Archive for the ‘Bottler Profiles’ Category

Adding a personal touch to each bottle

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Templeton Rye bottler Pat Zubrod talks about writing the labels and other aspects of working at the distillery. If you are a fan of The Good Stuff, you would probably recognize Pat’s handwriting as she fills out the batch, barrel and bottle numbers on the back of each bottle.

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Bottler Profile: Meet Virginia “Gin” Knobbe

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Virginia “Gin” Knobbe is one of the original Templeton Rye bottlers and the quiet leader of the group. Gin was born on October 27th and worked as a telephone operator prior to joining Templeton Rye.


Gin enjoys bowling and playing cards. She also is a volunteer teacher of “Speak Up” at Adams Elementary School. Gin lists her father as her hero and is most likely to be found at home on a Saturday afternoon. She enjoys steak and her favorite way to drink Templeton Rye is in an Old Fashioned. Gin recalls her dad telling her about a farmer who had and old high-wheeled wagon parked in the middle of his yard that had three barrels of Templeton Rye stored in it. The Reveneurs came to investigate the farmer but could not find a still or any of The Good Stuff. They proceeded to have a long visit with the farmer prior to departing, leaning up against the wagon the whole time.

Gin’s favorite piece of advice is “Do onto others as you would have others do onto you.”

Bottler Profile: Meet Anna Mae Irlmeier

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

bottler_annamaeAnna Mae or “Annie” and her husband, Mox, are two of the original Templeton Rye employees. Annie lights up the distillery with her easy smile and warm personality.

Annie lists her hobbies as taking care of her 20 grandkids, gardening, canning and baking. Annie says her mother is her hero and the one person alive or dead that she would like to have dinner with is her husband “Moxie.”

Annie’s favorite colors are red, white and blue, and you are most likely to find her at home or in church on a Saturday afternoon. Her favorite food is chicken with a baked potato and her favorite way to drink The Good Stuff is with Coke on ice.

Annie’s favorite quote is “mind over matter” and “hang in there, through thick and thin.”

Bottler Profile: Meet Pat Zubrod

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Pat and her husband Meryln are two of the original Templeton Rye employees. If you are a fan of The Good Stuff, you would probably recognize Pat’s handwriting as she fills out the batch, barrel and bottle numbers on the back of each bottle.

Pat ZubrodPat was born on the south side of Des Moines and previously worked as a clerk at Templeton Savings Bank. Her main hobby is sewing, where she makes baby blankets for every single baby born at Manning Hospital. Amazingly, Pat is self-taught in the art of sewing and also makes baptismal gowns out of used wedding dresses. Our Iowa Magazine recently featured her work in a segment called “Iowa Go-Getters.”

Pat’s favorite food is spaghetti and she is most likely to be found at home cleaning on a Saturday afternoon. She lists her brother as her hero, adding “He went through a lot in his short life but was always helping someone, even me.”

Pat and Merlyn have two dachshunds, Penny and Molly and her favorite color is red. As a non-drinker, all she can say about the difference between Templeton Rye and the bootleg recipe is that Templeton Rye is legal.

Bottler Profile: Meet Mox Irlmeier

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Mox IrlmeierMox Irlmeier is the youngest of 12 children. He raised seven of his own children who have, in turn, given him 20 grandchildren. Mox is responsible for making and packing the boxes at the Templeton Rye distillery. Mox’s previous occupation was a farmer and a meat cutter, which would explain why he lists working with meat as one of his hobbies along with gardening and watching ball games.

Mox is a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Detroit Tigers and insists that he doesn’t have a favorite color — in fact, he says he likes them all equally. (He’s color blind.) One of the mottos he lives by is: “Never put something where you can’t see it, or it may get lost.” Mox lists Bob Feller as one of his heros. His favorite way to drink The Good Stuff is straight with a water chaser.

Bottler Profile: Meet Rick Gute

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Rick GuteRick is a man of few words, but of great importance to Templeton Rye. At the distillery, you are most likely to find Rick at the filler topping off the bottles and corking them before they are labeled.

Rick was born on August 17th, 1964. His previous occupation was in industrial maintenance. Rick’s hobbies include hunting and fishing. He especially enjoys hunting for coyotes (thanks Rick, for helping our pheasant population) and fishing for bass.

Growing up, Rick was told stories of a great uncle bootlegging the original “Good Stuff.” He has enjoyed learning other TR stories while working for Templeton Rye because Rick is a local history buff. He often employs one of his favorite pieces of advice which is to “trust, but verify.” Rick calls Thomas Edison one of his heros, but when asked what one person, dead or alive, he would like to have dinner with, he said his grandfather.

Rick’s favorite way to drink TR is on ice or mixed with Limeade.

Bottler Profile: Meet Dori Rotert

Friday, December 21st, 2007

TR bottler Dori RotertDori is a jack of all trades at Templeton Rye. She can be found bottling, labeling, boxing, and stacking the pallet. She “helps where ever she is needed.”

She plays the same role at the bowling alley in Manning as a cook, a waitress and bartender, as well as working at Lori’s Flowers in Manning. She couldn’t tell us her favorite color and responded “I work with flowers, remember.” Dori’s hobbies include bowling, crafting, reading short stories, and playing games with her family.

Dori lists her sister Dawn as her hero. She says Dawn is a very brave and strong person who is struggling with cancer for seven years while raising four children. Dori says that Dawn taught her to live each day to the fullest and enjoy life. She inspires her to try things she has never done before. Dori hopes that she is her sister’s “rock” as much as Dawn is hers.

Other fun things to know about Dori include:
Birthday: March 21st
Person she would like to have dinner with: Princess Diana
Favorite food: Prime Rib (rare) with lobster.
Favorite way to drink Templeton Rye: On the rocks with Diet Mountain Dew

Bottler Profile: Meet Merlyn Zubrod

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

TR bottler Merlyn ZubrodMerlyn applies the plastic seal on the top of each bottle of Templeton Rye and is the foreman for all of the bottling crew, although he says “nobody really knows that.”

Merlyn was born on April 17, 1929, and spent most of his life as a builder and farmer near Templeton. He served in the US Army and was stationed at Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Merlyn calls himself a woodworker, although that is like calling Michelangelo a church painter. He has made two wooden cars and a life size, self-powered stagecoach, all of which are favorites at area parades and social gatherings. Merlyn has also been designing custom wooden boxes to store and display Templeton Rye. When asked why he started making wooden cars, he said, “I saw somebody make one on TV and said I can do that.” He told his wife Pat not to worry, because if it didn’t work, he would just burn it.

Merlyn’s dad stored the bootleg Templeton Rye during prohibition and Merlyn tells the story of when a cow fell into a hole in the pasture and had to be pulled out by a team of horses. Later, when out playing, Merlyn explored the mysterious spot and found that it was a secret bootleg storage hold.

Merlyn says he works for Templeton Rye to keep himself busy. He and his wife Pat live on a century old farmstead just west of Templeton and raise miniature horses. They have six children and twelve grandchildren.

Other fun things to know about Merlyn Zubrod:
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite quote: “Well, I’ll be.”
Where he’s most likely to be on a Saturday afternoon: Working in his shop
Person he would like to have dinner with: Hillary Clinton
Favorite food: Bread pudding
Hero: His dad
Favorite way to drink The Good Stuff: Straight on ice

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