Great Lakes Distillery is a refreshing change from your usual Milwaukee-area booze producer. Founded by Guy Rehorst, it is the oldest operating distillery in the state of Wisconsin since the repeal of Prohibition.
They offer vodka, gin, fruit brandies, absinthe, and rum, all made in small batches and distilled by taste. That means rather than having a computer tell them the spirits are good, they taste ’em. Efficient? No. Superior? Yes, judging by their numerous awards.
Our favorites are their Rehorst Gin, which is made of 9 different botanicals – Wisconsin ginseng and sweet basil being two surprising notes, and their Citrus & Honey Vodka, which is made with hand-zested lemons and pure Wisconsin honey.
Again, not the most effective or cost-saving way of producing spirits, but that’s not the point here. The point is superior taste and artisan quality.
They offer tours of their facility, which is located on Virginia Street, across from the Iron Horse Hotel (across the roundabout on 6th Street).
Monday – Thursday at 2:00 and 4:00
Fridays at 2:00, 4:00, and 6:00
Saturday at 2:00 and 4:00
Do yourself a favor and visit their facility, and then enjoy a tasting at their in-house bar. They have trained mixologists who provide excellent drinks if you just want to go and enjoy a cocktail at happy hour.
Speaking from experience, if you love yourself some Ketel One or Tanqueray, try the Rehorst Vodka or Gin. You won’t go back.