Of all the states in the great Midwest, no one has more distilleries than Michigan.\r\n\r\nSince 2008, when the Michigan Liquor Control Commission made several big changes to the state\u2019s distilling law, the industry has grown by leaps and bounds. As of 2019, the state was home to 78 distilleries, according to the American Craft Spirits Association.\r\n\r\n\u201cOne of the things that makes a spirit uniquely Michigan is a focus on Michigan ingredients,\u201d says Tammy Coxen, co-author of Cheers to Michigan: A Celebration of Cocktail Culture and Craft Distillers. For example, \u201ca ton of distilleries are getting their grains from within a few miles of [the] distillery.\u201d\r\n\r\nMichigan is a large, diverse state that produces a wide range of spirits from Montmorency cherry liqueurs to aquavit. Coxen says that if she had to pick one spirit to embody Michigan, it would be gin.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s where we see some Michigan distilleries doing some very interesting things,\u201d she says, from Ann Arbor Distillery\u2019s seasonal gins to Long Road Distillers\u2019 MichiGIN, flavored exclusively with Michigan-grown botanicals, including the juniper berries.\r\n\r\nBut if she gets to pick two spirits? \u201cRye.\u201d Specifically, bottlings made with state-grown rye. Examples include Two James, Journeyman and Grand Traverse, as well as newcomer Mammoth Distilling, which works with heirloom strains of rye.\r\n\r\nYet, what really distinguishes the state\u2019s distilleries is a strong sense of community, Coxen says.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey\u2019re so creative and passionate about their craft, and they\u2019re willing to share,\u201d she explains. \u201cThey want people to know how they do it, and why they\u2019re so proud of their product.\u201d\r\n\r\nHere are nine notable Michigan distilleries worth seeking out for your next pour.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnn Arbor Distilling: This boutique distillery turns Michigan agricultural goods into unique spirits like seasonal gins, Absinthe Violette and Fox River Michigan Whiskey. The latter is made with a blend of four grains grown in state.\r\n\r\nGrand Traverse Distillery: Located in Traverse City, this is the state's oldest micro-distillery, in operation since 2007. Grain purchased from Send Brothers Farm, just 10 miles from Grand Traverse\u2019s production facility, is distilled into \u201cgrain-to-bottle\u201d spirits that include vodka, gin and rye whiskey.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIron Fish Distillery: This farmstead distillery in the state\u2019s northwest has a focus on sustainable/organic farming methods and preservation of the local water supply, apt since it\u2019s named for the local steelhead trout. Wheat and rye are grown on the 120-acre property, and corn is sourced locally. Look for a wheated-style straight Bourbon and Four Cask, a blend of Bourbons finished in rum, Cognac, Sherry and maple syrup barrels.\r\n\r\nJourneyman Distillery: Not far from Kalamazoo, known for its thriving craft beer scene, this distillery makes a variety of whiskeys, gins and vodkas. The sprawling Three Oaks property also includes vacation rentals for overnight stays and an 18-hole putting green inspired by Scotland\u2019s famed St. Andrews golf course.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLong Road Distillers: Opened in 2015 as the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Long Road has a robust list of spirits. Many feature local twists, like MichiGIN or Amaro Pazzo, an amaro collaboration with local coffee roaster Madcap.\r\n\r\nMammoth Distilling: Keep an eye on this Central Lake newcomer. With the support of the National Park Service, the distillery is cultivating Rosen rye, an heirloom variety celebrated for making whiskey, on South Manitou Island. The anticipated rye whiskey won\u2019t be available for many years, but to satisfy your palate in the meantime, there\u2019s always Cherry Bounce, a liqueur made with tart Montmorency cherries.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNew Holland: Under the New Holland Brewing Co. umbrella, it makes sense that standouts here include beer barrel-finished Bourbon and rye. The distillery\u2019s Lake Life Vodka, released in 2019, is also sold in a canned vodka-spiked seltzer offering.\r\n\r\nNorden Aquavit: This Danish-style aquavit flavored with caraway and dill has made waves with bartenders well beyond state lines. While Norden's founders call Detroit home, the liquid is made by Ugly Dog Distillery in Chelsea, MI.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTwo James Spirits: Located in Detroit\u2019s trendy Corktown neighborhood, this distillery makes a wide range of spirits. There\u2019s a Jamaican rum blended on site, the literary-named Catcher\u2019s Rye that\u2019s made with 100% Michigan rye, and Johnny Smoking Gun, a corn whiskey infused with smoky Asian tea.