As the first chapter in our “Member of the Month” series, we’re featuring one of our latest members: Mission Spirits. Mission Spirits is an artisan, small-batch spirits distillery tucked behind four charcoal-colored walls in Millville, New Jersey. Their striking exterior is a perfect representation of the beverages produced inside, as they pride themselves on their risk-taking distilling techniques.
The Origins of Mission Spirits
Mission Spirits was formally founded in 2018 by Jay & Ashley Wheeler, but its story starts well before that. The endeavor truly began within the walls of a tiny Hell’s Kitchen apartment, when Jay first tried his hand at distillation. While this makeshift beginning might not have produced much that was drinkable, it did create a voracious passion for distilling. Four years, a baby, and a house in the suburbs later, that passion would continue to gnaw at him until it became too much to ignore. Jay and Ashley started down the path of forming Mission Spirits.
Roadblock after roadblock came their way. Everything from the distillery’s location to financing options seemed to form a brick wall between the couple and their vision. But in the persistent theme of trial & error, they navigated their way through. By 2020, fate’s hand had guided them to a building in the Glasstown Arts District of Millville and an unexpected partner by the name of Steve Kelley.
Bold Risks, Bolder Flavors
Mission Spirits is defined by its courage to break new ground. How so? Distilling partners Jay, Ashley, and Steve are proud supporters of a practice they call ‘technique blending’. They modify and emulsify distilling techniques—both new and old—to create truly original flavors.
White Rum, Dark Rum, and Beyond
Mission American White Rum is the product of a fine-cut molasses from mature sugarcane that is burned in the field and hand-harvested. A 72-hour fermentation and slow distillation produces a rum that coats the palate with muted caramel undertones. Looking for something deeper? The Mission Barrel-Rested Dark Rum greets the senses with its deep amber color & notes of toasted oak and honied undertones. Explore their full collection here.
The Mission Spirits Experience
In the spirit of true experimentation, technique blending has led them to shared looks of excitement and of course, a few glasses down the drain. They invite you to join them for a glass of their successes. Ready for more than that? Sign up for a one-of-a-kind workshop with the distillers. Discover everything you need to know about fine cocktails, expert bar craft, and distillation. Or make yourself the proud owner of a barrel of Mission Spirits, filled with your own unique flavor & strategy.
Discover South Jersey
Explore the best craft drinks South Jersey has to offer along the Two Bridges Trail. The Trail offers a full spectrum of flavors you’ll want to experience. We’re a collective of Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries located between the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Ben Franklin Bridge in the great Garden State. Stay overnight and enjoy a variety of art, music, festivals, entertainment, shopping, and amazing food. Plan your trip today.