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The Ingenious Vodka Makers at Alaska Distillery Infuse the Untamed Spirit of Alaska Into Every Drop

December 17, 2015

Contact - Tahli Kouperstein
Senior Director, Communications
Contact - Savannah Isner
Executive Assistant

(Silver Spring, Md.) – Alaska boasts some of the most rugged landscapes and untamed creatures on Earth; which is why the ‘Last Frontier State’ quenches a thirst for adventure unlike anywhere else. With the premiere of ALASKA PROOF, Animal Planet pours the spirit of Alaska into an eight-part series that spotlights a different kind of spirit – the kind we drink! Wet your wild whistle beginning Thursday, January 14, at 9 PM ET/PT.

Alaska Distillery, located at the foothills of the Alaska Range, has what no other distillery on Earth can provide. It’s a grassroots operation comprised of passionate, imaginative artists who create world-class, hand-crafted, award-winning vodkas. In the quest to harness the unique essence of Alaska into a bottle, the team – led by Founder & CEO Toby Foster and his faithful dog Hooch – explores the far reaches of the wilderness to harvest the finest exotic ingredients Mother Nature has to offer. 

The team takes great pride in what some would call an unconventional approach to making vodka. Their critically-lauded salmon-infused vodka makes headlines for one of the best Bloody Mary cocktails in the world. And master distiller Scott Lindquist is the only person in the world with a permit to harvest Prince William Sound’s 10,000-year-old free-floating glacier ice, which produces the purest water on Earth. The team makes frequent expeditions into the wild to experiment with Arctic ice worms, caribou antlers (already shed) and fireweed honey; among countless other natural resources. Their occupational hazards include bears, poisonous plants and treacherous terrain, but to these artisans, the dangers are worth making some of the world’s finest vodka.

“There’s magic in what we do: we blend our skill and passion with the most pristine water on Earth and marry it to the indigenous flavors of Alaska,” says Toby. “The spirits we craft are a reflection of ourselves and the untamed beauty of our state.”

ALASKA PROOF tells the story behind every bottle. Meet the team behind the well-oiled machine:

  • Toby Foster, Founder & CEO: After Toby survived a plane crash in 2005, he traded in his career in aviation and created Alaska Distillery. His goal is to put a little bit of Alaska in every bottle of vodka and share it with the world.
  • Scott Lindquist, Master Distiller: Scott’s a mad scientist known for coming up with zany flavorful vodkas, but his favorite part is ice harvesting glacier ice from Prince William Sound.
  • Shane Reeves, Expedition Leader: Shane leads the company’s often dangerous, complex expeditions into the wildest pockets of Alaska to cull experimental ingredients. He can find anything from shed caribou antlers to a special kind of wild mushroom.
  • Chrissy Grunzke, Assistant Manager: Even though she’s afraid of bees, fearless Chrissy faces nests of 600,000 bees to make sure the distillery’s Buzz Honey Vodka is 100 percent Alaska, just like all of its other spirits.
  • Andy King, General Manager: He may have just started a few months ago, but Andy already has a hand in every aspect of the business from harvesting ice to marketing products.

ALASKA PROOF is a half-hour series produced for Animal Planet by Matador Content LLC. Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin, Jerry Carita and Dave Larzelere are executive producers for Matador. For Animal Planet, Keith Hoffman is executive producer, and Sarah Russell is associate producer. The series was developed by Andy Berg, vice president of development for Animal Planet.


About Animal Planet:

Animal Planet, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. Animal Planet consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 94 million homes in the US; online assets, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; Animal Planet L!VE, the go-to digital destination for round-the-clock, unfiltered access to the animal kingdom; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service, and merchandising extensions.

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