The Distillery Experience

What do we do as adults for leisure? Where do we bring our friends, adult family, or even the awkward first date with that person from the dating app you probably shouldn’t have re-downloaded? Why not visit a distillery? It could be a captivating experience for any and all.

Firstly, let’s pin down what a distillery is. Simply put, it’s where alcoholic spirits get distilled. Like beer is to a brewery, or wine is to a winery, a distillery is the central hub for spirits to be produced and it allows for our alcoholic beverages to be drinkable. There’s a few traits of distilleries that separate them from their close relatives. They’re a marginally bigger investment than an average brewery due to safety measures, construction, and regulations that they come with. Distilling alcohol means a flammable product. Distilleries could be a 1.2 million dollar operation from the jump, whereas a microbrewery could be built for around 100 thousand dollars. In short, a distillery makes liquor (although they could make beer as well, but that’s a different subject).

Visiting a distillery could be both a fun and educational experience. From a tour of the operation, to sampling the liquor, it has something for everyone of age. Most of them offer a showing of their facility, so keep in mind to dress to the occasion. Wearing closed-toed shoes is wise as you’d be around heavy machinery, and dressing light may be in order as you’ll be around heated liquids which could make the building warm. After the tour, you could likely expect to sample their goods, so be sure to plan ahead and DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Keep etiquette in mind when you visit; don’t be handsy with the equipment, sip, don’t shoot, and try not to be rude if a certain spirit isn’t your cup of tea (or cup of alcohol, pun intended).

Most distilleries offer tours which could be both an enlightening and entertaining experience. The outing could take you around the inside of the busy operation where you could see the massive mills, fermenters, aging barrels, and production equipment. A lot of these facilities are plotted on beautiful locations with loads of scenery to take in.

With COVID restrictions lifting, now’s a better time than ever to visit a distillery both locally and globally. They could bring insight to the region’s culture, and provide you with rich knowledge about both the spirit itself and the history behind it. Here’s a few distilleries with pretty unique experiences.


Nearest Green Distillery; Shelbyville, Tennessee:

This facility delivers a slice of American history. They pay homage to Nathan “Nearest” Green, who was the slave that taught a then orphan named Jack Daniel how to make whiskey! Nearest whiskey was launched in 2016 within this Tennessee distillery, and the facility opened for touring in 2019. You could expect this experience to be heavy on country music culture, walking horses, and of course, Tennessee whiskey. Aside from having a rich history under one of the most well-known names in whiskey, the founder of Nearest, Fawn Weaver, is the first female and first person of color to run a major spirit brand!


Moon Harbour; Bordeaux, France

Founded by two friends in 2014, Yves Medina and Jean-Philippe Ballanger, and in partnership with John McDougall (the world’s only Master Blender and Master Distiller in the world), This distillery takes on the nickname of their French location, la Porte de la Lune. Moon Harbour has a ton to offer for whiskey lovers and history buffs alike. Located mostly within an abandoned diesel storage bunker left by Germans after WWII, you could not only see the result of their bunker to distillery transformation process, but taste their spirits sourced with locally-harvested barley aged in Bordeaux barrels.


St Lawrence Spirits; Thousand Islands, NY

This northeastern distillery in the United States offers something for everyone; it’s a family-owned and operated facility that offers award-winning vodka, absinthe, moonshine, whiskey, barrel-aged gin, and bourbon. Just about everything at St Lawrence Spirits is sourced regionally, if not completely locally.

Thousand Islands offers a complete taste of the local culture in every sense, from their large array of spirits, to the chateau that houses a restaurant with a complete farm-to-table menu!


You should visit a distillery for a plethora of reasons!

They’re opening their doors for tourists across every end of the planet and embracing interested guests more than ever. They’ll offer a true taste of the culture, a look into the local history, and immerse you in the heritage of it all. This is surely an adulthood pastime, and it’s always nice to learn a thing or two when getting older about spirit culture. Being a grownup and doing things of age, you could expect a drink or two when you usually visit a distillery, so you can enjoy one of the many fruits (or drinks) of adulthood.


Share this article:

1 Comment

  • Distilled Experiences in Kentucky Can Show You Bourbon, Horses & Blue Grass - Distillery Nearby
    March 13, 2023

    […] Distilled Experiences in Kentucky can recommend some tasty local spots. Several options offer small-town charm and delicious plates crafted from locally sourced ingredients. After lunch, you will head to your second distillery of the day. You could choose to tour the distillery or skip the tour and head straight to the tasting experience.  […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.