller, is currently tinkering with gin recipes and one day he’ll do whiskey. But with a space not particularly conducive to a cocktail room, the scholars are scratching their heads on that front.
Sounds like Bohlinger could use some divine intervention after all.
Glam Doll birthday bash
Glam Doll Donuts celebrates two years in the glaze game with a Friday night party at its south Minneapolis shop. Get Cryphy DJ Last Word supplies the beats, while the cruller queens have teamed with Bittercube and Eat Street Social for six “Simpsons”-inspired doughnut and cocktail pairings. For those of age, a $10 wristband includes one drink-and-pastry combo and a portion of the proceeds benefits Free Arts Minnesota. (7 p.m.-midnight Fri., 2605 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. 612-345-7064 or www.glamdolldonuts.com.)