Gentleman Scholar in Lauderdale fires up the distilling tanks

After months of waiting, Gentleman Scholar Distillery is finally able to start producing spirits.

The Lauderdale-based company, located at 1050 33rd Ave. SE on the west side of Highway 280 in the city’s industrial area, is the result of the efforts of Jon Bohlinger and Jesse Griffin, two friends from Columbia Heights.

Obtaining state and federal permits had bogged down the distillery’s progress since the space was purchased nearly two years ago. However, the last permit was finalized on Jan. 12, giving the distillery the green light to start production.

Gentleman Scholar had originally hoped to be able to open a cocktail room where patrons could go for a tour and sample the spirits; however, Bohlinger said that would not be possible at the Lauderdale location.

For now, Bohlinger says a limited release of about a thousand bottles of Gentleman Scholar vodka will be available in certain liquor stores by the end of the month, with gin a couple months behind. The distillers plan a “recipe development” phase for the gin, experimenting with different spice blends to determine which will ultimately be used.

The distillery plans to announce on their website and Facebook pages where their product will be available.
For more information about Gentleman Scholar, visit

-- Johanna Holub

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