Founded in 2007, Alaska Distillery is located at the foothills of the beautiful and pristine Alaska Range. PopTower shared that this small, grassroots Alaska Proof operation is made up of passionate and imaginative artists who have created world-class, hand-crafted, and award-winning vodkas. Using the purest glacier water, and combined with grains and other ingredients, the Alaska Proof distillery has developed 14 different and revolutionary new flavors such as their Smoked Salmon, Permafrost, and Frostbite vodkas. Their critically-acclaimed, salmon-infused vodka is said to make the best Bloody Mary cocktails in the world.
The Alaska Proof team often travels to the far reaches of the Alaskan frontier in order to find the very best and purest ingredients, and then the real work begins to harness those distinctive flavors of Alaska into their vodkas. They are able to quench their thirst for adventure as they scour the untamed wilderness for that special something that each Alaska Proof vodka is known for. There’s no telling what they will come across on their forays, from spotting bears and whales, to perhaps finding that special new ingredient that will be transformed into the next Alaska Proof unique vodka.
The people and their stories behind the Alaska Distillery is as interesting as their vodkas. Founder and CEO Toby Foster, who, along with his dog (appropriately named Hooch), leads the charge to find and harvest for Alaska Proof what the beautiful, but rugged, landscape of Alaska has to offer. Foster shares in a sneak-peek video on Animal Planet’s Alaska Proof page that after surviving a plane crash in 2005, that he realized life is too short, and he decided to use his life savings to create the distillery. He states that his goal is to put a little bit of Alaska into every bottle of vodka that is produced and then to share it with the world.
“There’s magic in what we do: we blend our skill and passion with the most pristine water on Earth and marry it to the indigenous flavors of Alaska,” says Toby. “The spirits we craft are a reflection of ourselves and the untamed beauty of our state.”
Master Distiller Scott Lindquist is known as the mad scientist of Alaska Proof, and he likes to experiment with unconventional methods in order to produce different and sometimes zany flavors. He is also responsible for harvesting glacier ice from the Prince William Sound area. Scott explains in the Alaska Proof clip that the water they use comes from 10,000-year-old icebergs, and he is the only person in the world with a permit to harvest the ice.
Shane Reeves serves as the company’s expedition leader when they embark on dangerous and sometimes complex treks out into the wild. He is experienced at finding what may be needed in the Alaska Proof distillery, whether it’s shed caribou antlers or a particular wild mushroom.
Chrissy Grunzke is the assistant manager, and she isn’t afraid to climb giant spruce trees or face a nest of 600,000 angry bees in order to harvest needed ingredients, such as fireweed honey. She says that they are always searching for that next big idea.
Andy King is Alaska Proof’s general manager, and is the newest employee. Although he is new, he jumped right in and is involved in every aspect from harvesting the ice to marketing the products.
According to TV Ruckus, Alaska Proof is produced by Matador Content, LLC. Executive producers for Matador are Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin, Jerry Carita, and Dave Larzelere. Keith Hoffman is executive producer, and Sarah Russell is associate producer for Animal Planet. The Alaska Proof series was developed by Andy Berg, vice president of development for Animal Planet.
What do you think about this new series? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. This eight-part Animal Planet reality docu-series premieres on Thursday, January 14, at 9 p.m. ET.
[Image via Alaska Distillery/Facebook, cropped and resized]