Person of Interest: Phil Attee

. October 1, 2017.
phil-attee-ann-arbor

Occupation: Brand Ambassador and Product Developer at Ann Arbor Distilling Company
220 Felch St. in Ann Arbor

How did you get into the liquor-crafting trade?
My degree from U of M is in biology and philosophy, but shortly after college, I worked for a while in a chemistry lab. When that didn’t pan out as a career, I did a few “jobbies” or, hobbies I got paid for (e.g. pickling at The Brinery, catering, bartending at Alley Bar).

My passion for food and drinks, paired with my background in science, caught the attention of Ari Sussman, one of the founders of Ann Arbor Distilling Company. He brought me on to get the tasting room started and began training me to make spirits from scratch. After a few months, I was making my own recipes.

What are some of the newest products developed at the Distilling Co?
I create products for one of our brands: Spaulding’s, which is a line of premium liquors and cordials. We currently carry Spaulding’s Barrel-Reserve Coffee Liqueur in our tasting room and will hopefully release it into distribution later this year. We are in various stages of development on a few other products, including a peppermint schnapps and other coffee liqueur flavors. In the future, I’d love to do some work with amaros: a type of predominantly Italian herbal liqueur.

What has the Distilling Co. given Ann Arbor that was missing in the town before?
Being the only distillery in town, we are in a unique position to offer something different. We have spirits and cocktails available that you literally can’t get anywhere else. We have food trucks and carts stopping by regularly, so there’s always something new and different to try.

We also strive to be a completely community-driven business. For example, we source local grains and produce and offer an inexpensive venue for local musicians and artists to showcase their work.

It’s Friday night in Ann Arbor. Where are your favorite spots to go to have a good time?
More often than not, I’m hanging out at home, making dinner with Mallory and our dog Roonie. If I’m out with friends, the bars where you’ll find me are Alley Bar, The Last Word, and 327 Braun Court. My favorite restaurants for special occasions include Logan, Pacific Rim, and Grange.

What has been your best discovery since living in Ann Arbor?
Definitely the Farmer’s Market. I lived in town for 3 years before I even knew it existed. Right after graduation, my car broke down, so I couldn’t drive to the mega-grocery anymore. I searched for a grocery store downtown and discovered the market. I not only found what the market itself had to offer, but the incredible places nearby: Sparrow, Monahan’s, Durham’s Tracklements, and Zingerman’s! It completely changed how I ate. That was sort of the beginning of my journey into the world of food and beverages.

If you could change one thing about the city, what would it be?
I wish there were more affordable housing in the area. A lot of my friends who work in A2 can’t afford to live here. We also desperately need a good, mid-size venue for music and art. Hopefully, Ann Arbor Distilling Company will be able to fill that void in the near future.

Visit Ann Arbor Distilling Company’s website for more information: www.annarbordistilling.com

Trending

Estar Cohen Lives Fully in All The Moments of Music

“can’t hold on // I can feel time as it bends…” Just some lyrics from a composition called “Endings” by award-winning jazz vocalist Estar Cohen; and this propulsive image aptly fits for her music career, as each year since her 2015 graduation from the University of Toledo has gotten busier, faster, more exciting. You can

Monticello Van Odom – ‘In My Mind’

An essential way to craft a resonant piece of music is to unpack the existential pondering, the fleeting but insistent anxieties, the hard truths and easy reminders, that are swimming around up inside the head of the songwriter. The sublimity of Saline-based folk/Americana artist Monticello Van Odom‘s album is in how its spilling out all

Heavy Color’s River Passage

Toledo’s future beat/psy-jazz/hybrid electro duo Heavy Color recently premiered a new music video that commemorates an inspiring musical odyssey charted by one of its songwriters back in 2015. The group formed several years ago around the collaborations of Ben Cohen and Sam Woldenberg. Their Toledo’s answer to cerebral ambient electronica acts like Four Tet, Caribou,

Green Book is Worth the Trip

An elite black pianist tours the segregated south with a white roughneck chauffeur. Green Book combines two crowd-pleasing formulas—the road movie and the true story—with two stellar lead actors, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Mortensen plays Tony Lip, a white, working class second-generation Italian-American from the Bronx who works as a nightclub bouncer. Ali plays