FARGO - The proof is in the distribution.

Proof Artisan Distillers is now being distributed throughout Arizona, bringing to four the number of states that the Fargo-based firm’s spirits are bringing cheer.

“It’s been a long process,” founder and owner Joel Kath said Thursday, Aug. 22, adding that he’s sought a distributor in the Grand Canyon State for a couple of years.


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Proof’s brands are already distributed in North Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois, Kath said.

South Dakota and Florida could be added to that distribution circle in coming months, Kath said.

“The challenge, of course, is to line up not only bars, liquor stores and consumers, but a distributor that will carry it,” Kath said of Proof’s products.

Proof, located at 414 4th Ave. N., in downtown Fargo, is also licensed in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Florida, Kath said.

Kath, an electrical engineer by trade, has been visiting Arizona and Florida since the 1990s for his engineering job. He works as an electrical consultant for large municipal projects primarily in North Dakota, South Dakota and Arizona.

Kath’s brother, Jay, is Proof’s distiller and operation manager.

“It’s kind of a family thing,” Kath said. “He (Jay) has an amazing palate, which is really needed in creating and crafting distilled spirits.”

Proof has been licensed in North Dakota since 2015, Kath said. In that short amount of time, its spirits have garnered 31 national awards.

“We’re quite well known in the distillery competition circles,” Kath said.

Proof makes Glen Fargo malt whiskey; two types of Crooked Furrow bourbon whiskey; 2DOCKS labeled vodka, cinnamon whiskey and cream liqueur; and MINIONS labeled gin and aquavit, according to the company’s web site.

The distillery is located in a 1920s-era building previously occupied by an early Ford and Cadillac dealer as well as the old Fargo Municipal Courthouse. The primary still is affectionately nicknamed “the Judge” since it sits in the old judge’s chambers, the web site said.