RANSOM MASTER DISTILLER
Born and raised on a generational family farm in Indiana, Matt earned a degree in Biology from Purdue University. In 2005, Matt answered a job posting from a winery in the Willamette Valley, landing his first alcohol production job as a harvest intern. Matt joined our business as Chief Winemaker in 2008, and in 2019 he began training under Ransom founder Tad Seestadt in our 19 th century style of distillation. He was seeking a new adventure that was focused on the traditional, craft, small batch production and creative innovation. He was also attracted to the idea of returning to sustainable farming. At Ransom Farm & Distillery, Matt and his team collect rainwater from the distillery roof, use solar power to power the farm, and follow certified organic farming and distillation methods.
In 2021, Matt officially became the Ransom Master Distiller. His first order of business was to extend the farm’s organic certification to include the distillery itself. Matt is responsible for all aspects of farming and distillation; from running the farm, organic production, harvesting the grain, mash builds, distillation in the French alembic pot stills, making the selective cuts and calls to aging and bottling.
Since 2019, Matt has grown Ransom’s small portfolio of hand-crafted spirits with a small-batch Bourbon, an Organic Vodka pot-stilled and Alembic Brandy. He has also overseen the development and production of Ransom’s line of craft, non-alcoholic spirits, called Dhos. Hand crafted in batches of about 200 cases, Dhos non-alcoholic spirits are crafted with the same care as all Ransom product offerings at our 40 acre organic farm and distillery in Sheridan, OR. In 2023 Ransom Old Tom Gin ‘The Geezer’ was selected for Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Spirits of the year.
Matt has recently earned a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at George Fox University and completed a certificate in distilling from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling out of London. He continues to find inspiration in his passion and love for the art of craft distillation. Matt loves growing and sourcing local grains with the goal of keeping everything local and authentic from farm to glass. When not crafting time-honored spirits, Matt enjoys fishing for salmon and steelhead, playing golf and venturing to the beach or hikes with his family, exploring what the beautiful state of Oregon has to offer.