New Waconia microdistillery launches its first gin and vodka lines

BY: Clare Kennedy

Staff reporter-Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

J. Carver Distillery sent its first shipment of gin and vodka to Twin Cities liquor stores last week.

J. Carver Premium Vodka and J. Carver Premium Gin

J. Carver Premium Vodka and J. Carver Premium Gin

The two spirits are the first commercial release from Waconia-based J. Carver, which finished construction on its 17,000-square-foot distillery in August. The $3 million facility occupies a building that was previously a Pontiac dealership.

The company began production in early September, under lead distiller Matt Miller. The company is making about 300 cases of spirits a week.

The vodka is made to be sipped, not tossed back, said Gina Holman, operations manager of the new craft distillery.

"Many say that vodka is colorless, flavorless and odorless but ours has a hint of brioche or creme brûlée," Holman said. "That comes from the winter wheat we use, which is sourced from a farm 24 miles out of [Waconia]."

The gin is very approachable with a citrusy note, Holman said,.

The distillery will offer public tours and tastings in early 2015 after the debut of another vodka and another gin. J. Carver is also developing a rye whiskey, a bourbon and a brandy.

Clare Kennedy writes about food and drink.