Locally grown ingredients and laid-back tasting rooms make the drinks at our favorite distilleries even better
11 Wells Image by Lisa Davis
In addition to the hot bar scene, the Twin Cities are also home to budding craft distilleries. After a 2014 bill signed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton allowed distilleries to operate like breweries with taprooms, numerous little-distilleries-that-could came out of the woodwork to provide handcrafted spirits around the metro area. Sip on the finest gins, vodkas, whiskeys and more in tasting rooms that emphasize local ingredients, community and premium libations. Bring a bottle of your favorite home and toast to keeping the craft local.
11 Wells Spirits
Aptly named for the 11 wells on site, this micro-distillery cooks up the best spirits in St. Paul. Small batches of white whiskey, rum and bourbon are made in the historic Hamm’s Brewery site that has housed a brewery on the premise since 1865. Their Prototype Series experiments with different wheat, barrel ages and yeast strains to create the best whiskey possible. Buy these handcrafted spirits in restaurants, bars and liquor stores around the Twin Cities.
» 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul, 651-300-9328, 11wells.com
Cocktail and beer lovers can discover their favorite drink at this distillery-meets-brewery in Roseville, a northern suburb of St. Paul. The Bent Brewstillery recipe for success combines award-winning spirits with a hip atmosphere. The taproom offers trivia every Thursday and food trucks three nights a week. House-made gin, rum, whiskey and Irish poitín (made from excess potato peels at a nearby restaurant) are on tap, along with a wide selection of their experimental craft brews.
» 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville, 844-879-2368, bentbrewstillery.com
Du Nord Craft Spirits
Opening the first cocktail room in the Twin Cities metro area in 2015, this “grain to glass” micro-distillery only serves spirits made from scratch on site. Du Nord’s passion for staying local extends to their ingredients. Working with Minnesota farmers, their spirits are made from grains found in the heart of the state. Join the community for seasonal cocktails and a night of board games and improv. Sample their artisan gin, vodka, coffee liqueur and apple whiskey in the taproom, and buy a bottle to take home.
» 2610 E. 32nd St., Minneapolis, 612-382-7236, dunordcraftspirits.com
Lawless Distilling Co.
This local distillery proudly resides in what was once considered a rough-and-tumble neighborhood, fittingly named “The Hub of Hell,” southeast of downtown Minneapolis. The area was notorious for its private bars in residences during the Prohibition, known as tippling houses. Lawless Distilling Co. is bringing a boozy revival back to the area with its handcrafted vodka and gin. The kitschy cocktail lounge, lighthearted drinks and patio make this a prime spot to grab a drink with friends.
» 2619 S. 28th Ave., Minneapolis, 612-251-9250, lawlessdistillingcompany.com
Norseman Distillery Spirits Image by 2nd Truth Photography
Touting its feat as the first micro-distillery in the Twin Cities, Norseman Distillery has grown exponentially since opening its doors in 2013. Starting out with five-gallon batches in a warehouse basement, Norseman now produces 5,000-gallon batches of its premium liquors. The industrial-chic distillery stocks its house-made flavored liqueurs, gin, pineapple chipotle gin, strawberry rhubarb gin, bourbon, white rum and vodka. Sip on a mix of classic cocktails and inventive drinks in the cocktail lounge, or take a class to perfect your cocktail crafting expertise. Distillery tours and tastings are available for those looking to know more about the business as well.
» 451 NE Taft St., Minneapolis, 612-643-193, norsemandistillery.com
Embracing the Norwegian heritage commonly found in the Midwest, Skaalvenn Distillery’s name means “Cheers, friends.” Located in Brooklyn Park, a northern suburb of Minneapolis, this micro-distillery concocts batches of vodka, rum and aquavit. Their latest addition, habanero rum, will have you sweating every season out of the year. Although they don’t have a lounge from which to sip on their libations yet, you can find their liquors at retailers throughout the Twin Cities.
» 8601 73rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, 651-592-9195, skaalvenn.com
Tattersall Distilling Image by TJ Turner
Located in a historic 1902 building in Northeast Minneapolis, this distillery has developed a long list of spirits, including gin, triple-filtered vodka, rum, bourbon, aquavit, pommeau apple brandy, absinthe, whiskey and a variety of flavored liqueurs and cremas. The rustic-warehouse-meets-contemporary-lodge completes its look with a bronze and crystal chandelier poised over the cocktail room and a large patio. Live music and rotating food trucks make this distillery a place not to miss.
» 1620 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-584-4152, tattersalldistilling.com
Twin Spirits Distillery
The first one-woman-owned distillery in Minnesota opened in 2014. Beginning with Momma’s Moonshine—mead made from local, raw wildflower honey—the micro-distillery now offers vodka, gin, rum and whiskey. Taste their spirits in the 1920s train building-turned-distillery in their newly opened tasting room in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.
» 2931 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-353-5274, twinspirits.us
Wander North Distillery
The laid-back atmosphere of Wander North Distillery is a surefire crowd pleaser. Paying homage to the great Up North, winter sports paraphernalia adorn the walls of this micro-distillery in Northeast Minneapolis. Batches of vodka, applejack brandy, gin and whiskey and corn whiskey (made from 100 percent Minnesota-grown corn) are produced on site. Enjoy a seasonal cocktail, play a round of trivia, grab a bite from food trucks parked outside, listen to a local band and chat with locals around the pool table and dartboard in the communal cocktail lounge.
» 771 Harding St. NE , Minneapolis, 612-276-2189, wandernorthdistillery.com