The rise of craft breweries and cideries in Minnesota has coincided with a renaissance of craft distilleries throughout the state. There are 14 microdistilleries currently in operation (or soon to be). But unlike taprooms, which can sell their beer directly to customers in growlers, distilleries were unable to sell bottles of their liquor on site. Until now.
The same law that made Sunday growler sales legal in Minnesota also allowed microdistilleries to sell one 375ml bottle per person per day directly to the public. By approving the omnibus liquor bill last legislative session, Governor Mark Dayton effectively removed a prohibition on direct sales that had been in effect since the mid-1930s.
Despite the law making sales legal, distilleries have to obtain city approval to get a license to sell bottles on site; much in the same way city approval is needed for breweries to sell growlers on Sundays. The first cities to give distilleries the go-ahead are Minneapolis and Duluth starting Friday, June 26.
To celebrate, Wander North Distillery, Du Nord Craft Spirits, and Vikre Distillery have coordinated the sales of their first bottles to take place at 4pm on Friday. Vikre, located in Duluth, will also release their first aged product, Voyageur Cognac Barrel-Aged Aquavit, in commemoration of the event.
- Wander North Distillery – 771 Harding St NE, Suite 150, Minneapolis
- Du Nord Craft Spirits – 2610 E 32nd St, Minneapolis
- Vikre Distillery – 525 Lake Ave S, Duluth
Other Minneapolis distilleries include:
- Norseman Distillery – 451 Taft St NE, South Loading Dock, Minneapolis (will begin bottle sales in conjunction with the opening of their cocktail room in late July or early August)
- Lost Falls Distillery – 1915 E 22nd St, Minneapolis; opening date: TBD, 2015
Bartley Blume, owner/president/head distiller at Bent Brewstillery in Roseville says he’s in talks with the city and hopes to start selling bottles the weekend of July 11.