Grand Rapids Gray Skies Distillery has a New Name
Grand Rapids' Gray Skies Distillery shared a post to Facebook last week that got people talking. The Ottawa Ave. Distillery posted a photo of the front of their building featuring a sign that read, "They Gray Skies are Clearing, Big News Coming."
Owners explained the reason for the change in a post to Facebook:
There was another spirits maker who believed our name was too close to theirs, and after much thought we felt it best to spend our efforts and energies in doing what we do best: producing the finest spirits we know how.
Sad to say goodbye to GSD, but beyond excited to introduce Eastern Kille.
Kille is middle-dutch for “riverbed” or “waterway”. If you are familiar with our distillery, you know how important our water source is, and this is just another way to highlight that.
Nothing else has changed. Our ownership, management, direction, spirit portfolio, bottle design and branding all remain the same.
We appreciate your support, and look forward to this next chapter. Long live EKD!
According to MiBiz, the Grand Rapids' distillery recently abandoned its efforts to trademark the Gray Skies name following a dispute with Campari, the owner of the Skyy vodka brand. Campari opposed Gray Skies’ trademark application, saying the name was “likely to cause confusion” with its existing mark for Skyy.
Co-founder Brandon Voorhees told MiBiz:
We wanted a name that invokes a place. We take pride in where we make (our spirits). We’re excited about our new name; it’s a great brand for Michigan moving forward, and we’re excited for our first bourbon release. It’s all distilled and aged on our site. That’s where our passion is moving forward.”
The name change coincides with the release of the distillery's first bourbon.