Best Distilleries in Minnesota: Your Guide to Top-Notch Spirits and Whiskey Tours

Who wouldn’t love a good drop of spirit, right? Well, you’re in luck because Minnesota is blessed with some of the finest distilleries. They’ve got everything from whiskey to gin, vodka to rum – all made using local ingredients and traditional methods.

Minnesota’s distilleries are booming, and for good reason. These places aren’t just about producing top-notch spirits; they’re about building communities, celebrating heritage, and crafting an experience that’s as enjoyable as the drinks themselves.

From urban micro-distilleries to rural operations drawing on Minnesotan agriculture’s bounty, there’s a place (or should we say ‘taste’) for everyone here. So buckle up your seatbelt because we’re taking you on a virtual tour through some of the best distilleries Minnesota has to offer.

Exploring Minnesota’s Distillery Scene

Welcome to the world of Minnesota’s burgeoning distilleries! It’s a scene that quite frankly, has been taking the spirits industry by storm. What do you expect? With an inspiring mix of tradition and innovation, it’s hard not to be completely captivated.

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You’ll find distilleries scattered all over Minnesota, each with its unique flavor and character. For example, nestled in the heart of Minneapolis is Tattersall Distilling. They’ve gained recognition far beyond state lines for their creative concoctions like Barreled Gin and Sour Cherry Liqueur. Venturing further north? You’ll stumble upon Vikre Distillery in Duluth. Their claim to fame is local sourcing – Lake Superior water forms the base of all their spirits!

Now if you’re wondering about numbers, here are some quick stats:

  • There were just 7 licensed distilleries in Minnesota in 2011.
  • Jump forward to 2021, we’re talking about a whopping 40-plus!
Year Number of Licenses
2011 7
2021 Over 40

But hey, it isn’t just about quantity when it comes down to it – quality is king! These distilleries have racked up numerous awards on national and international stages. Duluth’s Vikre Distillery took home Best-in-Class at the American Craft Spirits Association Awards not too long ago.

So what makes these places tick? It could be the Minnesotan mindset – a blend of a strong work ethic and love for local produce (like corn from Shady Lane Farms used by Loon Liquors!). Or perhaps it’s that sense of community you feel walking into every tasting room.

One thing’s for sure though – exploring Minnesota’s distillery scene is an adventure waiting to unfold. From gin crafted with botanicals native to the Northwoods area (courtesy Far North Spirits!) to bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup from Panther Distillery – there’s something for every palate out there!

The Craftsmanship at Tattersall Distilling

Set your sights on Northeast Minneapolis, where you’ll find a gem that goes by the name of Tattersall Distilling. Here, craftsmanship isn’t just a buzzword – it’s the cornerstone of everything they do. From grain to glass, each element is meticulously considered and masterfully executed.

Take their spirits, for instance. You’re looking at an impressive lineup of over 30 all-natural products, all handcrafted in small batches right there in their facility. It’s not just about quantity, though – quality reigns supreme here as well.

  • Their Barreled Gin? Aged in American white oak barrels.
  • Their Organic Vodka? Made from organic corn and purified Minnesota water.
  • Their Aquavit? Infused with caraway and other botanicals for an authentic Nordic experience.

Let’s not forget about their commitment to sustainability either! They make sure to source locally whenever possible – their corn comes from Castle Rock Organic Farms while the rye hails from Riverland Ag Corp.

But what really sets Tattersall apart is its dedication to creativity and innovation. They’ve got some seriously unique concoctions under their belt like Sour Cherry Liqueur or Blackstrap Rum! Oh, did I mention they even have cocktail kits so you can bring the magic home?

No visit would be complete without stepping into their cocktail room – it’s like stepping into another era altogether. The vibe is relaxed yet sophisticated, perfectly mirroring the exceptional drinks that are being mixed up behind the bar.

So there you have it – Tattersall Distilling in all its glory. Where craftsmanship meets creativity in a heady mix of spirits that are as delightful as they are distinct.

J. Carver Distillery: A Taste of Innovation

Venture out to Minnesota’s scenic countryside and you’ll find J. Carver Distillery, a gem tucked away in the city of Waconia. You’re not just stepping into another distillery here – it’s an innovative space where tradition meets creativity, and the result? Exceptional spirits that speak volumes about the brand’s dedication to quality.

