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Gull Lake Distilling Company

July 8, 2021

  • 92 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Galesburg, MI 49053
  • (269) 200-5329
  • Website
  • Menu

Five nights without kids. What are we going to do?

Grandma and Papa like to take the kids for a week each summer. I grew up about an hour south of Chicago and my parents still live there so they don’t get a lot of time with our kids…let alone time without J and I around.

Last summer was a bust due to COVID. We still got together at parks in Berrien County and felt safe enough to do some weekends at our house and at the lake in Three Rivers but those were always short visits. Grandma was bummed but she accepted it and was really looking forward to having them stay with her this year.

Our original plan was to drop the kids off Tuesday. We didn’t want to drive in holiday traffic back to Chicago on Monday. Our plans changed so we asked if we could come a day early. We actually wove our way through the backroads in Indiana after a quick stop at Potato Creek State Park for a quick hike.

Monday night we took a detour in to J’s old neighborhood in Oak Lawn to get pizza from Palermo’s 95th….. the best pizza place in Chicago.

We still had vacation days scheduled for Tuesday and while we both had some things to do, it was a pretty lazy day.

We started talking about dinner. I didn’t have a ton of great ideas and a lot of places we wanted to try were closed.

I did finally come up with one we had been talking about forever but were unsure how family friendly of a place it would be. We didn’t have the kids so it didn’t matter. We could grab some drinks and enjoy not fighting with someone about taking “one more bite.”

Gull Lake Distilling Company is on East Michigan Avenue near the weird six corners intersection near the center of town. The place is a little hard to find if you don’t know where to look. The front facing part of the building is actually Pizza King which has been there for quite a while. The distillery entrance is in the back of the building. You actually go through a fence gate to park where you’re still not quite sure if you’re in the right place at first.

Once you walk through the opening to the large outdoor patio, you’re in a totally different world. The outdoor space along is huge. There are picnic tables, patio tables, old cable reels used as stand up tables…so many options. Many of the tables have umbrellas but by the time they open at 3:00, the shade from nearby trees covers many of the tables providing a comfortable, casual experience.

There’s also one other area that is totally covered. This was more useful in the winter when indoor dining was closed. J said one time she met friends at Gull Lake Distilling they had heaters making this area nice and toasty…plus there was a game on the TV’s hanging in the far end of the space the guys who were gathered were watching.

I just assumed GLDC was a mostly outdoor experience until I went inside to use the restroom. It’s not a huge space inside but they have a great L-Shaped bar with their distilling equipment in the background.

There are also tables and chairs inside that several people were taking advantage of on the slightly warmer than usual day we stopped in for drinks.

One of the many waitresses greeted us when we walked in and told us the menus were on the table. They use a system where the waitresses aren’t assigned tables. They all have tablets that are linked together so any of them can place another order or close a tab. There were three women working outside who were just constantly walking around checking on all the tables so there was never a time we were sitting there without a drink.

Gull Lake Distilling Company is a distillery, a brewery, and a winery. J and I both started out with the brewery/winery part for our first drinks.

They have three beers on tap and there was an option for either a flight of all three or a 12 oz. pour. I wanted to try a couple things other than beer so I did a 12 oz pour of Lollygagger. This Belgian Witbier is really light and refreshing. It’s brewed with Triple Pearl hops from Trippy Farms in Hastings and re-fermented with Michigan honey. I typically like beers that are much hoppier but this was a really easy drinking beer…a real patio drinking type of beer.

J opted to start with a flight of Meads, Ciders and Wines. There were seven to choose from and the flight is the pick of five. She picked the Sweet Cherry Jalapeno Mead which surprised me. She doesn’t typically like spicy things. This mead was more sweetness than spicy though. She also picked the Blackberry Hard Apple Cider, Gewurztraminer, Italian Veneto Forza, and the Port Wine.

For round two, I went with a cocktail. With spirits, I typically stick to Whiskey or Bourbon, but GLDC doesn’t have whiskey or bourbon on the menu. Rum is usually my next choice and there is a tasty sounding drink called 7/10 Split. This drink is vodka, rum, moonshine, Coke, and a lemon. The drink is really boozy but also pretty sippable. It’s definitely a drink I could see myself sipping while listing to some smooth jazz (oh…forgot to mention, this is exactly what happened…there was a Jazz musician playing while we were enjoying round 2.)

J picked an off menu special for her second drink. The Spiced Cherry Punch is made with their molasses based Spiced Rum, muddled cherries, orange, lemon, and lemon juice. The waitress was pretty excited when she brought this one over saying it was one of her favorites. J pretty much agreed saying it was almost too good and could be dangerous.

Our bill for drinks was right around $45. Everything is made in house and made with local ingredients when possible. Also, everything was quite delicious.

Gull Lake Distilling doesn’t really have a kitchen but they do have food trucks a lot of nights. The trucks will pull right up to the fence between the outdoor patio and the parking lot. On nights they don’t have food trucks, they grill up hamburgers and hot dogs. We picked Gull Lake this particular night because they had a taco truck…..but that’s another blog (Here it is….Juancho’s Traveling Tacos). You can find a schedule of what trucks will be there on their Facebook page.

We have been hesitating checking this place out together because we didn’t really know how family friendly it would be. Turns out..pretty darn. There may have been more kids their than adults. Several families met up for drinks and tacos for dinner. There are some cornhole games and a small grassy area for the kids to be kids. There’s also games inside that a couple of families brought out. If the kids aren’t in to whatever the food truck is on a particular day, you can bring in your own food…and Pizza King is just steps away.

We’ll definitely be back. This is such a cool place. You really do feel like you’re in a different place once you get out of the parking lot and in to the patio area. The food trucks are also such a cool idea. Galesburg is not where you’d expect this but it’s worth the drive from either Battle Creek or Kalamazoo for a relaxing evening and sipping some delicious cocktails with house made spirits.

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