The next time you travel, consider adding distillery to your list of tours to do. The tours are often free or very affordable and include a sample and chance to purchase spirits at the end. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn and might just discover your new favorite drink to bring back home!
Firefly, Wadmalaw Island, SC
The South does not suffer a lack in distilleries, but a visit to the Firefly facilities on Wadmalaw Island is definitely worth adding to the itinerary. The largest distillery in the state, Firefly creates delicious sweet-tea-flavored vodka (perfect for boozy Arnold Palmers during the summer) using tea grown on the nearby Charleston Tea Plantation. Spend the day touring the distillery, the plantation, and also the Irvin-House vineyards, which are also owned by the same people.
St. Augustine Distillery, St. Augustine, FL
Open 7 days a week, the St. Augustine Distillery makes it easy to fit a visit into your trip anytime. Housed in a restored historic ice plant from 1917, the free tour not only lets you sample the small-batch whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka, you’ll also learn the history of ice and distilling in Florida and get to see the spirits being made.
Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, NY
While it might only be open for tours on Saturdays, the Kings County Distillery is definitely worth the schlep to the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Now housed in a building over a century old and on record as the city’s oldest-operating whiskey distillery, it once occupied only a small room and was the smallest commercial distillery in the country. The price of admission to includes a tasting and also admission to the Boozeum, a museum that tells the history of distilling in New York City.
Greenbar Craft Distillery, Los Angeles, CA
It’s no surprise that all of the six different types of alcohol sold by Los Angeles’ first distillery since Prohibition are created using only certified organic products. The husband-and-wife team behind the Greenbar Collective found that the quality of the ingredients made a difference in the quality of the tastes–and lucky for visitors you can try them all during a tour that will only set you back $8-12.
Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY
The building houses one of Kentucky’s oldest and smallest distilleries was declared a National Historic Landmark over a decade ago, but the whiskeys and bourbons it produces have been part of the national imbibing habits since the 1800’s. Daily educational tours of the distillery and its picturesque grounds are offered and, of course, feature a tasting for those old enough to do so at the end.