We’re three friends connected through a deeply shared passion for spirits.
Our story begins with Scotch night. A group of us would gather monthly to connect over a bottle of whiskey. One night, a far fetched idea hatched, as it sometimes does when friends are enjoying a fine spirit. This idea was to create our own whiskey using locally sourced ingredients. Maybe we could combine our individual strengths to build a business around things we’re all equally passionate about: Spirits and community. This dream quickly turned into a hobby which eventually evolved into a business plan, and Short Path Distillery was founded in Everett, Massachusetts in the summer of 2015. We opened our doors with just two signature spirits, and have since crafted more than 25 spirits that showcase our unique approach to spirit development and commitment to quality and community.
Jackson Hewlett: An engineer who loves the challenge of optimizing traditional distillation methods to reflect a more science-based approach to spirit development.
Growing up surrounded by the rugged and untamed beauty of Acadia on the Maine coast, Jackson has always been fascinated with and inspired by the natural world around him — whether building a camping platform twenty feet up in the air on the trunk of a massive pine tree, building a hand-operated pump to bring water to a cabin deep in the Maine woods, or using local apples and yeast to create hard apple cider. Jackson pursued that passion at Tufts University, earning a Master’s degree in civil engineering that enables him to work on balancing the forces of nature with the built environment. Upon hearing about his friend Zack’s interest in distilling spirits, Jackson decided he wanted to put his own engineering skills to work by researching and designing a still. Along the way of running a business, he’s drawn on what growing up on Mount Desert Island taught him best: The importance of community, supporting the local economy, and building local relationships.
Matt Kurtzman: A data analyst who uses his knowledge to reshape the way we think about spirits, and demonstrates how alcohol can positively impact society when used responsibly.
Like many people, Matt’s interest in alcohol was born in college, where he found it remarkable how much of an impact a beverage could have on various aspects of peoples’ lives. Matt quickly became fascinated with alcohol, and was eager to join Jackson and Zack in starting the adventure of a lifetime.
Matt is an energetic, out-of-the-box problem solver with a passion for process improvement and analytics; a real data-junkie at heart. Armed with a formal education in supply management and accounting from Northeastern, a lean six sigma black belt from Staples and a diverse analytic resume, Matt is often seen as the go-to-person to find creative ways to solve complex problems. His expertise working with large sets of data, designing modeling tools, and automation combined with a contagious sense of enthusiasm, positive attitude has consistently proven to produce results. Since Matt’s absolute best work is done in a constantly changing, dynamic environment these skills have allowed him to be successful in a wide variety of business units and industries and comfortable navigating new and unfamiliar territories. Driven by the hunt for the proverbial light bulb, Matt’s sleeves are always rolled up and ready to conquer the next challenge.
Zachary Robinson: A chemist who utilizes his lab experience to better understand flavor compounds and distillation methods to create unique, flavorful spirits.
In the Spring of 2010 Zack travelled to Normandy and visited Chateau d’Englequeville. Standing in the barn of the chateau tasting different Calvados and Pommeau, he knew then and there he would become a distiller someday.
Zack sports a diverse background in chemistry, education, and history. After earning a masters in synthetic organic chemistry from Northeastern University, Zack spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry conducting research in early drug discovery. He preferred to apply his chemistry skills to something that was more fulfilling, and finally decided to pursue his dream of becoming a distiller.
Zack is an innovative, diligent chemist with an ambitious devotion to creativity. Whether it’s producing a new spirit, building a bar or drafting up future plans, Zack is always constructing new ideas that push boundaries. He’s intensely passionate about leading Short Path Distillery to new heights while keeping our fundamental roots to community and quality in tact.