Who we are
- "WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN EVEN MAKE A GOOD WHISKEY?"
~ "WE MADE A PROMISE AND WE KEEP OUR PROMISES!"
Young at heart Bob McManus is the spirit behind 11 Wells. Bob's vision is the driving force in all that we do and how we do it.
If Bob is the heart behind 11 Wells Lee is the nose. His library of botanicals, tinctures and spices bring a world of flavors to our spirits.
Our story starts here, with a common dream and an uncommon passion
Located in the historic Hamm's Brewery on Minnehaha Avenue in St. Paul, 11 Wells is proud to be part of the revitalization of the Payne Avenue Corridor along with our other great neighbors Cook St. Paul, Tongue in Cheek, Ace Hardware, Flat Earth Brewery, and Urban Organics. And, yes, there are 11 wells on site, the 11th of which is the water source of our spirits. The site has had a brewery on premise since 1865 and a little hiccup when Stroh's shuttered the shop in 1997. Proud of our roots, our neighbors and those that have helped us make this whole shootin' match happen we aim to be true to our St. Paul roots.
11 Wells is found in the old Blacksmith and Millwright Shop buildings on the vast Hamm's site. These buildings are home to our production facility, and possibly in the future, a tasting room and gift shop.
As in any business, a good location is just part of the equation, because no distillery happens without people. In this case we are lucky to have a full team of friends, family and even future customers that have all helped us get this endeavor started. In addition to a great team of friends, we (Bob & Lee) bring a third key component - passion.
We each had the separate idea and goal to open a distillery, and it wasn't until a good friend connected us that we decided to join forces, as two hands are definitely better than one when opening a distillery. The extensive background research that we both have done, including visiting more than 40 distilleries, can now be brought together at 11 Wells.
We each bring skills from our previous lives and experiences to this project. Bob has not only years of business analysis experience to ensure that 11 Wells will be around for years to come but also a degree in Biology, a skill at the heart of distilling. Knowing how to both frustrate and make yeast happy and grow is the key to unlocking yield and flavors. Lee brings a creative eye to design and marketing along with a wide knowledge of herbs and spices from time spent traveling abroad. He is also an avid mixologist who has created his own line of cocktail bitters, tinctures, salts and other cocktail curatives, which you may have seen around town - Dashfire Bitters. Creating outstanding flavors from botanicals are part of our passion and inject an excitement into 11 Wells.