Minneapolis a new hub for craft distilleries - KMSP-TV

Minneapolis a new hub for craft distilleries

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Sure, you've heard of craft breweries, but the Minneapolis craft distillery industry is burgeoning, too.

Norseman Distillery, the first micro-distillery in Minneapolis, has been in business since January of 2013, and they're going gangbusters.

The experts at Norseman craft their vodka, gin, whiskey and rum in small batches at the distillery at 1101 Stinson Boulevard in Minneapolis using local ingredients "with the hopes of inspiring legendary cheer in those who drink it."

Head distiller Scott Ervin said when the Surly bill signed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011 dropped the licensing fee in Minnesota to start craft distillery from $30,000 to $1,000 per year, the door opened for his team to dive in.

"We wouldn't have done it without that happening. We started out in January last year, just a modest budget," Ervin said. "This was sort of a bootstrap operation."

Grinding the grain is the first step in any spirit. Norseman uses barley, corn and rye and first grinds it into a loose flour.

"We know the farmers who grow this stuff. Most of it's organic, if we can get it," Ervin said.

As far as the future of craft distilleries in Minneapolis, Ervin predicts the industry will continue to grow -- they can't keep up with demand themselves.

"I feel like there's lots of potential to do really amazing things. So many of the big distillers have gotten away with doing sort of regular stuff for the last 100 years, and now we have the ability to bring new products to market that really haven't been around forever," he said.

Meanwhile, another craft distillery is almost ready to open its doors in south Minneapolis.

Du Nord Craft Spirits lives by the motto "grain to glass" – all products are made in-house with grain from Minnesota farmers. You can find Du Nord'sFitzgerald Gin, L'etoile Vodka and Appleseed Whiskey at the distillery soon and their Longfellow Bourbon will be ready for neat sipping in 2017.

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