What do you like about doing business in Ohio?The ability to obtain quality ingredients like non-GMO and organic corn, wheat, sorghum, and honey made available to us by farmers and other purveyors of economically and environmentally sustainable foods and services.
Description of business: Kelly Sauber founded Dancing Tree Distillery in 2011 with the intent to make exceptional local spirits. Kelly, an Athens, Ohio native, discovered his fermentation lust in 1991 as a home-brewer. With a bit of start-up help from his friend Terry Hawbaker, Kelly brewed for fun and love of beer. As his brewing library grew, along with his knowledge, it expanded into all areas of fermentation: cider, mead, wine, beer and even turned to the refinement of fermented beverages: all whiskey, tequila, rum, vodka. All this reading made Kelly very thirsty. He had to make lots of product to keep up. Might as well get paid.
Kelly wanted to focus on ingredients from local farmers. Beer requires lots of malted barley, which is not obtainable from local sources. What is a brewer to do? Take beer to the next step. Distill it. As a distillery, Dancing Tree Distillery is able to fulfill the wish to "know our growers."
Kelly also became friends with an international draft beer equipment supplier rep and started training in installation of draft beer dispensing systems. Kelly estimates that he has installed about half the draft systems in Athens as of 2012, specializing in long draw, high pressure, mixed gas systems.