The new business will bring a unique new tourist attraction to LeClaire and the Quad Cities metro area.
LeClaire, Iowa -- July 12, 2010 - Work began today on a new building in downtown LeClaire that will soon be the new home of Mississippi River Distilling Company. With plans to open on the banks of the Mississippi in late 2010, Mississippi River Distilling Company will produce handmade, premium spirits made from locally grown grains.
This start-up business will be the first whiskey distillery in the Quad Cities area since prohibition. Once in operation, the public will be able to tour the facility daily to see the production of vodka, gin and bourbon whiskey up close.
"We are so excited about the potential for our company in LeClaire," said company partner Garrett Burchett. "The town fits our company's image and the proximity to Interstate 80 gives us a steady stream of potential tourists to visit our facility. The community has been a great partner in bringing this dream to reality."
People who visit the distillery will be able to witness the entire process of liquor creation on site. From the milling of the grain to the fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling; everything from grain to glass will be done at the distillery.
A new Iowa law that went into effect on July 1 allows micro-distilleries in Iowa to offer limited retail sales and tastings on the distillery premises. Mississippi River Distilling Company plans to be the first new distillery in Iowa to open after the passage of this legislation.
As the building is being constructed, operators are also awaiting the construction of a 1,000 liter handmade German pot still that will be the focal point of the facility. This copper and stainless steel instrument takes craftsmen up to six months to fabricate. Once shipped from Germany and installed, it will be the only one of its kind in the Midwest. The steam heated still gives producers the flexibility to create vodka, gin, whiskey and other spirits.
Aside from the production facility, the building will also house a retail area and large tasting room. Tours will conclude in the tasting room that will feature a large glass window looking into the production facility as well as a large window view out to the Mississippi River.
This building is the first of four to be constructed that will extend the existing downtown retail area of LeClaire to the north and develop a block of land that has stood empty for several years. This commercial expansion in LeClaire has many business people excited.
"LeClaire is experiencing continued growth and this development will enhance the experience of our visitors," said Deb Mulvania, the president of the LeClaire Chamber of Commerce. "We are excited that Mississippi River Distilling Company has chosen to locate their unique new business in our downtown area. They will compliment our existing businesses and create excitement for further economic development."
The construction of this facility has been the culmination of efforts from many entities across the region. Mississippi River Distilling Company has worked closely with the City of LeClaire, First Central State Bank in LeClaire, New Ventures Initiative in Davenport and the Iowa Department of Economic Development to develop and fund the project. "We can't say enough about the community support we've received throughout this process," said Burchett. "It really strengthens our connection to the local community to have such wonderful support from LeClaire, the greater Quad Cities region and the State of Iowa."