Now let’s talk about what makes this place special. For starters, they source locally grown grains from Minnesota farmers for their craft spirits. It isn’t just about supporting local businesses, it’s also about ensuring only top-notch ingredients make their way into each bottle.

J. Carver Distillery has a diverse portfolio that includes vodka, gin, bourbon, rye whiskey, and even grappa! Their commitment to innovation shines through with unique offerings like Barrel Gin – yes you heard right! This is gin aged in charred oak barrels imparting a rich complexity akin to whiskey but with the botanical notes of gin intact.

You should know that J. Carver doesn’t stop at crafting excellent spirits; they’re all for memorable experiences too! Besides regular tours which give you an insider look at their distillation process (and maybe some secret techniques), they host special events throughout the year featuring cocktail classes and tastings.

A quick rundown on their accolades:

  • Gold Medal – Barrel Gin at New York International Spirits Competition (2016)
  • Silver Medal – Island View Brandy at San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2018)

So there you have it! When you’re looking for exceptional craft spirits laced with innovation in Minnesota, J.Carver Distillery proves an excellent choice every time.

Vikre Distillery: Embracing Local Ingredients

Let’s talk about Vikre Distillery, a family-owned gem tucked away in the heart of Duluth, Minnesota. The founders, Emily and Joel Vikre, are passionate about their craft and they’ve built a distillery that truly embraces local ingredients.

First off, you’ll be amazed to know that all the water used in their spirits comes straight from Lake Superior. Yes! That’s right; they’re utilizing one of Minnesota’s greatest treasures just for your taste buds. This lake water is considered some of the cleanest in the world which lends itself beautifully to the creation of smooth, pure spirits.

Now let’s move on to one of their standout products – Cedar Gin. It’s not your typical gin; it’s better! Infused with wild botanicals handpicked from Northern Minnesota forests including cedar leaves and juniper berries – this gin is unique as can be. You might even say it tastes like a sip of Minnesota wilderness!

Did you know that Vikre also excels at whiskey? Oh yes! They offer three kinds – Voyageur Aquavit, Sugarbush Whiskey and Iron Range Single Malt – each with its own special charm thanks to locally-sourced grains and aging processes tailored for Minnesotan weather conditions.

What makes them stand out in the crowd is their clear commitment to sustainability too. From using recycled glass bottles to donating spent grain (a byproduct from fermentation) as feed for local livestock farms – every step taken reflects an unwavering dedication towards preserving our environment.

So there you go; a brief journey through what makes ‘Vikre Distillery’ more than just another name on a bottle. It’s a place where love for land meets passion for creating top-notch spirits.

Du Nord Craft Spirits: Diversity in a Bottle

Take a trip down the snow-covered streets of Minneapolis, and you’ll stumble upon Du Nord Craft Spirits. It’s not just your average distillery; it’s an embodiment of diversity and inclusivity, all packaged neatly within a bottle. As the first black-owned distillery in America, Du Nord is paving the way for more representation in an industry that’s traditionally been less diverse.

Founded by Chris Montana, a former lawyer turned master distiller, and his wife Shanelle Montana (no relation to Tony), Du Nord has been serving up small-batch spirits since 2013. Their lineup includes Fitzgerald gin named after F. Scott himself and L’etoile vodka inspired by Minnesota’s state motto “L’étoile du nord” which translates to “Star of the North”. But it’s their Apple brandy that really steals the show – made from apples harvested right here in Minnesota!

  • Fitzgerald Gin
  • L’etoile Vodka
  • Apple Brandy

It’s not just about producing great spirits though. For Du Nord, it’s about giving back to their community too. They’ve established a non-profit called The Du Nord Foundation with an aim to support minority businesses impacted by civil unrest or natural disasters through grants and low-cost loans.

What sets them apart even further is their commitment to sustainability. Their grain-to-glass approach means they source ingredients locally whenever possible – reducing emissions from transportation while also supporting local farmers.

So next time you’re thinking of trying something new or looking for a unique gift idea, remember Du Nord Craft Spirits – where diversity isn’t just welcomed; it’s celebrated!

Eleven Wells Spirits Co.: Minneapolis’ Hidden Gem

Tucked away in the heart of Saint Paul, you’ll find a distillery that’s pure Minnesota – Eleven Wells Spirits Co. It’s not your typical tourist spot, but it’s got an allure all of its own.

