16 Best Distilleries In The US

Distilleries are the birthplace of alcohol. It doesn't matter if your spirit of choice is clear or dark; every liquor behind bar shelves and beyond was crafted in a distillery. Distilleries are like science labs for booze, as the work done inside is essentially advanced chemistry, and master distillers are always conducting experiments to try new things. Nowadays, alcohol enthusiasts can make trips destined around visiting their favorite distilleries and sometimes, if they're lucky, getting to taste straight from the barrel. 

The amount of distilleries in the U.S. alone is astonishing. From Prohibition-era whiskey distilleries to West Coast vodka makers, the 50 states have no shortage of distilleries for booze lovers. Even better, many locations allow visitors to explore, learn, and taste. We decided to create the ultimate travel guide for those with a passion for spirits by pinning down 16 of the best distilleries in the U.S. that you can visit. It will likely inspire your next trip or at least your next cocktail.

St. George Spirits

St. George Spirits in Alameda, California, is a West Coast staple that's been around since 1982 — when the U.S. homed less than 20 distilleries in the entire country. The brand started with its fruit-filled eau de vie, which is still sold today, and expanded to include more than a dozen spirits in its lineup. Whether you like gin, whiskey, vodka, liqueurs, or even absinthe, St. George has something unique worth trying out. The best way to enjoy the brand is by reserving a tour at the distillery, which reopens to the public in July 2023. 

Those visitors to St. George's distillery have praised the experience as something totally different than the average wine-tasting or brewery tour. "If you go with another person (recommended), you can almost taste everything," one Trip Advisor review of a visit to St. George Spirits reads. "Great tasting stuff and you'll find yourself inspired to buy."

Maverick Distilling

Maverick Distilling is proudly Texan. The brand was founded by a San Antonio native and relative to Samuel A. Maverick, a prolific historical figure who was one signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The distillery is located in a restored bank building near the Alamo and the original Maverick family property. Maverick distills it all — barrel-aged gin, rye whiskey, and even agave spirits that they can't legally refer to as tequila. The brand is likely best known for its line of award-winning bourbons, although it's home to a brewery as well. 

Visitors to Maverick's distillery can do a walk-in tour and tasting experience for $15 or schedule a VIP experience for $50 per person that includes a glass to take home and a barrel tasting experience. Maverick also welcomes patrons to dine and drink in their distillery, which provides more than an ample setting for dinner or a cocktail hour. 

Ole Smoky

Ole Smoky has been distilling moonshine in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains since before it was legal. In fact, the Gatlinburg distillery, referred to as The Holler, was the first federally-licensed distillery in the area once they did earn credentials. The brand is known for making an extensive lineup of jarred moonshine. The brand also has expanded to include canned cocktails, booze-soaked garnishes, and whiskey, which is distilled in the Ole Smoky Barrelhouse in Gatlinburg. 

Fans of the brand can visit both locations, as well as Ole Smoky outposts in Pigeon Forge and Nashville, for tours, tastings, and other fun events. Ole Smoky offers plenty of walk-in options if you decide to make a last-minute pit stop for a stiff drink, and the Holler has a walk-through museum that history buffs cannot miss during their visit to learn even more about Ole Smoky's elusive past. Additionally, each location is complete with a well-stocked gift shop that's too tempting to purchase a few jars of moonshine for you to enjoy back at home. 

Frey Ranch

Frey Ranch is a well-known whiskey distillery that has its hands in every step of the process. The whiskey brand does everything on its 1,500-acre farm in Fallon, Nevada, from growing its grains to bottling the finished product. The distillery has been open since 2006, but the Frey family farm has been located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range since the mid-1800s, and those mountains provide the distillery's water source. 

Frey Ranch is worth a visit for the scenic views alone. The tasting room provides complementary tours every 30 minutes on Saturdays for customers to get an up-close look at the distilling process, which makes the visit even more memorable. Plus, it's the ideal location for sampling Frey Ranch's bourbon, rye, single barrel, and cask strength varieties. "This place was well worth the hour-and-a-half drive out from Reno," one Yelp user wrote in a review of the Frey Ranch tour. "You won't regret it." 

Tattersall Distillery

Minneapolis natives are lucky to call Tattersall their hometown distillery that's crafting up too many spirits to count — from absinthe to rum to bottled cocktails. Truly, there's no better way to appreciate the brand than by visiting its massive 75,000 sq. ft. distillery in River Falls that features event space and a restaurant. The brand also has a patio and tasting room in downtown Minneapolis, but the big distillery in River Falls is worth the 25-minute drive from St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Tattersall offers both self and guided tours of its distillery and cocktail academy classes for people interested in putting the brand's spirits to good use behind the bar. Tattersall is also a destination during the summer for people looking to enjoy live music along with their spirit of choice. "I have been a huge fan of Tattersall liquor but my homemade drinks are NOTHING compared to their professionally crafted cocktails," one Yelp user wrote in a review. "And we were able to make our best choices because we were capable of getting a tester before committing."

