Once a month we’ll spotlight a Kansas-operated brewery, winery or distillery. For this first feature, we interviewed Seth Fox, owner of High Plains Distillery in Atchison.
1) Tell us the history of your distillery.
In 2005 my wife and I started High Plains Distillery, making our “Most Wanted” brand of Vodka, Citrus Vodka, Sweet Tea Vodka, Gin, Bourbon Whiskey and Pioneer Whiskey. We also produce Most Wanted Tequila and the high-end Fox Vodka. Our distillery is now located on our farm in southern Atchison county, and our family is the heart of the company.
2) How did you get into the business?
My wife and I had been making beer, wine and distilling for awhile before we decided to get a permit and offer high-quality spirits at a reasonable price. Most of our products sell for about $12 to $14 on the shelf but should probably sell for around $30 because of the quality we maintain. Except for the Tequila – which must be distilled in Mexico – our products are distilled and bottled in Kansas from the best grains on earth.
3) What is the one “must try” drink?
I think our Fox Vodka would be the first thing to try – it will hold its own against any vodka in the world for around $21. The second item should be our Kansas Bourbon Whiskey, the only bourbon whiskey ever produced, bottled and legally sold in Kansas.
4) Have you received any awards for your spirits?
We won a Gold for Best in Class from the American Distilling Institute in Louisville, Ky. Our Most Wanted Vodka won a Silver from the world renowned Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI) in Chicago and our Fox Vodka has a Gold from the BTI.
5) Where can we find your products?
Our distributor is Worldwide Wine and Spirits of Lenexa, Kan. Last year we sold more than 25,000 cases in retail stores across eight states. Most small distilleries sell only 500 to 2,000 cases per year.
6) Do you offer tours of your distillery?
Although we’re not set up for tours yet, we’re making plans to eventually offer a three- to four-day course on how to operate a successful distillery. We’re also working on opening an online store to sell shirts and such.For more on High Plains Distillery, visit www.highplainsinc.com.