Best Distilleries in Arkansas: Your Guide to Top-notch Spirits and Unforgettable Tours

If you’re a fan of fine spirits and unique local flavors, Arkansas should be on your travel radar. There’s just something magical about sipping on a locally crafted whiskey while soaking in the natural beauty of The Natural State. Arkansas distilleries are not just producers, they are creators of taste experiences that tell the story of this diverse region.

Hold onto your tasting glasses folks, because these distilleries in Arkansas are shaking up the spirit world with their innovative brewing techniques and commitment to quality. From moonshine to bourbon, gin to vodka – it seems there’s nothing these artisans can’t turn into liquid gold!

Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or simply curious about the distilling process, there’s an adventure waiting for you in Arkansas’ craft spirit scene. You’ll have the chance to tour behind-the-scenes areas, learn about production processes from grain to glass, and most importantly – sample some truly outstanding spirits! So buckle up, we’re going on a flavorful journey through some of the best distilleries in Arkansas.

Exploring the Liquor Legacy of Arkansas

When you set foot in Arkansas, there’s an undeniable spirit that greets you. And no, we’re not talking about the friendly locals or the stunning Ozark landscapes – though they’re certainly part of it! We’re talking about the rich liquor legacy this state has to offer.

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Arkansas’ distilling history takes us back to its early days. It’s home to dozens of distilleries that have kept traditions alive and served up some pretty fantastic spirits along the way. The state boasts everything from whiskey to gin, rum, vodka and moonshine.

Let’s give a shout out to Rock Town Distillery in Little Rock for instance – it was the first legal distillery in Arkansas since prohibition. This award-winning establishment has been making waves with their grain-to-glass approach; using locally sourced grains and crafting each batch by hand.

Next on your list should be Crystal Ridge Distillery located in Hot Springs which prides itself on producing only smooth, high-quality moonshine. They’ve got a unique story rooted deep within local folklore about hidden stills during Prohibition times!

For all you whiskey lovers out there – don’t miss out on tasting what Post Familie Vineyards & Winery has to offer. Located in Altus, this family-run business is one of Arkansas’ oldest wineries but they also produce a mean Muscadine Whiskey.

Here are just a few statistics showcasing how these distilleries contribute to Arkansas’ economy:

Year Number of Distilleries Revenue Generated
2017 28 $10 Million
2018 37 $15 Million
2019 45 $20 Million

Bear in mind these figures merely scratch the surface when it comes to exploring Arkansas’ vast liquor landscape.

So folks, whether you’re into bourbon, rye or flavored spirits – one thing’s for sure: A visit to an Arkansan distillery is bound to leave your taste buds tingling and your appreciation for artisanal liquors deepened!

Arkansas’s Top-Ranked Distilleries

Now, let’s dive into the heart of our topic – the best distilleries in Arkansas. It’s not just about the bourbon and rye here; there’s a whole world of spirits waiting for you to explore!

First on our list is Rock Town Distillery, nestled in downtown Little Rock. As the first legal distillery of any kind in Arkansas since prohibition, it’s got some serious history behind it. They’re not just resting on their laurels though – they’ve been named one of the top 10 micro-distilleries in America by USA Today.

Moving northwards, you’ll find Copper Mule Distillery located in Harrison. This family-owned operation prides itself on crafting high-quality vodka and rum using locally sourced ingredients. Their commitment to quality hasn’t gone unnoticed – they’ve taken home medals from both the American Distilling Institute and The Fifty Best.

Down south, right at El Dorado lies G&J Distillers. These folks have a knack for making premium gin which has earned them accolades from discerning gin enthusiasts nationwide.

Here are a few stats highlighting these standout distilleries:

Distillery Location Speciality Awards & Recognitions
Rock Town Distillery Little Rock Bourbon & Rye Whiskey Top 10 Micro-Distilleries (USA Today)
Copper Mule Distillery Harrison Vodka & Rum Medals from American Distilling Institute & The Fifty Best
G&J Distillers El Dorado Gin Accolades from Nationwide Gin Enthusiasts

Further west is Fort Smith where Poteau Mountain Eagle makes its nest. They specialize in brandy crafted from local fruits like apples and pears but their moonshine isn’t one to be missed either! In fact, they claim their moonshine can bring tears to your eyes – tears of joy that is!

And we can’t leave out Post Familie Vineyards and Winery over at Altus! While primarily known for its wines, this fifth-generation winery also boasts a top-notch distillation facility producing deliciously smooth brandies.

So you see, there’s much more to Arkansas than meets the eye when it comes to distilled spirits. Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or someone just starting their journey into spirits’ world, these top-ranked distilleries offer something for everyone!

