Bringing craft spirits to Perrysburg
For years, distilling was a hobby for Patrick Ryan. When he opened the doors to Six-Fifths Distilling in May of 2019, it became a career. The Perrysburg tasting room, previously a local burger joint, was not how Ryan envisioned starting his new business. “I was planning on hiding in a garage and making craft spirits,” Ryan said. “However, when this location became available, it seemed to make a lot of sense.”
All in the Family
Six-Fifths distilling is a family-owned and operated distillery. Ryan’s wife Heather, sisters Rachel and Corda, and his father Jim all work together at the distillery. Ryan’s great grandfather owned a commercial fishing fleet. As the pollution in the lake worsened, he would bootleg liquor with his boats from Canada to Toledo to make up for the declining catches. According to Ryan, that is how his dad learned the art of distilling, and passed it down to him.
“My dad got me into brewing and distilling,” Ryan said. “I ended up building my own still and thankfully found some YouTube videos to help bail me out.” While Ryan initially built his first few stills, he now operates a production still he built with parts he purchased from Knoxville, TN and Mt. Rainier, WA.
What Are They Pouring?
Six-Fifths distilling currently offers vodka and absinthe and plans to add a gin and rum in the near future. The distillery’s vodka is made from straight corn. According to Ryan, making a good, clean vodka is the logical stepping stone to creating the distillery’s next spirit, gin.
“We run our vodka through a charcoal filter,” Ryan said. “It is essentially a Brita filter on steroids. I think it is one of the cleanest vodkas you can find in the area.”
What’s with the Name Six-Fifths?
For spirit connoisseurs, Ryan also plans to add a barrel-aged molasses rum. He described this rum as a “period-style” rum, mimicking rum produced in the 1800s. Six-Fifths distilling’s name has a rich history behind it as well. While Ryan sometimes describes the distillery’s name origin as simply relating to alcohol being measured in fifths, the name actually has much deeper roots. We’ll spare you all the details, but he describes it as the result of research into the Golden Ratio, among other interests. “It’s geek math and sacred geometry,” Ryan said.
Welcome to Perrysburg
Ryan describes steady growth in the distillery’s business in his first six months. He attributes that growth to word of mouth and a cohesive craft community. “All of the breweries and distilleries in the city play for the same team,” Ryan said. “Everyone has been really welcoming.”
And for a first-time business owner, the grind is not always easy. “You have to wear a lot of different hats and learn to be patient.”
3-11pm, Thursday-Friday | Noon-11pm, Saturday
Available for private events Sunday-Wednesdays.
Six-Fifths Distilling, 120 W. South Boundary, Perrysburg sixfifthsdistilling.com