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Written by Gary Kunkel | March 12, 2018
There’s one thing you can’t survive without when you’re running a distillery, and that’s a still. When Yahara Bay Distillers needed to expand their homegrown still to a German-made pot still system, they needed more expertise.
“We were out of our league and asked all the plumbing companies we knew of in Madison for help,” says Lars Forde, Yahara Bay’s head distiller. “Nobody, except Gary from All Comfort, showed up.”
Gary Kunkel, All Comfort Services’ master plumber, knew just what to do. Gary hooked up a boiler to the pot still named “Carl,” and later installed a second still they named “Gary.” “We would not have Yahara Bay if it wasn’t for Gary,” says Forde.
Gary, Lars, and the team at Yahara Bay have forged an endearing working relationship over the years. “Gary’s a celebrity here,” says Kristin Kaker, Yahara Bay’s client relationship manager.
About Yahara Bay Distillers
Yahara Bay Distillers started out of an idea that founders Nick and Catherine Quint had in 2007. Catherine’s son, Lars, oversees all the distillation, production, and reporting of production. Lars has been with the company since its founding in 2007 and learned the craft from Nick over the years.
They practice a diversified business model and are slowly growing their label, distributing half the house label brand across the United States and the other half contracting with private labels, like Madison-based Vom Fass, to bottle liquors.
The distillery began and continues to be operated in Fitchburg. It went from a 5,000 square foot building to a new 20,000 square foot building in 2016.
Interesting facts about Yahara Bay:
Yahara Bay offers distillery tours, a tasting room, and a retail outlet. They have a Public House that features space for up to 200 for private and public events. There is free live music on Fridays. For more information, visit the Yahara Bay Distillers website at www.yaharabay.com.
All Comfort Services’ plumbing division offers residential and commercial service, repair, equipment sales and installation, and maintenance plans. For more information, call 608-838-7300 or email at email@example.com.
Gary started working at All Comfort Services in 2000. Gary says he learned everything he knows about plumbing from his father, Irenus. Gary’s earliest memories are of him following his father around learning the art of plumbing. Gary retired from All Comfort Services in 2022.