Marko started brewing beer when he was in high school. Through his father he learned that basically beer was the base of whiskey, minus the hops. When he got older he wanted to know what whiskey would taste like if it were distilled from beer he liked to drink – Charbay Whiskey Release I was born in 1999, distilled from bottle-ready pilsner beer. Later, Marko wanted to distill whiskey from his favorite beer, Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic.
He talked to the Norgrove family (Bear Republic is family owned and operated, as is Charbay) about the concept and a new friendship was immediately sparked. Charbay R5 is the brainchild of Marko after four years of extensive research with the Bear Republic team. Marko Karakasevic on purchasing bottle-ready beer to distill into whiskey, “I buy the biggest can I can – it comes with a driver and 18 wheels!”