Death’s Door Spirits, a cornerstone brand in the craft spirits movement, proudly announces the launch of a stunning new custom bottle for its gin for better handling and pouring with smart ergonomic improvements. The redesign, consistent with Death’s Door’s commitment to quality and innovation, boasts a lighter bottle with better grab points and greater balance.

“At Death’s Door, we constantly review and evaluate all aspects of our process and product, because we’re driven by a passion to be the very best in everything we do, down to the last detail,” says founder and president Brian Ellison. “We had the desire to move to a custom bottle with a design we could own, and made in the USA to reduce lead times. We looked to improve its features yet maintain key characteristics of our packaging.“

Form and Function Defeat Fatigue

Death’s Door Spirits embarked on a multi-year mission to improve their bottle. The development process started with countless in-depth conversations with bartenders over the years, asking their opinions and observing their interactions. Following years of this informal research, Ellison took pencil to paper and personally sketched his concept for a new bottle that would be bartender-friendly and reduce the risk of chronic fatigue. 

“Bartending is an exceptionally physically rigorous career,” explains Marcia Polas, New York-based occupational Pilates teacher and movement consultant. “The repetitive nature of the job on top of the sheer physical strength required each shift can wreak havoc on a bartender's body. Most have about a 10-year shelf life on their shoulder joints. It's encouraging to see Death’s Door directly addressing this issue.”

A Suitable Partner

After an exhaustive review of potential glass partners, Ellison selected Anchor Hocking in Monaca, PA, to solidify the design and bring this idea to life. One of the foremost glass manufacturers in the world, Anchor Hocking is the only American-owned company that employs American workers and manufactures premium cosmetic flint bottles in the U.S.

Anchor Hocking’s marketing director, Jolee Huber, says, “A craft spirits bottle should be purposefully designed and manufactured to enhance the craft spirits experience and bring recognition to the brand.  Our passion is helping great brands like Death’s Door create bottles that are both highly functional and provide a breathtaking first impression.”

Further, having the bottles made in the USA instead of France, Death’s Door has cut carbon emissions by two tons per shipment, and hugely reduced production lead times from four to six months down to just a couple of days. This responsiveness is vitally important for inventory management as Death’s Door continues to build its global sales. 

The Shape of Things to Come

The result is a new bottle in three different sizes: 750ml and 1L, and 700ml for European markets. The 1L version is a full pound lighter – from 4.6 pounds to 3.5 pounds, with better axial balance and an ergonomic shape, with a flat front and back paired with a longer neck and grab ring for easier pouring.

“It’s all about sweating the details,” says Ellison. “We know that’s what sets us apart and why our customers support us and our products. We focus on simplicity, sustainability, and quality. From the locally sourced ingredients found in our gin to the design of the bottle, we go to great lengths to ensure our customers can enjoy consistency and quality in every pour.”

Death's Door Spirits is a super-premium spirits company that takes its name from the most treacherous waterway in the Great Lakes, which separates Washington Island from the Door County peninsula in northern Wisconsin – a stretch called “Death’s Door Passage.”

Originally conceived as an economic development project in 2005, Death’s Door was founded by Brian Ellison in conjunction with families on Washington Island to offer a sustainable future through agriculture – specifically, the growing and harvesting of organic hard red winter wheat. What started as five acres under cultivation has grown to 1,200 acres today. In addition to wheat, Death’s Door sources wild juniper berries from Washington Island for production in its gin.

Death’s Door is one of the cornerstone brands of the crafts spirits movement, and an industry leader in distilling consistently exceptional premium spirits from grain in its own distillery in Middleton, WI. Completed in 2012, the facility is the largest craft distillery in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the region, with an annual capacity of 250,000 cases of finished product.  The intention is to produce enough products to meet current and future demands with the same superior quality and consistency. 

Death's Door Gin has a surprisingly simple botanical mix of juniper berries, coriander and fennel seeds. This balanced blend has helped earn its place in significant cocktail bar programs, and in the minds of bartenders, who consider it a soft, versatile gin. Death’s Door Gin is available across the U.S. and in 19 countries through Europe and Asia.