The 14 Urban Distilleries Every Man Should Have on His Bucket List

Gone are the days when urban distilling meant making gin in the bathtub or moonshine in the closet. Thanks to loosening laws in many states, craft distilleries are booming—and, just like good food, good booze often sets up shop right downtown. Here are 14 city-slicking spirits-makers not to miss—wherever in the country you happen to be.

Kings County Distillery—Brooklyn, New York

In the borough of artisanal everything, this craft outfit held a notable distinction when it was founded in 2010: It was the smallest commercial distillery in the U.S. Now in a slightly larger location, it still makes its whiskey and moonshine in miniscule batches—to sizable praise.

Old New Orleans Rum Distillery—New Orleans, Louisiana

Don’t do all your drinking on Bourbon Street. Hop the free shuttle from the French Quarter to tour this craft distillery, sipping a cocktail as you go and tasting four premium rums at the end.

Eastside Distilling—Portland, Oregon

Six small-batch distillers have clustered together in the old industrial buildings of Southeast Portland, forming Distillery Row. Be sure to stop by Eastside Distilling for their award-winning bourbon or their ginger rum—perfect for an extra-spicy take on a dark-and-stormy.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka—Austin, Texas

You’ve noticed this smooth, affordable vodka at your favorite watering hole, and probably picked up a bottle for your home bar. (If you haven’t, you should.) See where the small-batch magic still happens—despite the brand’s booming popularity.

CH Distillery—Chicago, Illinois

Corn-fed gets classy. Don’t limit yourself to a straight-up tasting of the label’s spirits (distilled from hearty Midwest-grown grains): Try them in one of the two-dozen concoctions, both classic and creative, at the in-house cocktail bar.

Maine Craft Distilling—Portland, Maine

Welcome to the Platonic Pinterest board of a New England farmhouse—plus booze. Sip your gin, rum, or blueberry pancake-inspired moonshine surrounded by bright paint, big windows, and clean wood. Stop at the loo (in what looks like an old English phone booth) before you head out.

St. George Spirits—Alameda, California

Come for the single malt whiskey and 19-botanical gin. Stay for the absinthe, the New Orleans-style coffee liqueur, the pear brandy—and, if you’re (un)lucky, one of their off-the-wall experiments, like booze with the essence of Dungeness crab.

Corsair Distillery—Nashville, Tennessee

This whiskey-focused distillery proclaims it makes “booze for badasses”—but with its slew of recent awards, the booze itself is what’s badass here. Go classic with Triple Smoke Whiskey, or try something unexpected with Quinoa Whiskey (yes, you read that right) or Red Absinthe.

Norseman Distillery—Minneapolis, Minnesota

The city’s first microdistillery offers its mostly organic spirits in bottles with pleasingly minimalist, colorful labels (it’s Scandinavian country here, after all). What’s more, it draws its name from a local lumberjack legend. Go ahead and wear your favorite flannel to the tasting.

High Wire Distilling—Charleston, South Carolina

A city with so many amazing eats needs some delectable drinks—and this small-batch outfit (founded by a former baker) crafts its booze with a culinary flair for refined flavors and unusual ingredients. And with a Southern nod to tradition, it distills its spirits in an old-fashioned, hand-hammered copper still.

Yahara Bay—Madison, Wisconsin

In a land of endless (and often excellent) breweries, this distillery holds its own with inventive spirits, turning to Wisconsin-grown ingredients like cranberries, sorghum, and apples to infuse its creations with local flavor.

Greenbar—Los Angeles, California

In true Angeleno style, this distillery’s tequila, vodka, gin, and liqueurs are all organic—and it plants a tree for every (100% recycled) bottle sold. The tasting room doesn’t open until mid-July, but you can already buy the spirits—and search their online library of cocktail recipes by season or ingredient.

Mile High Spirits—Denver, Colorado

Embrace the fact that you’re drinking in the midafternoon: This distillery certainly embraces it. Sip cocktails (made with the label’s award-winning spirits) as you relax on the patio, listen to one of the frequent concerts, play yard games, or grab a nosh from a food truck.

High West Distillery & Saloon—Park City, Utah

The flood of craft spirits has reached even the famously dry state of Utah. This whiskey-centric outfit is the state’s first legal distillery since Prohibition was repealed—and the only ski-in, ski-out distillery in the country.

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