Iowa: Microdistillery trend poses potential solid growth industry

on 04/01/11 at 5:57 pm

Spirits

River Baron Vodka - Mississippi River Distilling Co.

LECLAIRE — Two brothers and a custom-built German still are behind Iowa’s newest microdistillery, opening recently in LeClaire and a symbol of what many think could be a solid growth industry for the state.

“We kept waiting for someone to tell us ‘You’re crazy,’ especially the banks,” Ryan Burchett said.

He and his brother, Garrett, natives of Harlan, Iowa, have opened the doors of the Mississippi River Distilling Co.

Mississippi River Distilling is the third microdistillery in Iowa. The others are Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery & Distillery in Swisher and Templeton Rye Spirits in Templeton.

According to Tonya Dusold with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, there are 10 serious inquiries in Iowa about starting distilleries.

“Considering it was zero a few years ago, that’s pretty impressive,” she said.

The Burchetts said location was a big factor in opening a microdistillery in LeClaire.

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