Michael Swanson & Cheri Reese, Owners

Michael Swanson & Cheri Reese, Owners

Michael and Cheri built Far North Spirits on their family's 100-year-old farm. Michael is a fourth generation farmer in Minnesota, and the first in his family to marry distilling with farming.

He envisioned each of the spirits in Far North's portfolio, chasing flavors that speak to the provenance of his Minnesota farming heritage. He steadfastly believes in making the best spirits he possibly can, and oversees all aspects of production from the seeds that are planted in the fields to the spirit that is put in the bottle.

His background includes sales and marketing, technical support and medical research. He holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and BS in biology/chemistry from Concordia. 

Johny Barbosa

Johny Barbosa

Johny is assistant distiller at Far North and handles all aspects of production including mashing, fermenting, distilling and bottling.

A recent transplant with his wife Kaitlin from Seattle, Johny brings to Far North a storied background in sales, a dog named Baker, and a fairly impressive collection of bikes. He is our resident craft beer expert. We bet you can't name a craft brew he hasn't tried.

Aaron Albee

Aaron Albee

Aaron is Far North's Minneapolis-based brand ambassador. He interned with Far North Spirits in the fall 2014 and learned about everything it takes to run the distillery. He is passionate about craft spirits and experimenting with cocktails, often enlisting wife Meghan and friends to distinguish subtle differences among 10 different cocktail samples. (Which one has lavender simple with grapefruit bitters vs lemon bitters? Really.) 

Brett Dahl

Brett Dahl

As Chief Shop Guy, Brett handles everything from cleaning tanks to building barrel racks and moving snow. He grew up near the Swanson Farm and now farms his own family's land nearby. 

Weston and Millie

Weston and Millie

Both originally from Kentucky, Millie and Weston have relocated to Minnesota and bring with them an acumen for fine whiskey.

Millie enjoys playing "I bite your face" with Weston. She frequently isn't taking any calls. 

Weston enjoys playing anything all the time everyday -- hey, WHAT'S THAT? He is eager to meet you and already loves you. 

In addition to their full-time "Greeter" duties, they handle chasing deer and eating weird, unrecognizable things off of the ground.