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in Minnesota, where they can only sell 375-milliliter bottles at the distillery, and cannot sell alcohol on Sunday. Du Nord realizes that distillery legislation is a work in progress, though, and they partially recoup those lost sales through tours. Whether someone came in for a tour or a cocktail, many new customers choose both, and $10 gets them a distillery tour, a logoed Du Nord glass and a sample of three of their spirits. They also offer a cocktail club, which is a double-your-money gift card especially popular around the holidays. “You get a fancy card and you can pay for cocktails for your group as long as you are present,” Montana explains. “So $250 equals $500, $500 equals $1000, and it goes up from there.” That extra revenue is money spent on Du Nord’s cocktails and spirits instead of someone else’s. It helps them invest more in their production, pay their seven bartenders and brings life to a previously abandoned space in south Minneapolis.

PART OF THE COMMUNITY Cocktail sales are also good for public relations. Du Nord’s cocktail room was the first of its kind in Minneapolis, and one of the first in Minnesota, so they made a big splash when they opened. Since then, other bars have followed suit, elevating the Minneapolis cocktail scene and promoting quality of drink over quantity. Similarly, Anderson says that Dominion has brought a new flavor to Colville, a town of about 5,000 people.

“You just can’t get the type of cocktails we’re serving anywhere else in town,” shares Anderson, “so to be able to have a cocktail with fresh ingredients, people are pretty excited about that.” He says people don’t just come to Dominion for a drink, they come for an experience. Anderson grows herbs in the distillery, and he says people love seeing the bartender cut fresh herbs for their drink. He also makes infusions in large carboys, but sets smaller infusion bottles on the counter where people can watch the ingredients imbue color to the clear spirits. Du Nord makes infusions, too, and they have experimented with many teas, which customers love. The sights, sounds, aromas and flavors customers find at Du Nord create an immersive experience that brings them back, which also supports the neighboring restaurants and brings vitality to their neighborhood. “We were able to take an old industrial facility that hadn’t been used for years and transform it into a place where people can gather,” shares Montana. “It shows people that distilleries can be a very positive part of the neighborhood and business.” Consumers are gradually awakening to the new flavors and ideas their local distilleries offer. They want to experiment, support local business and meet the people making their food and drink. That especially applies to spirits because, frankly, whiskey is sexier than scones. If you meet this demand by serving cocktails at your distillery, you will make more money, sell more bottles, gain more exposure and have more fun while you’re at it.

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CRAFTSMANSHIP IS WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS LOOK FOR IN OUR PRODUCT AND IT’S THE SAME REASON WE CHOSE NEWLANDS TO DESIGN, ENGINEER, AND BUILD OUR DISTILLERY. PATRICK EVANS Shelter Point Distillery

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Artisan Spirit: Spring 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.