Middle West Spirits

Another Midwestern distillery worth visiting has been a staple in Columbus, Ohio since it was first founded in 2008. It's a distillery that's proud of its roots — Middle West partners with local farms and local makers to have an Ohio flare to all of its products. As far as spirits, Middle West has an impressive lineup, especially for whiskey lovers. The brand produces its own bourbon, gin, vodka, and more, including a few unique flavored spirits, right in its distillery. 

Middle West visitors can visit the spirits bar with food and cocktails for a laid-back experience. The distillery also offers one-hour tours for $10 per person that ends with an optional tasting flight for those visitors who are looking to learn as much as possible about the brand. It's another great location for private events or tours for an even more intimate look at how the craftsmen make the magic happen. 

Ko Hana Rum Distillery

Kō Hana's Agricole rum distillery in Hawaii is truly one-of-its-kind. The small batch of Agricole rum is produced with Native Hawaiian heirloom sugarcane, and the farm-to-bottle process takes place all on Kō Hana's property. Many mass-produced rums are distilled from molasses, but the native sugarcane adds a distinct quality to all of the spirits in Kō Hana's lineup.

Kō Hana produces several types of rum, from clear to aged to flavored. The best way to experience the distillery is through a $45 in-depth tour of the sugarcane fields located at the base of the Waianae mountains. There's also an expedited tour for $25 that still gives a solid overview of the process. "Definitely a nice place to visit and learn about their vision of sustainable distilling and preserving the heritage of the sugar cane," one Trip Advisor user wrote in a review of Kō Hana's tour and tasting.

Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits

Barr Hill has been around since 2011, when a beekeeper and a distiller joined forcesto establish a line of spirits based on the magic of raw honey. Barr Hill, located in Montpelier, Vermont, has been producing vodka and gin bottles at its distillery on Gin Lane since 2016. The picturesque location is worth a visit for many reasons, including the various activities always going on at the distillery. 

Barr Hill's property is home to the distillery, cocktail bar, gift shop, and more. It's common to stop by the place on a warm-weather weekend and see food trucks and live music adding to the carefree vibe. The distillery offers one-hour tours for $20, where participants get to taste the spirits and raw honey and dip a bottle into melted beeswax, which are experiences unique to the location. You will likely be tempted to stop by the store to purchase raw honey or Bar Hill's barrel-aged Tom Cat gin to take home and remember your trip by. 

Bulleit Distilling Co.

Bulleit is a Kentucky bourbon distillery that every whiskey lover should frequent at least once in their life. Bulleit has been a staple on bourbon shelves since the 1980s, but the brand unveiled its upgraded distillery in Shelbyville in 2017. The property is home to a visitor center, cocktail bar, gift shop, outdoor patio, and more, meaning there's something for everyone to do. 

Bulleit offers a few tours and tastings at its distillery that range from introductory to more advanced, with every event usually costing $50 or less per person. The distillery also hosts tons of cocktail classes for patrons to learn everything there is to know about their favorite drink, whether it be an Old Fashioned or an infused glass of straight bourbon. "The tour never drug, and even the tasting was of the proper duration," one Tripadvisor review of Bulleit reads. "The grounds of the distillery were beautiful, and we very much like Bulleit's emphasis on sustainability."

Crater Lake Spirits Distillery

Crater Lake Spirits in Bend is one of Oregon's oldest and largest distilleries since it was established in 1996. Tumalo Distillery, the birthplace of the brand, is where Crater Lake produces its line of spirits like vodka, gin, whiskey, and more. Crater Lake also has a tasting room in downtown Bend, but a trip to the nucleus of the operation is one of the best ways to spend time in town. 

Crater Lake offers tours, tastings, and themed events at its Tumalo Distillery. The tours are shorter than some other distilleries — usually lasting about 20 minutes — but it gives customers plenty of time to learn more through a tasting. "We've been big fans for a while but took the opportunity to stop by when we were in the area. The tour was short but interesting and the samples were delicious. Took home a few bottles with us," one Trip Advisor user wrote in a review. 

