Ushering the ‘Comeback of Michigan’s Lost Treasure’ the Arctic Grayling Fish

(Thompsonville, MI) NOVEMBER 6, 2023 – The Arctic Grayling Whiskey Series celebrates the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative,nearly 50 organizations working since 2016 to restore self-sustaining populations of Arctic Grayling in Michigan rivers. In 2018, Iron Fish Distillery set aside a few barrels of estate farm grown rye whiskey featuring a label design donated by Michigan artist, Dani Knoph.  200 bottles of rye whiskey, aged over five years, will be released on Saturday December 9th starting at noon.  Each bottle is signed and numbered and can be purchased on site or online for pick up only, at the distillery.  Iron Fish Distillery established and joined supporters in contributing to the Iron Fish Arctic Grayling Research Fund. To date, over $8,000 dollars has been raised by the fund to support related research underway at Michigan State University and help with costs associated with reintroduction efforts.

This 5-year-old commemorative rye whiskey is distilled from 95% rye grain grown on the Iron Fish Farm, Thompsonville Michigan and 5% northern Michigan barley malted at Great Lakes Malting Company in Traverse City. The label features a beautifully hand drawn Grayling print by Michigan artist Dani Knoph. “The story of Michigan’s lost Grayling is a comeback story—full of hope, challenge, science, and partnership.” said Knoph. “Restoring Michigan’s wild Grayling encourages us to learn from the past, evaluate the present and define the future. From Montana and Alaska to Michigan, many people are caring for this native species. It gives me hope, it’s the Native American Seven Generations principle at work.”

Iron Fish proudly supports research efforts related to the ongoing Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative (MAGI). Iron Fish supported research done at Michigan State University, the results of which will inform future steps in the initiative, and will continue to support future research carried out by other partners in this exciting effort.  The MAGI partnership  includes the foundational partners Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division and  the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, as well as  the Wenger Foundation,Trout Unlimited Chapters and others totaling nearly 50 agencies, universities, nongovernmental organizations and individuals.


Join us for a presentation by Ed Eisch, Michigan DNR – Fisheries Assistant Chief 
For an update on the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative at 1pm or 3pm on Saturday, December 9th at Iron Fish Distillery (seating limited to 25 people at each session).  Coffee and NA refreshments will be provided. Ed will provide a summary of the status of Arctic Grayling fish reintroduction and the future of the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative followed Q&A.  Since last campaign the grayling has been stocked in two UP lakes and one Manistee County Lake.  

This event is FREE of charge. Please RSVP through Eventbrite. For more info please contact

Claim your Iron Fish Rye Whiskey, 95.3 proof, aged over five years, featuring a mash bill of:

  • 95% Iron Fish Distillery Estate grown rye
  • 5% malted barley



Saturday,  December 9, 2023
200 bottles, each bottle individually numbered.
Available Dec 9th until they sell out.

DONOR First Access: 11:00 AM – Noon:
Steelhead and Flycaster Club members ONLY will  have first access to purchase, by showing proof of donation (minimum $25.00) to the Arctic Grayling Research Fund. You can donate at the link here. Donations will also be accepted on-site. 

VIP Access: Noon – 1:00 PM:
Flycasters and Steelhead Club Members (no donation required).
General public will have VIP access to purchase by showing proof of donation (minimum $25.00) to the Arctic Grayling Research Fund. You can donate at the link here. Donations will also be accepted on-site. 

General Public Access: 1 PM (No donation required)

Here’s the small print:
Numbered bottles from 1 – 200 are sold on a first come, first serve basis. If you are unable to purchase in person you may email your request to to make arrangements to purchase by credit card over the phone and your purchase will be held for your next visit. Purchases are limited to 2 bottles per person, ($100 per bottle + tax) Iron Fish Distillery makes charitable donations to the Iron Fish Arctic Grayling Fund, managed by the Manistee County Community Foundation. Must be over 21 years of age to purchase.
Questions? Email us at

About Iron Fish Distillery
Iron Fish Distillery is Michigan’s first farm distillery, growing grain and distilling spirits, and barrel finishing sourced whiskey. This MAEAP certified working farm and distillery attracts over 125,000 guests annually to the agricultural destination, reborn on a long-time abandoned 120-acre farm located in rural Springdale Township in Manistee County. Every step of our soil-to-spirit process occurs onsite. The process starts in our farm fields where we grow and harvest our own grain. We then mill, mash, ferment, distill, and barrel age our spirits on the property. Iron Fish also sources bourbon for finishing in barrels from around the world.  To date, our library of barrel aged spirits exceeds 2,000 barrels, consisting of carefully sourced farm barrel finished whiskies and estate whiskies distilled from grain grown on our farm and from nearby farms. 

About The Return of the Native: Arctic Grayling
This remarkable project to restore Arctic Grayling in select Michigan rivers is made possible by the Michigan DNR, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the Wenger Foundation with support from nearly 50 partners, including Trout Unlimited Chapters across the state of Michigan.  Learn more at

 About the Iron Fish Arctic Grayling Research Fund 
Be a part of something important. Join us in our support of foundational research into the reintroduction of Michigan Arctic Grayling to its home waters by going online to and contributing to the Iron Fish Arctic Grayling Research Fund, a component fund of the Manistee County Community Foundation.


you look so young!

are you over 21?