Great Plains Distillery was started by the father and son partnership of Phillip Mitchell and Austin Propp. Over the last 18 months, they’ve taken big leaps into uncharted territory. Only one exists in the Panhandle. It’s the first of its kind.

Mitchell learned the art of distilling in 2013, when he took a course taught by Steve Viezbicke at the Boulder Distillery in Boulder, Colorado. Viezbicke showed Mitchell a method for making vodka — an old family recipe brought over by Viezbicke’s Polish ancestors in a steam trunk sometime in the early 20th century.

In late 2015 Propp became interested in distilling full time he discussed with Mitchell about the potential of going into business.  At the time, only two distilleries in the state made vodka, the closest being 250 miles from Scottsbluff. Although tales of prohibition-era bootleggers abound, no one in current memory has ever set out to operate a licensed distillery in the Panhandle, meaning the learning curve for Mitchell and Propp was steep.

By June 6, 2017 they started production. The first batch of their Vamoose Vodka, made about 500 bottles. The name is a play on words from of the phase vamoose, from the Spanish Vamos, meaning we go. Mitchell said it hearkens back to the Oregon Trail pioneers, who picked up everything and moved out west.
They unveiled their finished product on June 17, landing their first order with Dietrich distributing and having the soft open during the MMA fights in downtown Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

-Courtesy Spike Jordan, Star-Herald

Phil Mitchell

Master Distiller

While being an entrepreneur for most of my life, I've started several different businesses. Cars have always been a passion of mine, and I owned 2 different Auto shops in NE and WY. Automotive repair and restoration led to helping open the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles back in 1994. Scottsbluff has been my home since 2004, where I've raised cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens. Along with growing small batches of corn that we now use for our Vamoose Vodka. Now, instead of polishing cars, I polish my still and produce high quality booze for people to enjoy.

This University of NE wooden flag made by Austin is also hanging in Backaracks in Scottsbluff.