Minnesota is packed with fun things to do. Between the shores of Lake Superior, the 10,000 smaller lakes dotting the state, the famous Twin Cities, the Mall of America, the epic winters, and the dozens of other attractions, you won’t find yourself out of ideas in the North Star State.
While you might know the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” as a culinary center in the Midwest, and home to a thriving beer brewing scene, what you might not know is that Minnesota is home to some top-quality distilleries of bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, and more.
Craft spirits have become a huge hit among travelers around the US in recent years, becoming almost as popular as food and brewery tours. Every traveler makes a point to try the local cuisine of their destinations – why not sample their artisanal libations?
A visit to one of these local distilleries consists of more than just a cocktail room attached to a warehouse. Visitors are in for tastings, tours, history, socialization, and the overall unique ambiance of the place where their drinks were born. Even a short stop at one of these craft distillers after a day on the lakes is a very cool experience.
Whether you’re looking for some quick cocktails or a full bottle to take home, below are our favorite Minnesota distilleries. Read on for tips and tour information – and have a drink for us when you’re there!
The Best Minnesota Distilleries
1. J. Carver Distillery
Address: 1320 Mill Lane, Waconia, MN 55387
The J. Carver Distillery is located just west of Minneapolis in the farm country of Minnesota. Their name comes from local historical figure Jonathan Carver, a Minnesota pioneer who was famous for exploring these parts of the Great Lakes region in the 1700s, publishing his accounts in several books.
The same spirit of Mr. Carver is what guides the distillery today as they are constantly in search of superior spirits. They experiment with all kinds of Minnesota grains, fruits, and flowers to come up with interesting blends for bourbon, rye whiskey, and other specialty spirits. They proudly refer to their drinks as “farm-to-glass” spirits.
There are several types of experiences to be had at Carver Distillery, such as cocktail classes, distillery tours, and tables in their tasting and cocktail room, all of which require a reservation via their website.
See Related: Best & Fun Things to do in Minnesota
2. Rockfilter Distillery
Address: 113 Maple Drive, Spring Grove, MN 55974
Moving on to southern Minnesota, the Rockfilter Distillery is located in the small town of Spring Grove and not far from the border with Iowa. The family of distillers at Rockfilter are very proud to be farmers, and even more so to grow only organic crops.
The family’s passion for their land, their work, and the soil that makes it all possible is reflected in the way they describe their spirits. This whiskey distillery in Minnesota produces only organic beverages and enjoys experimenting with lesser-known grains and untried recipes. The result is some high-quality products made in small batches that are loved around the country.
You can stop in for a visit and a cocktail on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. They also offer distillery tours every second Saturday of the month. You can visit the website to reseverve a slot as it is limited.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Waconia, Minnesota
3. Du Nord Craft Spirits
Address: 2610 E 32nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
If you’re visiting the Twin Cities and looking for a Minneapolis distillery, Du Nord Social Spirits is a top choice and a convenient one to visit. Located in the quieter Longfellow neighborhood, Du Nord is a local favorite for gins, vodkas, whiskeys, and several kinds of liqueurs.
The cocktail room of the distillery isn’t always open, so be sure to check their website before heading over for a drink. Their bartenders have published the recipes of their most famous cocktails online if you can’t get in but feel like tasting the magic. Grab a bottle of whatever you need from one of their local retailers – their Fitzgerald Gin is a big hit for a dirty martini!
Du Nord is also proud to be the first black-owned distillery in the entire country and also operates a foundation to help support disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Their products and mission have been successful in more ways than one.
This distillery, along with the other ones in Minneapolis on our list, is easily reached by the best hotels in Minneapolis. Our favorites are the W Minneapolis – The Foshay if you are looking for a hip and luxurious stay, or the Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis Downtown if you just need the basics in a convenient spot.
See Related: Best Leech Lake Resorts in Walker, Minnesota
4. Far North Spirits
Address: 2045 220th Avenue, Hallock, MN 56728
The Far North Spirits distillery is…quite far north. In fact, this Minnesota distillery is in the northwest corner of the state near its borders with North Dakota and Canada and holds the title of the northernmost distillery in the mainland US.
Don’t let the distance deter you, though. Far North Spirits sits on fields that have been farmed for over a hundred years by the family who owns them. Today, they grow the very grains that go into their premium, heritage spirits.
Far North produces cognac, bourbon whiskey, gin, and Nordic-style spiced rum. You are welcome to visit them on Saturday evenings for a drink in their cocktail room.
See Related: Best Things to do in Bemidji, Minnesota
5. Panther Distillery
Address: 300 E Pike St, Osakis, MN 56360
On the shores of Lake Osakis and about halfway between Minneapolis and Fargo, North Dakota, you’ll find Minnesota’s first legal micro-distillery following the Prohibition era. Would you believe that Panther Distillery only opened in 2011?
The team at Panther emphasizes their use of all four seasons, growing and harvesting in the warm months and cold-aging their barrels in the winters. They have greatly expanded in recent years, and their facilities can be spotted in several towns around Minnesota, including a historic former Land O’ Lakes factory and a massive grain elevator to produce their bourbon mash.
You can stop by the distillery’s tasting room, gift shop, and facilities for a tour on most days except Sunday. Be sure to check their website before going as the hours change seasonally.
See Related: Most Beautiful Sunflower Fields in Minnesota
6. Dampfwerk Distillery
Address: 6309 Cambridge Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
You can find a little piece of Europe just outside of the Twin Cities at Dampfwerk Distilling. Located in the town of St. Louis Park, these distillers are proud to have learned from the best in Germany.