The Craftsmanship Behind Arkansas Whiskeys

Arkansas, known for its vibrant landscapes and rich history, is also making a name for itself in the world of whiskey. You might be surprised to learn of the meticulous craftsmanship that underpins all stages of production here.

The magic begins with quality grains. Many distilleries source locally grown corn, rye, and barley – not only supporting local farmers but also ensuring the freshest ingredients. Picture those golden grains on their journey from field to bottle! Rock Town Distillery stands out as an example – they pride themselves on their grain-to-glass approach.

Now let’s talk about aging – a pivotal process in whiskey-making that you’ll find Arkansan distillers take seriously. They’re using traditional methods like barrel-aging to give their spirits a unique flavor profile. Some folks at Post Familie Vineyards & Winery are even experimenting with different types of wood for their barrels – imagine sipping a whiskey with notes imparted from Arkansas hickory!

Distillation techniques are another area where these creators shine. While some stick to time-tested methods, others push boundaries with innovative approaches. There’s something exciting happening at Crystal Ridge Distillery where they use an old-fashioned copper pot still for their moonshine, sticking close to the roots of traditional American spirit-making.

Even bottling isn’t overlooked by these detail-oriented craftsmen and women! Each bottle gets filled, corked, sealed and labeled by hand at many distilleries across the state – including Smithworks Vodka who pay tribute to hardworking Americans through this hands-on process.

So there you have it! From grain selection right down to bottling, every step involves careful thought and attention to detail among Arkansas’ whiskey craftsmen.

Unique Spirits: Gin and Vodka in Arkansas

Welcome to the intriguing world of gin and vodka made right here in Arkansas! Now, it’s a common misconception that all vodkas are alike. Or perhaps you’ve heard that gin can only be crafted one way. Well, let’s debunk those myths together as we explore the truly unique spirits being produced under our noses.

First up is Rock Town Distillery, nestled comfortably in Little Rock; they’re whipping up an impressive collection of gins and vodkas. Their Brandon’s Vodka has earned them international recognition – yup, you read it right – INTERNATIONAL! Plus, their cleverly named ‘Brandon’s Gin’ boasts a modern twist on traditional London Dry gins which truly sets them apart.

In Hot Springs National Park rests Crystal Ridge Distillery where their vodka is as clear and refreshing as the hot springs themselves. They pride themselves on creating high-quality spirits using local grains. And let’s not forget about Fox Trail Distillery with their spectacular range of handcrafted vodkas!

  • Rock Town Distillery
    • Location: Little Rock
    • Notable Spirits: Brandon’s Vodka & Brandon’s Gin
  • Crystal Ridge Distillery
    • Location: Hot Springs National Park
    • Notable Spirit: Clearwater Vodka
  • Fox Trail Distillery
    • Location: Rogers
    • Notable Spirit: Handcrafted Vodka

But if you’re looking for something really offbeat, look no further than Postmaster Spirits in Newport who have taken creativity to another level with their incredible line-up of infused vodkas. From spicy jalapenos to sweet strawberries, your taste buds are definitely going to have a party!

Yet with all these fantastic distilleries around us, we’ve barely scratched the surface! Each one offers tours where you can learn about their processes and sample some delicious spirits too! So why not make a day (or weekend) out of visiting these amazing distilleries? It’ll be an experience worth savoring!

Touring Experience at Best Arkansas Distilleries

Embarking on a distillery tour in Arkansas? You’re in for an unforgettable experience. From the moment you step foot into one of these top-notch establishments, you’ll be captivated by the beautiful blending of traditional methods and modern innovations.

Take for instance Rock Town Distillery, nestled right in the heart of downtown Little Rock. Here, they’ve earned their stripes as the first legal distillery of any kind in Arkansas since Prohibition! They offer daily tours where you can witness firsthand how they turn locally-grown grains into award-winning spirits.

  • Distillery: Rock Town Distillery
  • Location: Downtown Little Rock
  • Tours: Daily
  • Specialty: Locally-grown grains transformed into spirits

Or maybe your adventure will lead you to Crystal Ridge Distillery located in Hot Springs. This family-owned operation prides itself on producing small-batch moonshine using a 200-year-old recipe!

  • Distillery: Crystal Ridge Distillery
  • Location: Hot Springs
  • Tours: On Request
  • Specialty: Small batch moonshine

And let’s not forget about Post Familie Vineyard & Winery over in Altus — it’s not just about wine here! They’ve been cranking out high-quality brandy since 1955 and also offer informative tours that’ll leave you with heaps of knowledge about their brandy-making process.

