The Six Spirits of Logan: A look inside Motherwell Distillery 

Written and Photos by Cameron Robertson

Most people imagine a distillery as a grand operation filled with loads of heavy machinery on a wide expanse of land.  

But that’s not always the case—one exists in Logan in the back of a restaurant. At the end of a long hallway lies a simple room with a rack of barrels and a few machines that home one of the smallest—but also one of the best—distilleries you’ll ever find. 

Here, head distiller Vince Crisler works his magic. Alongside fellow owners Josh Straus and Adam Bennett, Crisler, with his signature long hair and beard, distills the alcohol by heating the alcohol to its boiling point, creating vapors that are then condensed down into the alcoholic spirits. 

Crisler, Straus and Bennett, along with Bennett’s wife Andrea and Crisler’s wife Marcy, helped Motherwell Distillery open its doors just over a year ago, back in 2022.  

Attached to 58 West, a local winery and brewery restaurant in downtown Logan, Motherwell produces six different locally distilled spirits for residents of Southeast Ohio.  

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur, and loved starting businesses and running businesses,” Crisler says. “Doing something in Logan has always been an interest of mine.”  

ABOVE: (L-R) Bennett, Straus, and Crisler inside Motherwell Distillery.

After growing up in Logan, Vince Crisler left Southeast Ohio to serve his country in the United States Air Force, later working in the White House. He worked in cybersecurity, eventually starting his own company. Now, he’s seized the chance to fulfill a dream of his, this time right back in his hometown. 

Motherwell’s six spirits include vodka, gin, rum, brandy, double rye whiskey and wheated bourbon.  

The spirits are a variety of liquors containing a mix of sourced and original alcohols. Still a relatively small operation, Motherwell’s main goal is to produce a quality product for its customers. 

“At the end of the day, we wanted to produce some really good tasting stuff,” Crisler said. “That was our number one priority, for it to taste good.” 

Two of Motherwell’s spirits are independently created; “The Lubricator” brandy and the Canal Boat Rum are independently distilled, while the other four spirits use different amounts of sourced alcohol in the final product. 

Motherwell’s spirits—most specifically their Common Ground Wheated Bourbon—represent the mission of the distillery: To create common ground between two people over a simple glass of bourbon. 

Crisler noted the meaning of the phrase goes far beyond the creation of Motherwell’s bourbon, vodka, gin and whiskey. 

“All of our products have this element of a double meaning. So, the meaning on the label is helping people find common ground across socioeconomic divides, coming together over a good glass of bourbon,” Crisler said. “But that means there’s a bit of compromise, and our compromise is bringing in some sourced bourbon.”  

There is also an area of land in Logan called “Common Ground,” which is owned by members of Crisler’s family. 

Motherwell is becoming a favorite in Logan, as its spirits enter into local establishments. Patrons at The Shamrock, The Max Bar & Grill and The Home Tavern in Logan can enjoy Motherwell spirits.  

Motherwell’s bourbon and vodka are also starting to appear on Kroger shelves across the state and are available in Logan and Athens. 

As one of the few distilleries in the region, Crisler and company want to capitalize on this growth. But at the same time, their goal is to move slowly so they can foster organic growth as they move into the future. 

“For us, Southeast Ohio is just such a unique place in the world,” Crisler says with a smile on his face. “It’s a very, very community-driven place, and it’s always had a soft spot in our hearts.” 

Motherwell’s size and operation might not be what people expect, but its spirits are building a reputation one dark, delicious glass of bourbon at a time.