Dampfwerk sources ingredients like apples, grapes, and botanicals locally to make spirits ranging from fruit brandies to gins. Combined with their German-imported, hand-hammered copper stills and the skills that came with them, they produce some excellent European-inspired but Minnesota-centric spirits.
You can try the creations of Dampfwerk Distillery for yourself in their cocktail lounge, open Tuesday-Saturday evenings. Happy hour is the first hour of opening. You can also book a private tour with one of their distillers to see how the magic is made.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Shakopee, Minnesota
7. Copperwing Distillery
Address: 6409 Cambridge Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55426
If local distilleries are your thing, Copperwing Distillery is an easy addition to a visit to Dampfwerk because it’s right next door! It’s also a great place to end the day if you are staying in the St. Louis Park area.
Copperwing Distillery is the product of three friends from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area who made a side business out of their hobby of enjoying great cocktails. Their creations were very successful, to the point that besides bottling, they were also able to open a cocktail room right in the distillery. Today, Copperwing is a social hotspot in the neighborhood.
You can visit this Twin Cities distillery from Wednesday thru Saturday evenings, with tours being offered Wednesday thru Friday and bookable via email. Plus, happy hour here is two hours long!
See Related: Best Restaurants in Minneapolis & St. Paul (The Twin Cities)
8. Flying Dutchman Spirits
Address: 6801 Flying Cloud Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Flying Dutchman Spirits are on a never-ending quest for new and unique flavors that were inspired by years of travel to the far corners of the world. They’ve based this quest at their distillery in Eden Prairie, just 20 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis.
There is much more than a tasting room on offer at Flying Dutchman Spirits. Head over to their website to see all kinds of special events, their apprentice program, team distilling experiences, group tastings, corporate event offerings, and, of course, tours of the distillery.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Little Falls, Minnesota
9. Twin Spirits Distillery
Address: 2931 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
This Minneapolis-St. Paul distillery is a one-woman show: Twin Spirits Distillery is proud to be the first one-woman-owned distillery in Minnesota. Located in northeast Minneapolis, visitors enjoy the ambiance of the surrounding industrial architecture from the large outdoor terrace of the cocktail room.
Also somewhat unique to Twin Spirits Distillery is that they allow outside food to their bar, as well as dogs! You can visit this distillery for a taste from Wednesday through Sunday evenings, although you’ll need to check their website to be sure any tours are taking place.
See Related: The Ultimate Guide to Minneapolis Nightlife
10. Vikre Distillery
Address: 525 S Lake Ave #102, Duluth, MN 55802
Getting out of Minneapolis, Vikre Distillery occupies prime real estate on the shores of Lake Superior in the northern city of Duluth. It’s a local favorite in this popular lakeside population center and a fantastic stop after a stroll on the Lakewalk or a day on the water.
The spirits here are all organic and zero-waste, made from local grains in barrels made from local timber and distilled in the cold water of Lake Superior. You can visit their cocktail room every day, which includes a terrace with lake views. Private tastings are available for small groups by reservation.
Duluth is a great destination in general, and you might consider spending a few days here to enjoy the town, the lake, and the outdoors of northern Minnesota. The top hotel choices in Duluth are the Pier B Resort for a little bit of luxury or the Tru By Hilton Duluth Mall Area for a budget-friendly yet a clean and convenient option.
See Related: The Ultimate Guide to Minneapolis Nightlife
11. Tattersall Distilling
Address: 1620 Central Ave NE #150, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Tattersall Distilling is successful enough to have two locations: one in Minneapolis and another just down the road in the town of River Falls, Wisconsin. You’ll find their Twin Cities location just north of downtown Minneapolis in the Thorp Building.
There are plenty of live music events each month held at Tattersall Distilling. If you are looking for something more private, events and parties can be held in their barrel room, amphitheater, club room, and other spaces.
They even have a way for you to enjoy their cocktails in your own home bar- stop by for one of their curbside cocktail kits featuring everything you need to make their most famous recipes!
See Related: Best Day Trips from Minneapolis & St. Paul (Twin Cities)
12. Skaalvenn Distillery & Cocktail Lounge
Address: 8601 73rd Ave N #14, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
If you find yourself just northwest of the Twin Cities, Skaalvenn Distillery is a great choice for a weekend evening cocktail in Brooklyn Park. Visitors consider it a true hidden gem, being a bit inconspicuously located in a business center – but the libations do not disappoint!
Besides their extensive cocktail menu, their snacks are equally appreciated as well. You can visit Skaalvenn Distillery on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and reservations are accepted. Their spirits are also sold at liquor outlets around the state.
See Related: Best Things to do in Minnetonka, Minnesota
13. Royal Foundry Craft Spirits
Address: 241 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55405
You can find Royal Foundry Craft Spirits just a few minutes west of downtown Minneapolis, Their recipes and distilling methods are meant to bring a bit of Britain to the Twin Cities. Locals especially enjoy the lively atmosphere of the cocktail room and patio here.
Royal Foundry Craft Spirits serves their famous drinks from Thursdays through Sundays, and they also have event spaces for rent if you are coming with a larger party. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor space as well!
See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis, MN
Are there distillery tours available in Minnesota?
There certainly are, and most craft distillers will offer their own tour. If you want to see multiple bars and distilleries as well as get a bit of a tour of Minneapolis, consider a tour like this guided bar crawl which can be a ton of fun.
Are there breweries in Minnesota?
If artisan libations are your thing, Minnesota has several craft breweries as well. Consider a guided mini-bus tour to see some of the best breweries in Minneapolis.
What are the best places to stay in Minneapolis, MN?
A budget-friendly option that is still clean and comfortable is the Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis Downtown. If you are looking for a little bit of luxury in Minneapolis, the W Minneapolis – The Foshay is a great choice.
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