The idea to start a distillery is not one that we came up with over night but rather was formed over many years wondering why so much of the German food culture was lost in the US. This dream to recreate the food culture is our passion and is the driving force behind our story to create premier craft spirits that we are proud to present to family and friends.
It starts with a name: Dampfwerk. Like most things we do it is not the easiest name to pronounce but it goes to the essence of our process. “Steam works” is the translated version and it is essential to the distillation process to produce our premium spirits.
But we are not just a name; we are a global family that enjoys the simplicity of a good meal and spirit. To create these spirits we have imported a hand hammered copper still, originating from the Schwarzwald in Bavaria. Like the farmers in Bavaria, we pride ourselves in building relationships with local orchards and suppliers to produce the best spirit possible under exacting conditions.
Our brand represents innovation, creativity, and yet historical simplicity. Our goal is simple: produce outstanding spirits to be enjoyed in the company of friends and family. Prost.
With that… a dream was born.
Meet the family
All hands on deck.
head distiller | Ralf
Ralf, a native of Muhldorf, Germany, spent 25 years building and managing businesses that serve the global food and beverage industry.
“I wanted to put that experience to the test and build something that I am personally passionate about—combining traditional European-style ‘edelbranntweine’ craft spirits with the creativity of the American market,” says Ralf.
co-ceo | mary
Mary, a Minnesota native and senior executive for Delta Air Line, she brings expertise in international operations and design and construction. She keeps the ship from sinking and guides the group to realistic goals and expectations. What can we say? We are dreamers. “If you are going to make anything, make me a great gin”.
assistant distiller | Christian
Christian, the oldest of the two kids, is completing his education in food science and balances his time enjoying his favorite cocktails, enjoying what Minneapolis has to offer, and giving insight as what people really want in their glass.
content marketer | bridgit
Bridgit, the youngest of the group, offers marketing and PR insight as well as updating all social media. After graduating from college, the lure of the spirits business reeled Bridgit in and she is now working towards her Certificate of Spirits Specialist. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Distillery dogs | Olli & indi
What distillery does not have a dog or other furry friend to keep a watchful eye? In the case of The Dampfwerk, our German longhaired Weimaraners spend the hours waiting for treats, walks along the railroad line, or the occasional visitor to lavish them with pets. Of course, we would be remiss in not offering a loving tribute to the original Dampfwerk distillery dog, Rudi, also a longhaired Weimaraner that was there from the beginning. He is surely enjoying watching Indi pester her big brother Olli from afar.