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Meet Our Team

Ryan & Garrett Burchett
Owners/Distillers

Ryan 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 at Mississippi River Distilling Company.

Garrett Burchett
Ryan Burchett
Sean McQueen

Sean McQueen
National Sales Director

Mississippi River Distilling Company’s National Sales Director 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.

From tasting events to special menu celebrations, Sean’s passion is bringing our spirits to the masses. He is always creating new ways to introduce our fans to the art of craft distilling.

When not travelling around the country sharing our spirits, Sean can be found volunteering in the community with Big Brothers Big Sisters, spending time with his family and trusty Lab. Click here to contact Sean.

Leah Cafarelli
Event Manager

Originally a city-slicker on the north shores of Boston, Leah became a Midwest dweller in 2017 when she joined the Living Lands & Waters crew as the Director of Marketing & Events Coordinator. After 4 years of living the barge life, Leah decided to shift gears from coordinating cleanups to coordinating weddings & events and joined the MRDC team as Event Manager. You can mostly find her hustling  at the Celebration Center, but in her free time, she also enjoys anything outdoorsy, seeing live music & hiking with her pup, Tito (lovingly renamed Cheetoh post-hire).

Have an event you would like to host with us? Leah is your gal!  Click here to email Leah.

Leah Cafarelli

Sam Bergren
Regional Sales

Sam was born and raised in the Quad Cities and has worked in the restaurant industry for the last 15 years. Before working with us, Sam spent 9 years working in the bar industry in Chicago’s trendy River North neighborhood. Sam was supporting the distillery long before he worked here.  He was on one of our very first tours and has been a fan ever since.

He left his position as lead bartender to become a sales representative here at Mississippi River Distilling Company. You can find Sam spreading the word, about what we do at MRDC, throughout the Chicagoland and Milwaukee area. When he’s not out sharing his passion for our products, you will probably see him enjoying the bustling Chicago music scene with his wife, and working on audio projects of his own. Click here to contact Sam.

Nathan Carroll

Nathan Carroll
Cocktail House Manager

Nathan was raised right here in Le Claire where our beautiful distillery is located on the Mississippi River. After he left his career of 9 years to pursue a lifestyle of travel, he found himself back on the riverbanks of the mighty Mississippi working behind the newly built bar at the Cody Road Cocktail House.

Since then, Nathan has traveled to over 20 countries as well as mixed, stirred, & shaken and his way up to the Cocktail House Manager. He’s the mad scientist behind many of our intriguing and delicious cocktails. Many of the ingredients he uses to develop cocktails are influenced directly by the places he has traveled to.

If you can’t find Nathan behind the bar, he’s probably out being a river rat. kayaking, hiking the outdoors, and of course drinking whiskey. Click here to contact Nathan.

Kathryn Langford
Distiller

Kathryn (or Kat as she is more affectionately known as) is a native of Arizona, but has found a home here in Iowa.  Kathryn has been a friend and advocate for MRDC since we first opened and she was hard at work as a brewer here in the Quad Cities. In 2016, Kathryn joined us as a distiller and can now be found working until the late hours distilling whiskey.

When she’s not at the still, she loves biking and exploring the outdoors, traveling to new places or hanging with friends. MRDC is always a better place because we have a woman behind the still and we’re especially proud to have someone as dedicated and hard working as Kathryn! Click here to contact Kathryn at kathryn@mrdistilling.com

Kathryn Langford
Stephanie Godke

Stephanie Godke
Spirited Chef

When 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 our spirits, 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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