WACONIA, Minn. (WCCO) – A new micro-distillery in Waconia is hoping to make a name for itself in Minnesota’s growing craft distillery industry.

J. Carver Distillery sent its first shipment of gin and vodka to Twin Cities liquor stores last week.

The shipment is the culmination of more than a year of hard work.

Last April, Bill Miller and his business partners bought the building that used to house a Pontiac dealership.

“It’s a really good repurposing of a building that had not much of anything in it,” Miller, owner of J. Carver Distillery, said.

They saw an opportunity to utilize the building and join the up and coming craft business boom.

“I think food and drink, and good food and drink, is a really strong powerful trend throughout our country right now,” Miller said.

The 17,000 square foot building was transformed into a place of production, turning out 600 cases of spirits a month.

On Friday, their premium brand gin was in the distilling process.

The company makes its craft recipes from locally sourced ingredients.  Both the gin and vodka are made from winter wheat grown just 20 miles from Waconia.

“This is sort of a craft business. We wanted to explore and see what good products will come out of Minnesota products,” Miller said.

Miller has big plans for the future.  Within the next year, a tasting room will open and new varieties of liquor will go to market.

“We’re talking about wheat whiskey. We’re going to be doing bourbons. We’re going to be doing rye whiskey and a variety of other barrel-aged products like barrel-aged gin as well,” Miller said. “We want to come up with some unique flavors and some new things that people might develop tastes for.”

To buy J. Carver Premium Gin and Vodka near you, visit their website.

Bottles range in price from $20-$24.

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