A renowned chef, a passion for sustainable practices, and high-quality spirits. That’s what makes La Crosse Distilling Co. a unique new destination for La Crosse County visitors. Here are five things you should know about this now-open hot spot:
1) A different downtown experience
As the first of its kind in the city, La Crosse Distilling Co. is mixing things up for downtown visitors with its brand new, 10,000-square-foot facility. La Crosse has always catered to the beer fans with its popular breweries, but now fans of gin, vodka and whiskey will have a place to call home, as well. Bring your beer-drinking buddies along, local and regional brews will be available on tap.
2) Go for the drinks, stay for the food
Offering a rustic street-food menu for lunch and dinner, La Crosse Distilling Co. has a secret weapon in the kitchen, Executive Chef Jorge Guzman. Does the name sound familiar? That’s because Guzman has been featured on The Food Network and in Travel & Leisure, Time Magazine and Food & Wine. Previously the Executive Chef at Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis, Guzman was a James Beard Best Chef Midwest 2016 nominee as well as a 2017 finalist. Inspired by his Mexican heritage and Mayan cuisine, the food industry has been singing Guzman’s praises, and soon, you will too.
3) Local ingredients for the win
Great drinks come from great ingredients, which is why La Crosse Distilling Co. has partnered with local operations for things like rye, wheat, corn, and white oak barrels. They even source the water locally from glacial aquifers. With its support of area farmers and its use of mostly local and regional organic ingredients, patrons will quite literally get a taste of La Crosse and the Driftless Area.
4) Behind the scenes is best
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to tour the distillery, learn about its use of geothermal energy, and even sample a few spirits. Tours are free and run 20-30 minutes, Thursday-Sunday. Spirit connoisseurs and environmentalists alike will be impressed with the handcrafted, field-to-glass approach process mostly powered by renewable geothermal energy. The distillery mills most of their ingredients onsite as well as distilling each and every product followed by refining, blending, aging and bottling all under one roof.
5) Sip those spirits
The distillery opened its’ doors in September of 2018 with a Limited Edition House Series High Rye Light Whiskey (which patrons can only purchase at the distillery) along with a line of clear spirits they’ve created called Fieldnotes Gin and Vodka (you can purchase in-house and at regional liquor stores). There’s plans to start barreling and aging whiskey and bourbon when the corn harvest comes in as well as creating other seasonal and limited edition spirits. Stop by for a visit to experience some of the area’s best bartenders creating their amazing craft cocktails, sip some spirits neat or buy a bottle to take home. It should also be noted that there’s some creative non-alcoholic cocktails for anyone in your crew that doesn’t imbibe. Believe it or not, future plans include brewing their own house beer as well.
Disclaimer: This is just my perspective on La Crosse County events, businesses and activities. I’m only one local opinion. Explore the rest of the site to learn more on those that I’ve missed.
Sara Walters is a writer, mom and marketing professional. She lives in La Crescent, MN with her husband and two daughters, Caroline and Maggie. Visit Sara’s website at creativecontentandconsulting.c
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