In ILLINOISouth there are so many people who make the region what it is. We are talking about local business owners, volunteers, and community leaders who pour their heart and soul into making southern Illinois great. In our ‘Meet a Local’ series, we are focusing on the amazing cast of characters that call ILLINOISouth home.
What do you get when you take a former Anheuser-Busch employee, a former dental hygienist, and team them up on a passion project? Stumpy’s Spirits and Distillery in Columbia, of course!
Adam and Laura Stumpf opened Stumpy’s in the summer of 2015 and have been enjoying the ride ever since. While the business’ priority is distilling quality bourbon, whiskey, and vodka, the Stumpfs’ main priority is providing a quality experience for their customers. From the moment you make your way up the long, gravel driveway, you’re treated like family. “You’re not going to find any better customer experience anywhere. Our team is going to blow you out of the water," explains Laura Stumpf. "You’re going to be treated like family when you come here, and you’re going to have fun! That’s huge to us."
What makes their job even more valuable to them is the fact that Stumpy’s is a part of an 8th-generation family farm. “My family’s been tearing this dirt up since the mid-1800s," says Adam. "We use probably a little less than 500 acres to support the distillery on. All of that land Laura and I either own or rent from our family,” Adam adds. One of the spirits they offer right now is aptly named '8th Gin' after the eight generations of Stumpfs that have loved the land they're on. Adam and Laura hint that they hope the legacy continues for future generations to come. "We want a '9th Gin,'" Laura admits with a smile.
Their pride for distilling in Southern Illinois is evident in all that they do, from farming the land to bottling and distributing their products in local grocery stores. “Great bourbon doesn’t have to just come from Kentucky, look what we can do right here in Southern Illinois. It’s a super unique area where we have the benefit of agriculture. We’ve got all of the forestry and barrel manufacturing. We have everything we need right here to make fantastic whiskey.”
So next time you think you have to travel all the way to Kentucky for a quality bourbon experience, think again!
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