Best distilleries in the Twin Cities

December 15, 2023
Purple cocktail garnished with a sprig of lavender and a dried citrus slice sitting on an outdoor table
Brother Justus Whiskey Co.

This post was originally published on January 11, 2023 and was most recently updated on December 15, 2023.

Some people love beer, others prefer wine, but my drink of choice is a craft cocktail—I think that's due to the fact that I didn't really start drinking alcohol until my late 20s.  My favorite place to enjoy craft cocktails is straight from the source: at a local micro distillery.  Minnesota is home to over 30 micro distilleries, which typically have tasting rooms where you can purchase cocktails, tasting flights, and bottles of spirits.  Some also offer tours and other experiences.   The majority of Minnesota's micro distilleries are located in the Twin Cities, and this is a guide to my favorites, which I'll be updating periodically with new finds.

If you'd like to check out Minnesota's distilleries for yourself, I highly recommend purchasing the Minnesota Microdistillery Passport  sold by the Minnesota Distillers Guild at the Minnesota State Fair and online.  Each booklet is $15 and includes discounts at many of the Twin Cities distilleries mentioned below, ranging from 10% off your purchase of cocktails and spirits to buy one, get one drink offers.

Distilleries are listed alphabetically within each geographical category.

Stacy's hand holding a creamy lavedar cocktail with an open, modern space in the background
Brother Justus Whiskey Company


Brother Justus Whiskey Company makes whiskeys that celebrate the state's terrior, with Minnesota-grown barley, barrels made from Minnesota white oak, water from the Mississippi River, and Minnesota peat.  The cocktail room has an light and airy feel, with a calming quality that reminds me of a spa—it's the kind of place where you want to linger.  I would recommend starting with a whiskey flight to sample the different varieties (you can also split it among your group).  My favorite cocktail on the menu is the penicillin made with cold-peated whisky, and if it's available, order the lavender-hued Mama Vang, which combines whiskey, coconut milk, black rice water, and pho spices.  In-depth tours that include a guided whiskey tasting are available for $75-$100 per person.

3300 5th Street NE, Minneapolis; 612-886-1658;

Bright red cocktail in a stemmed wine glass
Earl Giles Distillery

Earl Giles Distillery is filled with bright murals, string lights, and plants, and the offbeat takes on classic cocktails are as vibrant as the surroundings.  My favorite drink is the Pau Hana, a rum old-fashioned swirled with edible glitter.  There's a full food menu with appetizers and pizzas (order the mushroom-loaded A Good Trip) and brunch is served Friday-Sunday.

1325 Quincy Street NE, Minneapolis; 612-345-5305;

Top down view of a brown, creamy cocktail garnished cocoa nibs with a cocktail menu in the background
Elusive Botanical Bar

Elusive Botanical Bar is a cocktail tasting room by Dashfire, which began as a bitters company.  Their cocktails have an experimental vibe with unusual flavors and liqueurs you won't find elsewhere.  I especially love the tasting room's decor—it evokes a mid-century modern lounge, complete with retro speakers.  My favorite drinks are the Chicory Xander, which has an espresso drink vibe but is much more interesting, and the Whole Banana, which you should try even if you're a banana skeptic. 

1620 Central Avenue NE, Dock #10/Suite 152, Minneapolis; 612-354-3021;

Stacy's hand holding an amber-colored cocktail in a rocks glass with a large square ice cube
O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co.

O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. has a beautiful tasting room with a luxurious, vintage style, as well as an expansive patio with fire pits.  Although the menu focuses on the distillery's unique Irish and American-blend whiskeys, there are a few vodka and gin cocktails, and many cocktails can be made non-alcoholic.  I love the surprising ways in which whiskey is used in the signature drinks—it's often paired with fruity, herbal, and floral ingredients, for light, refreshing cocktails.  O'Shaughnessy also serves a full food menu (their meat and cheese boards are top-notch), and reservations are available online.  Hour-long distillery tours are offered for $25 per person, which includes a whiskey components flight tasting.

600 Malcolm Avenue SE, Minneapolis; 763-338-0914;

Two cocktails sitting on a table in an industrial space
Tattersall Distilling

Tattersall Distilling used to be Minnesota's largest micro distillery—until they exceeded the state's production cap and moved the bulk of their operations to Wisconsin.  However, they still operate a cocktail room in Northeast Minneapolis.  Tattersall distills a wide range of spirits and liqueurs, which is reflected in their comprehensive cocktail menu and tasting flights—I'm a fan of their gin and aquavit.  Indoor reservations are available online, and seating on the small patio is first-come, first-served.

1620 Central Avenue NE, Suite 150, Minneapolis; 612-584-4152;

Cocktail in a coupe glass sitting on a bar
Copperwing Distillery


Copperwing Distillery in St. Louis Park feels like a friendly neighborhood bar, but with excellent cocktails—it's a relatively small space, with plenty of board games and an expansive menu of seasonal drinks.  I especially appreciate that the menu includes a glossary that explains what the different ingredient are, as well as the thoughtful assortment of non-alcoholic cocktails (the Never Better is an inspired combination of housemade ginger beer, Szechuan-Thai syrup, and orange).  Tours are available by appointment for $25 per person, which includes a spirit tasting and Copperwing shot glass.

6409 Cambridge Street, St. Louis Park; 612-293-6157;

Dampfwerk Distilling in St. Louis Park specializes in European-style fruit brandies and herbal liqueurs, and they also produce whiskey, gin, and aquavit.  The cocktail room reminds me of a moody, upscale hotel bar, and the cocktails have a bold, complicated depth.  There's also a food menu with cheese and charcuterie boards and snacks. 

6311 Cambridge Street, St. Louis Park; 612-460-8190;

Pink cocktail on a table Stacy's hand wrapped around it
Forge & Foundry Distillery

Forge & Foundry Distillery in downtown Stillwater has a bright, chic tasting room as well as a rooftop deck that's open on Saturdays during the warmer months (check out the deck if you can, it has excellent views of the St. Croix River).  I especially enjoy their rum-based cocktails.  Distillery tours are available most Saturdays and can be reserved online—the hour long tours cost $25 and include spirit tastings.

223 Main Street North, Stillwater; 651-342-2242;

Cocktail garnished with an edible cartoon image of a banana wearing white and blue striped pajamas
Skaalvenn Distillery

Skaalvenn Distillery in Brooklyn Park is the most unique spot on this list.  Since it's tucked into a ripped-from-the-early-90s office building it has a speakeasy feel, and the dimly lit tasting room is decorated with a grand piano, vintage television, and Southeast Asian art.  I'm partial to Skaalvenn's aquavit, which is flavored with caraway, fennel, orange peel, and oak, and the cocktail menu has a quirky, sophisticated feel.  Reservations are highly recommended and are available online.

8601 73rd Avenue North #14, Brooklyn Park; 763-762-7861;

Looking for distilleries beyond the Twin Cities?  My favorites are Vikre Distillery in Duluth and Loon Liquor Co. in Northfield.

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