Two Minnesota Distilleries Awarded Best of Class at 2019 American Craft Spirits Awards

Medalists for the 2019 American Craft Spirits Awards were announced Monday, February 11, at the annual ACSA Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show, hosted this year at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The awards are divided into seven categories—Brandy, Gin, Rum, Specialty Spirits, Vodka & Grain, Whiskey, and Innovation (a new category in 2019, recognizing … [ Read more]

Tattersall, other Minnesota distilleries medal at 2018 American Craft Spirits Association awards

The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), a national nonprofit aiming to support and elevate the U.S. craft spirits community, released the results of their Fifth Annual Judging of Craft Spirits, with a few notable nods to Minnesota distillers in the mix. Meal winners were selected from 500 entries across 39 states, including D.C., with the … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Minnesota Rye Whiskey

There is no shortage of fine whiskey on the planet. What can small distillers offer that the big guys haven’t already perfected? If craft whiskey is a viable enterprise, it has to focus on its one competitive advantage—a luxury brought about by hard work and a local mindset. They need to be choosy with their … [ Read more]

Fooling Father Time: ‘Rapid-aging’ and the future of craft whiskey

The standard formula for whiskey, the way it’s always been done, is this: you fill up an oak barrel with a clear spirit and then you wait. And wait. And wait. Inside that barrel, things slowly unfold. Alcohol seeps into the toasted oak, degrading the polymers that make up its structure. The lignin and hemicellulose in … [ Read more]

J. Carver Distillery rolls out two new whiskeys and brandy

J. Carver Distillery is no stranger to grain-to-glass spirits, whether it’s gins, vodkas, or whiskeys produced at their Waconia, Minnesota, facility. On Monday, April 10, J. Carver announced it would be adding three new spirits—Brickyard Straight Bourbon, Runestone Straight Rye, and Island View Brandy—to its lineup, each distilled and aged in Minnesota-made barrels. “Non-chill filtered … [ Read more]

3 Minnesota distilleries take home medals from 2017 American Craft Spirits Awards

Minnesota’s spirits scene may be young, but the state has some top-notch distilleries that are producing award-winning libations. At this year’s Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show in Nashville, Tennessee, the American Craft Spirits Association judged 550 spirits across categories including whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and grain, brandy, and specialty. When the votes were tallied, three Minnesota distilleries … [ Read more]

There’s Something About Brandy

For all the excitement about local small-batch spirits, why is brandy lagging behind? Somewhere in Wisconsin at this very moment, a cherry and an orange slice are being muddled in a glass. They’re being pulverized with a sugar cube and a dash of bitters. A few ice cubes get added, then a slug of rail brandy … [ Read more]

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J. Carver Distillery debuts bourbon whiskey

J. Carver Distillery of Waconia announces the release of their first batch of bourbon whiskey. The spirit has a mashbill of 75 percent corn and 25 percent rye, and has been aged Minnesota-coopered oak barrels. “Not only is this one of the first bourbons made in Minnesota, it has been distilled with grains harvested close to … [ Read more]

The State of Minnesota Whiskey

The Minnesota craft-distilling scene is looking to find its place in the geography of whiskey. With a handful of distilleries now past that two-year mark, it’s nearing the time for many to make the jump from barrel to bottle and start bringing aged spirits to market. Adrian Panther of Panther Distillery in Osakis believes Minnesota’s … [ Read more]

J. Carver Distillery to release Rye Whiskey and Apple Brandy

The second wave of Minnesota craft spirits is taking shape, as distilleries are beginning to  release aged spirits to complement their gins and vodkas. Vikre Distillery just announced the release of their first aged whiskey, and now, a Waconia whiskey is ready for the spotlight. J. Carver Distillery has announced via press release the debut of … [ Read more]

First Look: J. Carver Distillery

A massive distillery is coming together in an old car dealership off Highway 5 in Waconia. We stopped by J. Carver Distillery for a first look at an operation that will make a substantial push into the local spirits market. “We really wanted to do this in Waconia,” says owner/operator Bill Miller, “It’s right on … [ Read more]