The small town of Isokyrö in Finland had been placed firmly on the international map thanks to the guys from Kyro Distillery, operating from and old dairy. Although, while the micro-distillery were aiming at producing a world beating rye whiskey, they inadvertently ended up bagging one of the most prestigious IWSC Trophy awards for their rye gin.
Most of the time, hard spirits and saunas are a recipe for chaos, but in the case of Isokyrö’s Kryo Distillery it's quite the opposite. Mikko Koskinen, cofounder of media startups Hacklog and Scoopinion, who looks after ‘branding and gin’ for the distillery explains:
“Me and three of the now five founders were having a sauna, when our now CEO brought a bottle of rye whiskey in. As the evening proceeded we drank a lot of whiskey and started thinking that, why doesn't anybody make rye whiskey in Finland? As the night grew ‘darker’ we started to think that we are the guys who could actually do it!”
Rye and alcohol are integral parts of the Finnish national identity, the guys decided to combine the two and create something that would be truly remarkable on a global scale. Faced with the inevitable costs of starting a whiskey distillery that would not reap the rewards immediately, they decided to produce gin alongside, Koskinen told us, “when you start a distillery you are basically competing against the big guys who have been going for 200 years, so we started off doing rye gin to cover the initial costs of producing rye whiskey, though we’ve been super successful with the gin - It surprised everyone!”
Koskinen is quick to acknowledge the support of the startup community that helped them along the way:
“This whole, ‘small amount of people doing great things; having great ambition’, that's all from the startup world. The traditional Finnish entrepreneur doesn't really aim that high, one of the best things in the startup world is that once you set out to do something, that world tries to help you. There a lot of people who have made it in the startup world, and they're eager to give their time to help you fulfil your dreams”
The success of their gin, along with the IWSC Trophy award in 2015, has really helped to lay the foundation for the rye whiskey whose barrels are just about ready, giving sauna goers the world over the necessary fuel for the next big idea.
Best G+T Recipe below: