Dyer and business partner Dewey Winkle, forty-two, of Dexter have been selling all of each weekly batch since opening in May, and their vodka is for sale at retail outlets throughout Michigan.
Most such businesses use turnkey machinery from Europe. Instead, Dyer built Ugly Dog's three stills and handcrafted their copper domes, using techniques from an out-of-print coppersmithing book from the mid-1800s. He also designed and built thermal control panels for the stills and a grain grinder. He says he enjoys finding ways to innovate--even using an aluminum canoe paddle to stir the mash.
Ugly Dog vodka sells for $19.97 for a 750-milliliter bottle, and the retail shop also sells Ugly Dog T-shirts, caps, and glassware--and vodka accompaniments, such as Bloody Mary mix from a company in nearby Hell.