Addition of distillery to New Glarus Brewing Company part of nationwide trend

Addition of distillery to New Glarus Brewing Company part of nationwide trend

The owners of the New Glarus Brewing Company, famous for its lineup of craft beers like Spotted Cow, Moon Man and others, recently announced plans to branch out from brewing and add a distillery in the coming years.

“We thought it would be something fun and interesting to explore,” said Daniel Carey, co-owner of the New Glarus Brewing Company. “It’s not that we want to be the next Jack Daniels, we just want to make something fun that adds value to our business that visitors will find interesting.”

It’s part of a nationwide trend of craft distilleries opening up shop. According to trade publication “Wine and Craft Beverage News,” an estimated 1,000 licensed craft distilleries will be open in the United States by 2018. Compare that to 1990, when there were only seven distilleries in the United States.

Wollersheim Winery opened its own craft distillery in August. It distills beverages like brandy, gin, absinthe and whiskey at its facility in the town of Roxbury, across the river from Prairie du Sac.

“We’re really just focusing on what we like, and we’re making it in a way that we enjoy,” Tom Lenarz, a distiller with Wollersheim, said. “By inviting people here to our winery and distillery, they can try all of our products and see why we do what we do.”

Lenarz said part of the appeal of craft distilleries lies in the shift toward localism among consumers.

“People want to see and participate in their beverage selection,” Lenarz said. ‘”When you go into the liquor store and you buy a bottle of liquor, you don’t really have a personal connection with that.”

Lenarz said Wollersheim’s craft distillery has been so successful it plans to launch three new brandies in the fall.

Carey said plans for the distillery are still in the early stages, and he doesn’t know where it will be built or what the distillery will look like.