When Vince Riggi and and his brother-in-law Brian Marks sat down together over a drink in 2013, they realized their dream of producing a premium moonshine, made using the same techniques passed down by our American ancestors, distilled from 100% organic corn, and made with only the best ingredients. Fast forward 5 years and Richmond's Belle Isle Moonshine is well known for their creative infusions and is bringing America's original clear spirit back into the spotlight.

If you weren’t a distillery owner, what would you be doing?

I fall a few rungs short on the intelligence scale, but being an Astronaut has always been high up on the list. I might be a few decades early, but real deal space exploration has always intrigued me. Here are a couple decent book recommendations that help me scratch that itch - just wrapped on Saturn Run by John Sandford, and currently in the middle of Artemis by Andy Weir (The Martian). Keep you posted on the latter.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and get better.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Bath, book, and bed with my wife and 14-month old daughter. Parents will get this one.

Find out more about Belle Isle Craft Spirits here. Shop The Spier Dot here. Photos by Kate Magee.

July 26, 2018 — Cailyn Nikolis