Imagine walking into a place where the aroma of mash fills the air and barrels stacked high are aging whiskey to perfection. That’s exactly what you get at Eleven Wells. The folks here pride themselves on their meticulous attention to detail, which is evident right from the grain selection to barreling.

At this hidden gem, they’re all about supporting local farmers. Most of their grains come straight from Minnesota farms – talk about homegrown! In fact, their commitment to sustainability extends beyond just sourcing materials; they make sure everything possible gets reused or recycled.

But let’s not forget about their spirits! With an array of handcrafted options ranging from bourbon to vodka and gin, there’s something for every palate here:

  • Their Minnesota 14 Whiskey has a sweet corn flavor with hints of vanilla and caramel.
  • The Eleven Wells Rye gives off spicy notes with a touch of honey.
  • If you’re more into clear spirits, try out their Vodka, distilled entirely from Minnesota-grown sugar beets!

What sets them apart? Well for one thing, they mill their own grain onsite – it’s part of what makes each sip so special. And then there’s the fact that they’re actually located in an old blacksmith shop dating back to 1855! History buffs will love knowing that they’re sipping on some fine spirits while soaking up a bit o’ history.

So if you ever find yourself in Saint Paul with time on your hands (and perhaps a hankering for some artisanal spirits), do pay Eleven Wells Spirits Co. a visit – it might just become your new favorite haunt!

Brother Justus Whiskey Company’s Handcrafted Excellence

Stepping into the world of Minnesota distilleries, you’ll undeniably encounter the name Brother Justus Whiskey Company. This isn’t just any whiskey company; it’s a testament to the handcrafted excellence that embodies Minnesota spirit-making.

You’ve got to appreciate how this distillery stands out. They’re not afraid to take whiskey production back to its roots, using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. The secret? It all lies in their unique copper stills, which are handcrafted on-site!

Their dedication doesn’t stop at craftsmanship either. Using 100% Minnesota-grown grains, they’re committed to keeping things local and ensuring quality like no other. You might be wondering what difference does the grain make? Well, these locally sourced grains provide a distinct flavor profile that sets Brother Justus whiskey apart from others.

Let’s talk numbers for a second – their Single Malt Silver Whiskey ranks high with an impressive score of 93 points at international spirit competitions! Now, that’s something worth raising your glass for!

Here is a quick breakdown:

Whiskey Name Score
Single Malt Silver Whiskey 93

And if you thought that was it, there’s more! Their tours offer an immersive experience where you can learn about their unique process and even get a taste of their exquisite products. So next time you’re looking for a local gem in Minnesota or simply craving some authentic handcrafted whiskey – remember Brother Justis has got you covered!

Conclusion: The Spirit of Minnesota

You’ve taken quite the journey through the best distilleries in Minnesota, haven’t you? It’s been a whirlwind tour of amazing flavors and unique experiences, each distillery offering its own special taste of this great state’s spirit.

Let’s take a moment to mull over your adventure. Remember those smooth bourbons at Far North Spirits? Or the fiery rye whiskeys that lit up your palate at Eleven Wells? And who could forget the innovative offerings at Tattersall Distilling, where they’re constantly pushing boundaries and redefining what spirits can be.

Just think how much there is to appreciate in these establishments:

  • Their commitment to using local ingredients
  • The masterful way they blend tradition with innovation
  • How they manage to capture the essence of Minnesota in every bottle

In short, these distilleries are more than just places where alcohol is made. They’re also hubs for community engagement and cultural expression. Thanks to them, you’ve discovered there’s so much more to spirits than meets the eye (or rather, the tongue).

Don’t stop exploring now! Keep seeking out new flavors and experiences. After all, you never know when you’ll stumble upon your next favorite drink. This list has offered an introduction into what Minnesota has on offer – but there’s plenty more waiting for you.

So why not raise a glass – or better yet, a bottle – from one of these amazing distilleries to toast their hard work and dedication? Here’s to them for helping us appreciate every sip we take as part of our ongoing quest for flavor.

Remember it’s not just about finding the best drink; it’s about enjoying the journey along the way. That’s truly embracing “The Spirit of Minnesota!”

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