State of Spirits: What’s new at Minnesota’s distilleries and spirit companies

Spirits Companies to Open

Copperwing Distillery

2016: Copperwing Distillery became a fully-licensed microdistillery, located in St. Louis Park. They’ve been designing and building their cocktail room, as well as  working on a light-aged whiskey, and a yet-to-be-named vodka/light whiskey combo spirit. They’re shooting for a grand opening sometime this December.

2017: For 2017, Copperwing will grow their spirit portfolio: special whiskeys, gin, rum, brandy, vodka, and maybe a few other surprises.

Dampfwerk Distillery


The still at Dampfwerk Distillery // Photo via Dampfwerk Distillery’s Facebook page

2016: Dampfwerk had a lot of paperwork this year with permits. Not only that, but they were working on building improvements, installations, and equipment commissioning, all while producing their first batches of apple and grape brandies. Dampfwerk is in full production, with ad-hoc tours and some samples to sip on.

2017: The main focus will be on distribution and widening its product portfolio, with products (hopefully) hitting store shelves in January.

Flying Dutchman Spirits

2016: Flying Dutchman Spirits has been working hard on bringing their distillery concept to reality in just over a year. The group hopes to open their cocktail room this December or January.

2017: For the upcoming year, they plan to introduce Minnesotans to new locally made craft spirits originating from around the world. In addition to their four initial spirits—a vodka, rum, gin, and 100% blue agave spirit—they plan to introduce two lesser known styles by the end of 2017.

Her Spirit

2016: Owner Kjersten Merila isn’t just invested in making spirits, but also in investing in local female entrepreneurs. Fifty percent of the company’s profits go toward women trying to take that leap into the business world.

2017: Her Spirit has a plan to launch Her Vodka in 2017.

Wayzata Brew Works


The still at Wayzata Brew Works // Photo by Aaron Davidson

2016: After clearing the last permitting and licensing hurdles, Wayzata Brew Works owner Robert Klick confirmed that they fired up the still in October.

ϒ 2017: Wayzata Brew Works have plans to release a vodka, gin, and possibly a moonshine in 2017, and will begin aging whiskey as soon as they can source barrels.

Closed in 2016

Both Gentleman Scholar and Lost Falls Distillery closed their doors in 2016.

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