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Monday, August 19, 2013

Get in the "spirit" at the Old Sugar Distillery

Love the brick and black hardware together
I had a great visit at the nifty Old Sugar Distillery and learned a lot from the owner, Nathan Greenawalt.  This guy had a fascinating story to tell.

Great space for some camaraderie

Nathan started dabbling in home brewing and thought it was something he might pursue after college.  Upon learning there were already several breweries based in Madison, he had a change of heart and decided to go with liquor.

The piano and wall art add the perfect touch

He leased out a commercial space, got properly licensed, and began production.  When I asked him what his experience was, he said "experimentation."  Impressive, right?

I think this is where the magic happens
Everything the distillery sells is produced on-site, and in fact, he is only licensed to sell what they produce.  That leads to some creativity when concocting a drink menu.

Nice, comfy bar with room to stretch

Nathan said he prefers to think of his establishment as a distillery rather than a bar, which is why they are open just three days a week.  They do host private events after hours though.

Now on to the really important stuff - the booze:
  1. Honey Liqueur -  This is the distillery's first product and source behind the venue's name.  It's made using beet sugar and is unexpectedly dry to the palate.
  2. Rum - Their version of rum has an oaky taste rather than sweet.  It's made from cane sugar and gets its caramel color from charred oak barrels.
  3. Whiskey - Made from 100% Wisconsin sorghum, which gives it a mild flavor.  It's purchased directly from a Wisconsin farmer, who delivers it in his pick-up truck.  How awesome is that?
  4. Brandy - 20,000 lbs of grapes are hand-picked locally to create their brandy.  Would you believe all these grapes only make 100 cases?  The brandy is aged in two separate barrels, leaving it with a hint of vanilla flavor.
Spacious outdoor patio area

I can't wait for my next visit, which will be during open hours so that I can taste each of these fine spirits.  The Old Sugar Distillery offers free tours and a taste, so check out all the details on their website.

Growing herbs for some specialty cocktails - what can't this guy do?

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