Great Lakes Distillery expands into non-alcoholic beverage market with new company

Boundless Beverages LLC debuts first spirit Junipre

The new Junipre spirit by Great Lakes Distillery's new company Boundless Beverages LLC. Credit: Great Lakes Distillery.

Last updated on January 21st, 2022 at 03:04 pm

Milwaukee-based Great Lakes Distillery is coming out with a new product line that veers away from its mainstay brand of spirits.

The distillery has launched a new company, Boundless Beverages LLC, which develops and produces non-alcoholic spirits under the brand name Sans. Its first product is a botanical spirit known as Junipre, and it’s now available at Great Lakes’ tasting room at 616 W. Virginia St. in Walker’s Point and select liquor stores in the area.

Founded in 2004, Great Lakes is considered a pioneer of Wisconsin’s craft distillery market. The business has continued to grow despite rising competition in recent years.

“Consumers’ tastes and desires are increasingly diversified as they become more and more health conscious,” said Guy Rehorst, founder of Great Lakes Distillery and Boundless Beverages. “Those who are looking to lower or eliminate alcohol from their evening for whatever reason still want the enjoyment of a well-crafted cocktail, and a complex botanical spirit can deliver just that.”

Boundless Beverages expects to ride the wave of recent growth in the non-alcoholic spirits market. Between 2016 and 2020, sales volume for the category grew 289%, according to the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. The market grew 78.9% in 2021 alone.

With natural flavors from juniper berries, ginseng, orange zest, cardamom, chili pepper, and coriander, Junipre was developed as an additive for both regular and non-alcoholic cocktails.

“Using Junipre in place of a 44% ABV gin in something like a Negroni drops the alcohol in that drink from 24% to around 10% alcohol by volume,” said Brendan Cleary, bar manager at Great Lakes Distillery. “The same substitution in a standard martini brings the alcohol content down to just about 2%, but still with plenty of flavor.”

Junipre is the first of several non-alcoholic spirit products Boundless Beverages will develop under the Sans brand. The company and brand will make an official debut at a launch event on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. at the Great Lakes Distillery tasting room.

Also this week, Milwaukee-based real estate firm Founders 3 announced that Great Lakes leased a 6,500-square-foot space at 1228-1230 W. Bruce St. in the Menomonee Valley. Rehorst said the site will be used as a barrel aging facility for its whiskeys.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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