Tamworth Distilling

Tamworth Distilling was founded in its namesake town of New Hampshire by Steve Grasse, a legend in the spirits world who was also the creator of Henricks gin and Sailor Jerry rum. Tamworth Distillery has a passion for farm-to-bottle distilling, which is evident in each of the small-batch spirits the brand releases. The distillery sources all its grains from farms within a 150-mile radius of the distillery to craft its lineup of bottles, which include a huge variety from flavored gin to whiskey to brandy. 

Tamworth has a test kitchen with food to go along with cocktails and flight tastings at its distillery. The company also has the Tamworth Lyceum, another location to visit to participate in tastings and cocktail workshops. "Tamworth itself is a historic and picturesque village and also worth the detour," one Trip Advisor user wrote in a review. "Service at the distillery was welcoming, friendly and informative, and the building is beautiful inside and out."

Wicked Dolphin Rum

Wicked Dolphin has been distilling rum in Cape Coral, Florida, since 2012. The family-run distillery is proud to source 100% of its ingredients from Florida, which is why they use sugarcane grown in the state in every batch. The styles and flavors of rum from Wicked Dolphin are expansive, including the brand's "Rumshine," which is its own fruity take on moonshine. Wicked Dolphin has even introduced a vodka that they distill at its home plant. 

Wicked Dolphin tours are not only informative, walking visitors through every aspect of the distilling process, but they are also totally free (even though you should make a reservation in advance). The distillery offers tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, along with complimentary tastings of its spirits. The location is open other days of the week too, which is a prime time to go if you want to skip a tour and just sit down for a drink.

Koval Distillery

Koval Distillery is notable for being the first in Chicago, Illinois, to open since the mid-1800s, and the makers are producing award-winning spirits to keep that status. Koval was founded in 2008 by a husband and wife duo and has grown into a massive distillery producing whiskey, gin, and specialty liqueurs. 

Koval's distillery in town has a tasting room that offers a low-key drinking and dining experience. For something a little more advanced, patrons can pay $12 per person for a behind-the-scenes tour of how Koval makes its magic happen. The space also hosts tons of other events surrounding spirits meant to bring the community together, and the distillery also has a gift shop and outdoor patio for when the weather complies. "The tour was super informative and generous with delicious samples," one Trip Advisor user wrote in a review of Koval. "Their alcohol is such high quality...just be prepared to drop some serious cash when you want to make purchases!

Maine Craft Distilling

No visit to Portland, Maine, is complete without a visit to Maine Craft Distilling. The production house is where the brand makes its beloved line of spirits, from cinnamon vodka to its famous Blueshine and ready-to-drink cans. The working distillery also houses the Public House, a bar where patrons can sit, sip on a craft cocktail, and enjoy a well-paired bite to eat. Many visitors who are fans of the distillery note that the spirits might be the aspect that entices you to visit in the first place, but the shockingly delicious menu will keep you returning. 

Maine Craft Distillery also offers hour-long tours for $25, complete with a full-tasting flight so that customers can get an in-depth view of how their favorite bottles come to be. It's a good idea to do the tour first and complete your visit at the Public House to watch how skilled bartenders put those craft spirits in action for well-balanced cocktails. 

New Liberty Distillery

New Liberty Distillery in Philadelphia is a historic gem. The brand is proud of Pennslyvania's strong whiskey heritage, especially rye, which can be seen in its reinterpretations and experimental bottles. The brand also produces other spirits like vodka and rum, but the rye whiskey is not to be missed upon a visit. New Liberty also has historic chops for its location — the distillery refurbished an old horse stable while keeping its character intact. While it's provided a great location for making alcohol, it's also home to a tasting room and bottle shop that many locals like to refer to as the hidden gem of Philadelphia. 

New Liberty's tasting room is the kind of bar where you're guaranteed a good drink. They have craft cocktails, spirit flights, and an impressive whiskey list that can take some time to browse. The building also houses a gift shop so that if you find a new favorite spirit, you can purchase a bottle to take home. 

Sagamore Spirits

Sagamore Spirits built its massive waterfront distillery in Baltimore in 2015, which became one of the first in Maryland since the Prohibition era. Sagamore is best known for its line of whiskey. They make any and every kind of whiskey they can dream of, including an impressive line of canned cocktails. The distillery hosts hour-long guided tours five days a week for about $20 per person, complete with a tasting. On the weekends, Sagamore's onsite Nineteen O'Nine bar is open to the public to sit, sip, and have a good time. 

Sagamore's distillery also hosts other types of events and activities, including seasonal cocktail classes that utilize its award-winning spirits. "This place has come from essentially nothing to being a high-level whiskey distillery," one Yelp user wrote in a review. "It was impressive to listen to where it started and where it is today going from just being in Maryland to now 48 states."