Flurry – Defined By J. Carver Distillery

How can I describe the past week’s activity at J. Carver Distillery in one word? Let’s try this one – FLURRY! Flurry is defined a number of ways by Merriam – Webster on-line dictionary. One definition says, “A brief period of excitement or activity”. Flurry defined another way, “A large amount of something that happens or comes suddenly”. Both definitions perfectly describe the activity since last week’s post. There was a flurry of activity and excitement from Wednesday through Sunday, August 6-10th, at our booth during the Carver County Fair. We were able to answer questions regarding the renovation project at the distillery, from electrical, plumbing, and steam lines, to our products, and our opening date. While at the fair, we all talked about the other flurry - "the large amount of something" - ‘aka’ - the delivery of our stills scheduled for arrival on Monday, August 11th. Many of your questions we had definitive answers and others we could not answer specifically, such as, “When are you going to be open”? As we explained, we will open for distillery tours when we are producing three ore more products to sample and taste (ABSOLUTELY can’t wait for that day!) If you haven't heard, will start out making vodka and gin and will get as much whiskey, brandy and bourbon into barrels for aging. Thirsty? Me too!

So many of you, from near and far, said we were all beaming with excitement at the fair as we announced the delivery date for the the stills. Yes! We were set for Monday morning, August 11th. Right on schedule, minutes before 8 am,  a large, red semi-truck turned onto Mill Lane holding two of the most beautiful, shiny stills to adorn the production floor at the distillery. I heard Matt say, "Billy, the stills are here!" I ran and got my camera so I could add photos to our website photo gallery. Also on the truck, was our large stainless steel mash-tun. The mash tun made the delivery complete and added to all the excitement since we knew it was going to be tight getting that piece of equipment through a window into the building. At that moment, it was great to have friends in all the right places. Jason, Brian and Ryan from Shorewood Engineering down the road on Mill Lane answered our call. (Sounds catchy doesn't it!) We needed some tools and they lent us the helping hands we needed to get the job done as we squeezed the mash tun through the window with just centimeters to clear and I mean centimeters to clear! Thanks for all the help guys! We are so glad you were here during the “flurry” of activity.

Since Tuesday, the day we installed the stills, the activity at the distillery continues! The walls for the hammer mill room and mash tun room were framed. The flooring in the sampling room is being installed, carpeting installation for the conference room starts this afternoon and to top it all off, we are putting the finishing touches together for the first annual J. Carver “Golf With A Purpose” tournament benefiting the Waconia Baseball Association “Raise the Grandstand” project set for next Monday, August 18th at Island View Golf Club with food and beverages served by Island View Dining. Thanks for signing up for the golf tourney, and thanks for subscribing to The Good Gossip E-Newsletter, and liking and following all our social media sites; your comments have been priceless. Whew! This past week was packed with activity at the fair, the distillery and in the community - a flurry indeed! Now, off to the next project! Cheers!!!

Finishing Touches – It’s All In The Details

I've learned a lot of things over the past week as the building renovation project is coming to an end. It’s all about the finishing touches and it’s all in the details. CD Products, our neighbors next door, created our exterior sign and assembled it last week. Matt and Chad, our electricians, are doing the final hook up as I write. The lit sign looks really awesome during the day; we can’t wait to see the sign illuminate tonight. Ken and Dave are finishing up the tile work in the lobby, while Bob, Eric and Joe work away on the plumbing in anticipation for the stills which are on their way. The grain and barrels have been ordered and our bottles are here. Big equipment arrives daily like the huge chilling tower we endearingly call the spaceship. More equipment is on the way and Matt is working on production details. 

As we transition out of the renovation project, the weekly blog will move from construction to production. With that, today’s blog photo of the illuminating sign inspired me to share a recipe for a cocktail I had last weekend. It’s called an Aviation Cocktail. It is a tasty drink and beautiful in the glass too. Put all ingredients (see below) in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass. This is a perfect cocktail served poolside on a hot, summer day or as you stare at an illuminated J. Carver Distillery sign under the sky. Either way CHEERS and ENJOY!

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

•    2 ounces of gin
•    1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
•    ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
•    2 dashes of crème de violette
•    Orange peel or maraschino cherries for garnish


Aviation Cocktail

Aviation Cocktail

Buzzing with activity - No peeking in our windows

Fermentation Tanks

Fermentation Tanks

Ark anyone? All the rain is putting a damper on outside activities but it’s not having an effect on what’s happening under our roof. No peeking in our windows. The distillery has been buzzing with activity this week, including the delivery of our fermenter tanks on Monday, and a pair of 5,000 gallon water tanks on Tuesday. Steam lines are being installed and plumbing is coming along as well. Our RO system is completely installed and operational. We are putting the finishing touches on the sample bar build out with great work done yesterday by Technomark who installed our really cool back lit logo on the wall. The final tiles are being laid today on the back bar and we look forward to the samples we will serve you when we open for tours. Many of you have been asking, and will be able to zone in on an opening date once we receive notification that our stills are on a boat. Stay tuned! Until then, I’ve been updating photos of all the daily distillery progress. Take some time to check it out on our gallery. Cheers to all and try to stay dry!

Puzzle Pieces - Renovation Project Is Nearing Completion

One of the best moments in a building renovation project is when all the pieces come together and everything starts falling into place. I know we are at this point in our process at the distillery because the “TASKS COMPLETED” column is longer than the “TO DO” list. From the receiving door to the production floor and the sampling room to the barrel house, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. I will be updating the gallery with photos of the cupola, the assembling of the sampling bar, the tile floors and the painting projects as well as all the other areas nearing completion over the course of this week. Thank you for all the support from our distillery friends, fans and family. We are nearing the end. It has been an incredible journey! A big shout out in celebration to all of you Dad’s on this special day! Just think, next year we look forward to raising a glass of J. Carver spirits in honor of all you do. Happy Father’s Day from all of us to you. 

Taking Shape – Day 45

Bar framed out 51414.jpg

I was going through photos in my office yesterday to update the gallery page on our website when my friend John Hayes, owner of Enki Brewery in Victoria, stopped by to check out the distillery. As I took him around room by room, I stopped in amazement at how much progress we have made in only 45 days. Walls define new rooms where open space existed weeks ago. The sampling bar is taking shape and flooring, piping and lighting are on track for completion in the next couple of weeks. All of our equipment has been ordered and we wait with bated breath for the arrival of our stills, but that time will come soon enough. As John and I finished checking out every space, I smiled because of John’s excitement for our project. Having been through a process similar to ours, building Enki Brewery, he knows this part in the process, when everything takes shape and the finishing touches come together.  The renovation completion will be here soon enough and when it does, we can’t wait to celebrate it with all of you. Thanks for stopping by John and checking out the exciting progress. Next time as promised, we will make sure the sampling bar is open.