  • Distillery: Post Familie Vineyard & Winery
  • Location: Altus
  • Tours: Varying schedule
  • Specialty: Brandy production

So whether it’s learning about grain-to-glass production or sampling some fine moonshine crafted from century-old recipes, visiting these best distilleries promises an immersive experience that will tantalize all your senses.

Sustainable Practices in Arkansas Distilleries

When you think about distilleries, sustainability might not be the first thing that pops into your mind. Yet, a number of distilleries in Arkansas are bucking this trend and making serious strides towards integrating sustainable practices into their operations.

Take Rock Town Distillery for instance. They’ve really stepped up to the plate when it comes to environmental consciousness. They prioritize sourcing ingredients locally, reducing their carbon footprint significantly. But they’re not stopping there! They also recycle their spent grain by donating it to local farmers as livestock feed – talk about a win-win situation!

Let’s shift our focus onto another gem – Post Familie Vineyards and Winery. Solar power has become their best friend! They’ve harnessed the power of the sun through an extensive solar panel system which powers more than half of their operations. Reducing reliance on traditional energy sources? Check!

Now, why should we care about these practices? Well, research shows that businesses with strong green practices often see benefits beyond just helping the environment:

Benefits Percentage
Lower operating costs 79%
Improved brand image 77%
Increased customer loyalty 70%

And let’s not forget Smithworks Vodka based out of Fort Smith. They’re putting an exciting twist on sustainability by utilizing corn sourced from America’s heartland. By doing so, they reduce transportation emissions while supporting American farmers.

These examples show us that sustainability is more than just a buzzword in Arkansas distilleries; it’s becoming a way of life! It’s proof positive that even industries steeped in tradition can evolve and adapt for the betterment of our planet without compromising quality or heritage.

Distillery Events Worth Attending in Arkansas

If you’re a fan of good spirits and vibrant gatherings, then there are distillery events in Arkansas that you simply can’t afford to miss. These occasions offer not just a chance to sample some fantastic local brews, but also an opportunity to delve deeper into the art of distilling.

Rock Town Distillery, for instance, hosts several tours and tastings throughout the year. You’ll get to see behind-the-scenes of their whiskey making process – it’s all about grains-to-glass here! And let’s not forget about the tasting part where you’ll get to savor their award-winning spirits. This Little Rock-based distillery is renowned for its bourbon, which won Gold at the World Spirits Competition!

Over at Post Familie Vineyards and Winery, they’ve got something special brewing too. While they’re more known for their wines (their muscadine wine is quite famous!), during specific times of the year they host unique distilling events focusing on brandy production. Talk about a unique twist!

For lovers of gin and vodka, be sure to check out Fox Trail Distillery in Rogers for one-of-a-kind experiences. Their Gin School lets you create your personal gin recipe while learning about botanicals! How cool is that?

  • Rock Town Distillery: Tours & Tastings
  • Post Familie Vineyards and Winery: Brandy Production Events
  • Fox Trail Distillery: Gin School

Such events aren’t only about sampling drinks; they’re immersive experiences that let you understand what goes into every bottle on your shelf back home.

Don’t think twice; grab your calendar now and start marking these must-visit Arkansas distilleries! Just remember — no matter how much fun we’re having or how delicious the drinks might be — always drink responsibly.

Conclusion: The Spirit of Excellence in Arkansas

So, you’ve made it to the end of our spirited journey through the best distilleries in Arkansas! It’s clear that these establishments aren’t just making spirits, they’re crafting works of art. Each distillery has its own unique flair and style, bringing something special to your glass.

Let’s take a moment to toast to their creativity and dedication. These folks are truly masters at what they do. They’ve taken grain, water, and time – and with a lot of care – transformed them into extraordinary concoctions that tantalize our palates.

You can’t deny the fact that these distilleries have left an indelible mark on Arkansas’ spirit scene:

  • Rock Town Distillery’s award-winning bourbons
  • The rich history carried by Post Familie Vineyards & Winery
  • Crystal Ridge Distillery’s commitment to maintaining traditional processes
  • Ouachita River Distillery’s moonshine creations

Each one is a testament to the spirit of excellence in Arkansas.

Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just starting out on your distilled delights journey, there’s always something new and exciting waiting for you at these standout locations. You’ll find some of the most passionate people working behind the scenes at each one – ensuring every drink poured embodies their craft and love for what they do.

Arkansas might not be Kentucky when it comes to bourbon fame—yet—but with this level of passion, expertise, and creativity seen across its distilleries… who knows? So next time you fancy a dram or two (or three), remember all those hardworking folks down in Arkansas delivering top-notch hooch right into your glass!

This little tour only scratches the surface though; there are so many more fantastic places waiting for discovery around every corner. So go ahead—experience firsthand why we’re raving about these local gems. After all, life is too short for bad booze!

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