Our Team

Meet our team

We’re a small but mighty group here at Mississippi River Distilling Company. The handwriting on the neck of each bottle we sell is a testament to the hard work and love that goes into each batch of our spirits. Meet the people who bring our area’s finest grains to your rocks glass.

The Burchett Brothers – Ryan & Garrett
Managers/Distillers

Ryan and Garrett BurchettRyan and Garrett Burchett wear many hats around the distillery… Owners, distillers, bartenders, tour guides, cash register attendants, salesmen, and more. You’re sure to see one of them when you stop by the distillery. It’s a labor of love for these two brothers who wouldn’t have it any other way than to stay busy. Natives of Harlan, Iowa, their work ethic and fondness of family business comes from their father and his brothers who have run a road construction company in western Iowa for more than 40 years. Both are trained in the art of distillation with classwork completed in Chicago, Michigan and Germany. They look forward to educating people about the ins and outs of distillation as well as the art of tasting during Mississippi River Distilling Company tours.

Both have enjoyed successful careers outside of their venture at MRDC. Ryan is a familiar face to many as he spent time as a television meteorologist in the Quad Cities and has worked in other Iowa communities including Mason City, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids along with Lafayette, Louisiana. Garrett left his job as a transportation planner in Dallas, Texas to move back to Iowa and work full time at the distillery.


Sean McQueen
Brand Manager/On Premise Sales

sean mcqueenMississippi River Distilling Company’s Brand Manager is Sean McQueen. A lifelong resident of Davenport, Iowa, Sean knows life along the banks of the Mississippi well. He’s been along for the ride every step of the way as our distillery grew into a reality and we’re proud to have him on board. Sean has 17 years experience working in the public eye as Project Manager for one of the premier custom home builders in the Quad Cities.

From tasting events at the local liquor store to special menu celebrations at your favorite restaurant, Sean is the guy who brings our spirits to the masses. Sean has a great passion for his career. He is always creating new ways to introduce our fans to the art of craft distilling.

When not working tastings and events, Sean can be found volunteering in the community with Big Brothers Big Sisters, spending time with his family and trusty Lab. Contact Sean at sean@mrdistilling.com.

 


Scot Schaar
Distiller

Scot SchaarIf you stop by Mississippi River Distilling Company about any day, chances are good you’ll see Scot hard at work around the still. Scot joined us in 2012 as a full-time distiller. For our first two years in business, Scot was at the distillery nearly daily delivering packages as part of his old job. He jumped in as a volunteer bottler, helped on First Fridays and sometimes just came to work with us in his spare time. When it came time to expand our team, we knew we wouldn’t have to look far!

Scot was born and raised in Davenport and has a unique background as an accomplished brewer. In his spare time, he is an avid home brewer and travels the Midwest judging brewing competitions throughout the year. Scot has been instrumental in helping us expand our production by keeping the still running more hours and also helping us to refine our mashing process to increase our yields. Contact Scot at scot@mrdistilling.com.

 


Stephanie Godke
Spirited Chef

Stephanie GodkeWhen it comes to great taste, Stephanie is the authority. Her delicious original recipes are a mainstay here on our website. She knows how to mix a drink, but more importantly how to use Mississippi River Distilling Company spirits in your favorite entrees, appetizers and desserts. Keep an eye out for Stephanie out in the community as she’ll be hosting special events from time to time to get you cooking with a little extra kick.

Stephanie has a long and storied career in the food and beverage industry. When she’s not inventing new and delicious ways to cook with River Baron Vodka, Stephanie works in the restaurant industry as a consultant helping to bring her expertise to restaurant owners all around the Midwest. She teaches cooking classes at the local community college and also provides catering services around the area.

She’s a busy lady, but she always has time to share a smile and her latest creations. Watch for her delicious recipes here regularly! Have a question about a recipe or ideas for something new? E-mail Stephanie at chefsteph@mrdistilling.com

 

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