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Black Frost Distilling

Pictured, left to right: Jace Marti and Nate Gieseke

The idea for Black Frost Distilling was born in the middle of a barley field. Co-founders Nate Gieseke and Jace Marti, a 6th generation farmer and a 6th generation brew master, respectively, were admiring a field of lush, green, two-row barley Nate had grown on his family farm just a few weeks before harvest.

The barley was the culmination of a dream to bring locally grown barley and the concept of terroir (a French term commonly used in winemaking that refers to how the environment and growing location influence flavor) to the beers brewed at the August Schell Brewing Company. Standing in the midst of the field, the pair realized the crop could be transformed into something even better: unique whiskeys instilled with bold, local flavor.

Black Frost Distilling opened in August 2022 in New Ulm and currently has three full-time and eight part-time employees.

“As a distillery, we are focused on producing a distinct lineup of northern terroir-focused whiskies. My business partner grows all of the grains we use — corn, barley, wheat and rye — at his family farm just outside New Ulm,” Jace Marti said.

In addition to drawing its ingredients from local sources, the distillery also uses area suppliers to malt grains and cooper oak barrels.

“We are currently laying down barrels of whiskey to age, but when we release them in a few years, they will have a unique identity of their own,” Marti said. “Our goal from the onset was to create a lineup of whiskies that would produce exclusively from ingredients that we would grow ourselves or source locally in the Northland.”

The distillery also operates a full-service cocktail room with a complete lineup of regionally sourced spirits.

“We are just getting started, so right now our focus is on ramping up production, fine-tuning our process and laying down as many barrels as we can,” Marti said. “While we patiently wait for our whiskey to mature, we will continue to offer curated cocktails in an inviting space.”


Black Frost Distilling
201 1st St. N
New Ulm, MN 56073
Phone: (507) 233-1805
Facebook: @blackfrostdistilling

Photo by Susan Bottin

Ashley Hanley

A freelance writer from Mankato.