About Us

The Minnesota Distillers Guild

The Minnesota Distillers Guild formed early in 2012 as the beginnings of the State’s craft distilling industry began. Bolstered by new legislation in 2011 lowering the fee to open a distillery, Minnesota saw only a handful open in the first year followed by 20 more within the first 5 years. The number of permits continues to grow and we project a vibrant future for unique, inventive, and exciting Minnesota Spirits. Minnesota, a state full of natural resources, possess abundant traditional and heirloom local grains and botanicals, three cooperages, fresh water, and diverse cultures to tap, in creating one of kind local spirits. 2018 finds the Guild’s member spirits all over the state. Find our spirits in your favorite liquor stores, bars, cocktail rooms and restaurants. Our long-term goals are coming to fruition and we continue to work on improving Legislation, the environment for innovation, and connecting with fans of this new industry.

Guild Leadership

Mark Schiller

Mark Schiller

President

Mark co-founded the first micro-distillery in Southern Minnesota, and first organic-certified micro-distillery. Mark is the marketing and finance side of Loon Liquor Company. His business partner, and long-time friend from Northfield High School, Simeon Rossi is the palate, distiller, and mixologist of the team. Together they make all of their spirits from local organic wheat and barley, and make all of their mixers from scratch – including ginger ale, tonic water, bitters, and much more. Mark majored in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Minnesota.

Gina Holman

Gina Holman

Vice President

Gina Holman knows the liquor business. More important, she was raised with a passion for hospitality. She jumped at the chance to be a founder and partner of what became J. Carver Distillery. Gina has over 30 years in the hospitality industry and is a certified ISG Sommelier. She has managed a large liquor store, a large restaurant, and a large family. Gina is often in the public eye teaching cocktail classes and sharing her passion for J. Carver spirits and craft cocktails on local TV and radio.

Chris Palmisano

Chris Palmisano

Secretary/Treasurer

Chris is an owner and Copperwing's resident legal expert. With a background in electrical engineering and patent law, he puts his expertise to good use deciphering and navigating the legalese of alcohol licensing and regulation. Make no mistake, though, he's not stuck behind a desk all the time. Chris has been on the front lines applying his engineering and problem-solving skills throughout Copperwing's build-out and prototyping phases. When he isn't practicing law or working at Copperwing, Chris is spending time with his wife and kids, cooking amazing meals, and always thinking about what's next for Copperwing and the team.

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