Written by Cheri Reese, Co-Founder Far North Spirits 

Far North Spirits invites you to help celebrate their 10th anniversary this June at their distillery just outside of Hallock, MN.  

The northernmost distillery in the contiguous United States, Minnesota’s Far North is one of a handful of authentic estate producers of small-batch spirits. Inspired by a heritage of independence and agricultural abundance, founding partners Michael Swanson and his wife Cheri Reese left the corporate world of Minneapolis to build a craft distillery on Michael’s 100-year old, fourth-generation family farm – a thousand acres of jet-black, abundantly rich soil in the heart of the Red River Valley and just 20 miles from the Canadian border.

Founding partners Michael Swanson and his wife, Cheri Reese

They built the distillery in June 2013 in the middle of what was a wheat field. Head distiller Michael hand selects, plants and harvests all non-GMO grains. They envisioned a portfolio of spirits focused on provenance: heritage grains, Red River Valley soil, pristine Lake Agassiz aquifer water, expertly-made Minnesota barrels, and their own Scandinavian heritage.

Far North recently was certified as the first and only Bee Friendly Farm distillery in the U.S. That intense interest in agriculture and being a good steward of the land spurred Michael to dive deep into rye grain varietals to see if different varieties of rye have different flavors once distilled into whiskey. His Rye Study has received national attention from both large and small distilleries as it created a first of its kind research-based approach tying flavor to grain.

In addition to making award-winning whiskey, they also produce three different styles of gin. Gin affords perhaps the most creativity for a distiller and the most versatility for cocktail enthusiasts. Their gins are uniquely lush and verdant, leading with citrus notes and fresh herbs like thyme and dill.

And, with a wink and nod, Far North also distills three expressions of rum – spiced, white and aged. Their rums have scored high points from Wine Enthusiast, with the spiced landing on the Top 100 Spirits list more than once.

With help from retailers like Happy Harry’s, Far North has been able to grow the distillery over the past 10 years with a reputation for quality. “We farm the grains ourselves and hand select everything – from the premium botanicals for our gins to the whole spices in our rum,” noted Swanson. “Our ingredients are second to none.

Far North’s cocktail room is open every Saturday night and welcomes visitors from across the prairie and around the world. They desire to answer the question, “Who’s your whiskey farmer?”

Happy Harry’s will be also be releasing a special Single Barrel Selection of Roknar Sauternes Cask on sale for the month of June…CLICK HERE to learn more about Happy Harry’s Roknar Rye Sauternes Single Barrel release!

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