October 2019 Anyone who says that Zionsville doesn\u2019t have a night life clearly has not patronized the heart of the village recently. The word is getting out beyond Boone County that there are some incredible existing establishments that cater to the \u201cafter-hours\u201d and 21-and-over crowd, and I am thrilled to share the news about a brand-new face who\u2019s coming to Zionsville. Straight Out of Maui Mark Nigbur, founder and owner of Alchemy Spirit House, is Zionsville\u2019s newest business owner and resident. Nigbur, his wife, Laurie, and their infant son have relocated from the Maui to Zionsville and are working fervently toward the grand opening of Nigbur\u2019s distillery that is located where the former Endurance House was in the South Village\u2014a Kite Harris property. If you\u2019re a fan of Kettle One vodka, Nigbur says, \u201cWait until you get some of the Alchemy Spirit vodka in the next couple of months!\u2019\u201d Nigbur got his start in the distillery industry in the early 2000s while living in Colorado Springs. He had the second distillery in Colorado. \u201cI was a Kettle One drinker and have a chemistry, physics and math mind,\u201d Nigbur said. \u201cI used to own a company that made hockey equipment for the NHL and traveled selling products to NHL teams. I was flying back from a trade show\u2014drinking Kettle One\u2014reading a United Airlines magazine on how to brew beer\u2014I don\u2019t drink beer\u2014so I thought to myself that I bet I could make a better vodka. So, I took my Sharpie out and drew the still that I actually built and is one of the most efficient and pure stills in the world used for making ethanol.\u201d A Distiller\u2019s Dream Fast forward, Nigbur knew he was on to something revolutionary and sold his hockey company to start a distilling company called Pure Distilling. He produced a vodka called ALTIUS. \u201cI started distilling out of grain that was from the Midwest,\u201d Nigbur shared. \u201cIt was a very pure vodka, and everyone loved it. It was right at the beginning of the craft vodka craze. Tito was just getting started, Grey Goose was just getting revved up and martini bars were just on the cusp of starting to open in cities and small towns all over, so it was a perfect time for vodka.\u201d Word got out about Nigbur\u2019s brand of vodka, and he received stellar reviews. \u201cI\u2019ve been for 14 years and have built into a huge brand, and when you do that, you become well known in this industry, and you sometimes attract certain people,\u201d Nigbur shared. \u201cOne day, a gentleman called and said, \u2018I know you guys don\u2019t do tours, but can I come up and see what you\u2019re doing? I\u2019m in the industry, and I want to see what you\u2019re doing.\u2019 So, this gray-haired gentleman came over, and I showed him around, and he kept looking at me. I had a goatee at that time, and my hair has been peroxided since I was 12.\u201d Nigbur continued, \u201cI asked him where he was from and was he staying on Maui, and he said he was staying at \u2018Sammy\u2019s\u2019 house. I said, \u2018Sammy Hagar? I didn\u2019t know he lived here. I\u2019m a big fan of his.\u2019 And this gentleman is just staring at me like I\u2019m out of my mind. I find out that lives five minutes from where I lived on Maui.\u201d The story goes that this man left and went to the store to buy a bottle of Nigbur\u2019s vodka and took it to Hagar\u2019s house. \u201cI found out later that the gentleman called Sammy and said, \u2018You\u2019ve got to see this guy. He makes unbelievable vodka and looks like you!\u2019 So, I have done a lot of businesses since then with Sammy Hagar, and I\u2019ve never had the heart to tell him that I\u2019ve been peroxiding my hair since I was 12 because I was a Rod Stewart fan.\u201d Sometime after the visit from the \u201cgentleman\u201d whose identity had not yet been revealed at this point in the story, Nigbur received a phone call. \u201cI get a phone call, and I hear this guy say, \u2018Hey, this is Sammy Hagar.\u2019 And I hung up. He called back and said, \u2018I\u2019m serious\u2014this is Sammy Hagar! I\u2019ve got to talk to you about your vodka,\u2019 and he started rambling, and I\u2019m like, \u2018OK.\u2019 He said he was coming to Maui and wanted to meet me. Lo and behold, he came to the distillery with his family and takes one long look at me, and then he put his arms around me and said, \u2018Oh, man!\u2019 I looked at him and said, \u2018Oh, man!\u2019\u201d Hagar had just sold his tequila brand, Cabo Wabo, and wanted to go into the rum business. \u201cI told Sammy that I\u2019d work on a rum for him, but it was going to taste the way I wanted it to taste\u2014down and dirty. I made a couple of samples, and he picked one and said, \u2018Let\u2019s do it.\u2019 He got with my partners and struck a deal, and Sammy\u2019s Beach Bar rum was created.\u201d When asked who the \u201cgentleman\u201d was who created the fateful chain of events that one day at his distillery, Nigbur answered, \u201cHe was the president of Cabo Wabo Tequila. You just never know who\u2019s going to come into your life.\u201d Why Zionsville? Why Now? Nigbur\u2019s wife is from the northwestern region of Indiana and was already familiar with Zionsville. He and his wife visited the town, fell in love, and now they have moved from their island paradise to their Midwestern dream, where they are eager to raise their young son and become entrenched in the community\u2019s activities and goings-on. In my follow-up story, I will share with you what exactly Nigbur plans on doing with the former Endurance House space, what it will look like and what people can expect from this new spirit house. I will also share with you what makes Nigbur\u2019s distilling techniques unique compared to anyone else\u2019s in the world. Meanwhile, Nigbur is fast at work, making connections about town and getting his place prepared for a grand opening that he is hopeful will be in winter 2019. \u201cWe are so excited to come to Zionsville,\u201d Nigbur shared. \u201cWe are so excited to just do everything that Zionsville has to offer. We bought a house, and we got a local bank, and we are just so grateful to everybody in Zionsville\u2014our Zionsville crew\u2014who\u2019ve been helping us along this journey. I have a beautiful family, and we\u2019re in a beautiful place, so now we\u2019re ready to roll up our sleeves and have some fun!\u201d Zionsville Welcomes Alchemy Mayor Tim Haak is excited for Nigbur\u2019s new business and welcomes him and his family to Zionsville. \u201cLocals don\u2019t have to go to Carmel, Westfield or Indianapolis to have options for dinner,\u201d Haak said. \u201cThey can stay right here in Zionsville where they get to know the business owners, and the business owners, in turn, get to know their patrons by name. Having businesses like Alchemy come to Zionsville helps add to the digest of \u2018things to do\u2019 that attracts people to our town. The positive things about our community that we\u2019ve always known are now being exposed to others from around the state, the region and the nation. We are a destination that people are willing to drive an hour plus away from\u2014just ask Shari Jenkins with Noah Grant\u2019s.\u201d Alchemy will be located in a Kite Harris property, and Zionsville resident and developer\/principle at Kite Harris Bob Harris shared why he feels Alchemy is a good fit for the town. \u201cWe can rent space in this town that\u2019s \u2018office\u2019 space all day long, but we\u2019ve always been about bringing the desired businesses to town, like Rosie\u2019s and Bub\u2019s Burgers,\u201d Harris stated. \u201cWe\u2019ve always looked for that niche that's not filled in this town, and we go chasing after it instead of putting up the \u2018for lease\u2019 sign and letting people call us.\u201d Stay tuned for my upcoming piece on the grand opening of Alchemy and the science behind the spirits!