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Maine has plenty of room for brewers and distillers

Rather than looking for another job in finance, Jordan Milne decided the time was just right to pursue his passion and begin distilling gin.

PORTLAND, Maine — Just over six years ago, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey with a vengeance, Jordan Milne and his wife escaped the storm and headed north to Maine to hunker down with family here. During that visit they made the decision to abandon the bright lights of the big city and their careers in law and finance to move here and raise their family. Jordan decided the time was just right to pursue his passion and begin distilling gin. It took four years to perfect his recipe before he was ready to bring Hardshore Gin to the market.

Jordan considers himself a huge gin fan. “I have hundreds of bottles of gin on my shelf at home, I can’t help myself. I see a new gin, I have to know – what choices did they make? What ingredients did they use, what methods did they use? And that has helped me figure out where the white space is in the market - what gins haven’t been made before that I think they would be really interesting.”

Jordan describes it as an ‘open arms’ type of mentality in the craft brewing industry that was immensely helpful in getting the distillery off the ground; local brewers lent equipment, but perhaps more importantly, advice.

Jordan and his Dad assembled a 1200 liter copper column still that arrived from Germany – the still arrived with directions printed in German, which neither of them spoke. Every step of the distilling process takes place here, and they take meticulous care in the ingredients they use. The grain is shipped from Milne’s family farm in New York State, and their primary product relies on five fresh botanicals -- rosemary, mint, Tuscan juniper, coriander, and orris root. Sebago Lake water also adds perfectly filtered water to the process. “It comes right through the tap, and we put it in our tanks. It’s incredible, it’s the perfect profile for making gin.”

Hardshore has been voted “Best Craft Gin Distillery in America” in the USA Today Reader’s Choice poll.

While the recipe for his gin was tweaked and adapted, Jordan also spent a great deal of time on the look of Hardshore, knowing it would convey a great deal to his customer about what went in to the making of this product. The right font, even the perfect bottle, all came together to convey the spirit of this gin. Hardshore is now sold along the east coast from Maine to DC, and in California as well. If you would like to learn more about Hardshore, you can visit their website at https://www.hardshoredistilling.com/home.