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Tattersall Distillery's journey to the Dark Side is almost complete.

The Minneapolis-based craft spirits manufacturer revealed its new "destination distillery" in River Falls, Wisconsin, will open Dec. 1. The new space is 75,000 square feet and features a restaurant, indoor and outdoor event areas, and a retail space.

The distillery is also touting its sustainability measures. Its rooftop solar array is said to be the largest of any craft distillery in the nation, and will help offset 373 tons of CO2. A water reclamation system ensures no drop goes to waste, while spent grain goes to a local cattle and bison farmer.

Related [Nov. 9]: Tattersall Distilling and Arby's team up on fries-flavored vodkas

“We couldn't be more excited to be a part of the River Falls community,” says Jon Kreidler, founder, and chief officer of Tattersall Distilling, in an announcement. "With the river, trails and mountain biking in our backyard, we’re aiming to make River Falls even more of a destination — both from the Twin Cities and beyond." 

Here's a look at some preview images, courtesy of Tattersall:

But why would a successful Minnesota spirits brand choose to expand into Wisconsin rather than staying in its home state?

When announcing its eastward growth plans in March, Tattersall explained its decision was driven by "Minnesota’s restrictive liquor laws."

A Minnesota microdistillery that produces more than 40,000 proof gallons can't operate a cocktail room or sell products directly to guests. Tattersall was on pace to cross that threshold in 2019, before the pandemic, so looked elsewhere.

River Falls allows the company to grow its presence in the Twin Cities area without being beholden to the craft distillery laws it is trying to work around. Tattersall, which mills its own grain, expects to be able to produce more than 200,000 proof gallons of spirits once everything is up and running.

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"The new facility is a perfect complement to what we created in Minneapolis and this is the logical next step in our evolution as a company," Kreidler said. "It allows us to really scale our production and accommodate more guests than ever, while putting a huge focus on sustainability."

Tattersall has also faced criticism from its employees, who in August of 2020 voted to unionize — the first craft distillery in the U.S. where workers chose to do so.

As RacketMN reported last week, the union claims the new Wisconsin location will result in some union jobs being eliminated, likely replaced with lesser-paying, non-union positions. Kreidler said that wasn't the case, and pay at the River Falls distillery has been inline with union jobs. 

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