Sip and sample a souvenir from Swisher. Photo: Travel Iowa
Iowa has plenty of charms, but one thing is certain: We’ve got spirit, yes we do. Distilleries around the state produce everything from vodka and rum to barrel-rested gin, honey whiskey and amaretto liqueur. Many even use corn grown a few miles away or by their own farmers.
So if you’d like to learn about the origins of your favorite cocktail or you’re just interested in sampling something new, grab your designated driver and explore where the magic happens.
Templeton Distillery, Templeton
At 209 S. Rye Ave., you’ll find a visitors center stocked with products and an exhibit about the company’s colorful history. While the brand has been in business for a while, production shifted full time to Iowa in 2018, and the first batch of whiskey made entirely in Iowa was released just last year. Tours are offered at select times Wednesday through Saturday.
Revelton Distilling Co., Osceola
This distillery opened in 2021 and almost immediately won awards for its honey whiskey, mulberry gin and whiskey cream liqueur. They have a total of eight hard liquors on the market right now, as they wait to age their bourbon and rye whiskey. The first batch, Distiller’s Edition Rye Whiskey, was released in April and sold out in half a day, but there’s certainly more where that came from. Schedule tastings to try up to five spirits, or tour the barrel rackhouse where the prized whiskey rests.
Cedar Ridge Distillery, Swisher
This place opened in 2005, the state’s first licensed distillery since Prohibition. They launched their first Iowa bourbon in 2010 and have continued to expand their offerings ever since. You’ll find their award-winning whiskeys fully stocked, along with other spirits like vodka and gin, as well as a full winery. If you visit, make sure to go on an empty stomach so you can enjoy wood-fired pizzas, butcher plates and shareables from the full-service kitchen.