Fox & Oden is both wild and meticulous, a tribute to the rugged bounty and natural beauty of Michigan that’s crafted slowly, deliberately, and with purpose.
Good spirits take time.
And they start with good water…
Fox & Oden’s distillery sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, America’s Third Coast. The state of Michigan is water-rich, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, Erie, and Michigan. This month our team connected with Tom Werkman of Werkman Outfitters to learn more about the importance of Michigan’s waterways – particularly the Grand River – and what makes them so special. Take a look below and enter our giveaway to win a trip with Tom and Werkman Outfitters to explore the “rugged bounty and natural beauty” of the Mitten State.
The Grand River is the longest river in Michigan, running 252 miles from east to west. It is best known for its now-submerged rapids, for which the city of Grand Rapids was named. Tom knows the Grand River intimately, having spent the majority of his career fishing the river year-round. He says this about the river:
“You have this phenomenal fishery within the Midwest for all these different species of fish, including trout. You can literally pick and choose what you want to target… that’s what makes [these waters] so attractive, the diversity that’s here within Michigan, and especially in the Grand River system.”
Social impact groups have worked to restore and clean up the Grand River in recent years. They focus on improving the ecology of the watershed and bringing back the famous rapids. Tom is invested in these efforts, too. The river is his livelihood, but also his home, his community. One of Werkman Outfitters’ goals is to introduce the Grand River as a viable fishing corridor and shed light on the environmental challenges it has overcome, as well as challenges that still remain. He says this about the effort:
“As that plan (the Grand River restoration) happens, more and more people will begin to utilize the Grand River downtown, and so I think you’re going to start to see this growth and recreation that will pop up along the river corridor.”
And ultimately, for the river, that growth is a good thing.
“The more people that use it, the more people that have a connection to it, and can keep it healthy.”
The future of the river, as well as all the waterways of Michigan, depends on how deliberately residents choose to interact with the waters, shares Tom.
“I think people view water as a commodity, particularly clean water. I think people need to look at water differently…and if you look at water differently you need to think about how you consume the water. You just have to start to make this conscious effort, and it doesn’t take a huge lifestyle change, you just have to be a little more deliberate.”
This resonates with our team at Fox & Oden. We refuse to take the natural treasures of our state, like the Grand River, for granted.
“People need to recognize that it is a phenomenal, undersold, river. It really is Michigan’s best kept secret.”