Twin Cities' first cocktail room set to open next week


The Twin Cities' first cocktail room is set to open next week.

Nine months after Du Nord Craft Spirits was first bottled, husband-and-wife team Chris and Shanelle Montana will be serving up craft cocktails made with its own spirits at their south Minneapolis distillery.

While relaxing with a cocktail, visitors will also be able to see the distillery floor and watch the process as the vodka and gin are made – produced from grains grown at Shanelle Montana's family farm in Cold Spring, Minnesota, the company's website says.

"What we really want is for people to be able to come in and learn about the products that they are having, so while we have some excellent craft cocktails, it's also about learning what the base of those cocktails is and how is it made, how is it produced and who is producing it," Shanelle Montana told KSTP.

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People will also be able to tour the distillery and try samples of the products.

Du Nord also plans to release a whiskey soon.

Craft spirit boom

Earlier this month the Minneapolis City Council approved Du Nord's cocktail room, MinnPost reported, following the passage of a new state law that made it legal for distilleries to sell their product onsite and allows for onsite consumption – more than the small sample that was previously allowed.

Du Nord will be the state's third cocktail room. Far North Spirits in Hallock and Vikre Distillery in Duluth are the others, Scott Wasserman of the state Department of Public Safety told BringMeTheNews via email Tuesday

This new law is expected to fuel Minnesota’s next alcohol boom, Twin Cities Business Magazine reported.

Distilleries and craft breweries have benefitted since the the Surly Bill became law in 2011. The bill helped pave the way for start-up distillers to open by drastically decreasing the fee – from $30,000 to $1,000 or $2,000, depending how much the distillery will produce a year – for a license to open a distillery in the state.

Currently there were 13 micro distillers in Minnesota and the numbers are growing, Wasserman said. There are four micro distillers in the state which are licensed to produce up to 40,000 proof gallons per year and nine small micro distillers, which are allowed to produce up to 20,000 proof gallons.

But the push for more freedom that will put distillers on par with craft breweries and wineries isn't over, MinnPost says. Shanelle Montana, who is president of the Minnesota Distillers Guild, will again lead lobbying efforts to allow distilleries to sell bottled spirits for off-site consumption – something left out of the 2014 omnibus liquor bill, the publication notes.

Bottles of Du Nord are only available at liquor stores.

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