The Craft Behind Tattersall Distilling’s Cocktails

by | Oct 2023

The Aged Spirits Board includes a selection of rye, wheated bourbon and barreled rum.

The Aged Spirits Board includes a selection of rye, wheated bourbon and barreled rum. Photos: Chris Emeott

Tattersall Distilling creates spirits with local ingredients.

When you’re looking for a cocktail mixed to perfection and made from the finest local ingredients, you don’t have to go far—especially if you live in Woodbury.

Tattersall Distilling, which has been producing award-winning spirits since 2014, has two locations: the newest in River Falls, Wisconsin, and its first location in northeast Minneapolis. You can get a delicious well-crafted cocktail at both, but each one offers a unique experience.

Meet the Owner

Tattersall Distilling’s co-founder and chief officer Jon Kreidler moved to Woodbury when operations expanded to River Falls in 2021. Living in Woodbury made for an easy 20-minute commute to either location.

Jon Kreidler

Jon Kreidler

But Kreidler wasn’t always in the distilling business. He was an analyst for banks and hedge funds with experience in the manufacturing space. “It was a change in Minnesota laws and a changing landscape across the country that opened up the opportunity,” Kreidler says.

Microdistilleries became legal in Minnesota, and it was easier for smaller distilleries to get permits. Kreidler eagerly jumped at the chance and headed to the West Coast to learn as much as he could where microdistilleries already existed.

“I met the owners and really delved into the business to figure out how it worked,” Kreidler says. He then enrolled in Michigan State University’s artisan distilling program to understand the finer details of making high-quality spirits.

Then, a short time later, Minnesota allowed cocktail rooms. “It was a big deal to have a cocktail room,” Kreidler says.

He rang up his childhood friend Dan Oskey with a business plan. The two grew up together in the northern suburbs. “Dan’s an industry guy. He’s worked behind the bar for decades and is one of the more highly respected bartenders in the Midwest,” Kreidler says.

Cucumber Mule

Cucumber Mule

Oskey was on board with the idea and started experimenting like crazy. The two opened the northeast Minneapolis facility a year later and haven’t slowed down since.

Award-Winning Spirits

In its first year of business, Tattersall was named one of the top bars in the country by Forbes. And with attention building, Esquire listed Tattersall’s Bottled in Bond High Rye and Wheated Bourbon as “The Hands Down Best Booze to Drink Right Now.” The homegrown distillery was on the same stage as national and international makers. It was an impressive achievement for the Twin Cities duo.

At the same time, the two were creating a cocktail bar scene that customers loved. “We wanted a bar that could compete with any cocktail bar in the country,” Kreidler says. But there was one problem. Minnesota law only allowed microdistilleries to serve the drinks they produced, so Kreidler and Oskey started experimenting and distilling vermouth, gin and Campari to round out its drink menu.

Prestigious competitions, like the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, recognized Tattersall’s aquavit as the coveted Best in Class. In the first five years, it had more best- in-class awards than any other distillery in the country.

Destination River Falls

As awards accumulated, production increased. If they wanted to increase production in Minnesota, they couldn’t keep the cocktail room that became synonymous with the Tattersall experience. “We were probably the first distillery in the country that had such a focus on the cocktail bar,” Kreidler says. Instead, they added a second location in River Falls, Wisconsin.

The more than 75,000-square-foot distillery in River Falls, Wisconsin.

The more than 75,000-square-foot distillery in River Falls, Wisconsin.

They knew people had to drive a bit further to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail, so they set out to make the River Falls location a desired destination distillery open to groups of all sizes. It features a craft cocktail bar and eatery and has much to enjoy: great food, live music in the amphitheater, an artisan market with local products, a tasting room, cocktail classes, yogalates in the barrel room and distillery tours.

And the ethos of Tattersall and the city of River Falls is a perfect match. Both prioritize sustainability, water conservation and solar energy—the city became the first municipality in Wisconsin to power city buildings using 100 percent renewable energy.

The distillery draws energy from rooftop solar panels, which are the largest solar array of any distillery in the country, Kreidler says. Water is drawn directly from an aquifer and recycled to reduce the distillery’s overall water usage.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

Local Ingredients

Locally sourced ingredients enhance the character of every sip. Many ingredients are sourced by independent farmers within 100 miles of the distilleries. Grains come from Minnesota and Wisconsin family farms—fruits, honey and syrups are sourced from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Tattersall has partnered with sixth-generation farmer Dale Anderson, who runs a farm north of the Twin Cities. “Together, we’re able to experiment with the varietals, which really changes the flavors and improves quality,” Kreidler says.

You can taste the difference between commoditized rye versus the perfect local variety selected for each batch. And after processing, the grain goes back to local farms for hog and cattle feed.

The University of Minnesota asked Tattersall to work together with a newly developed perennial grain named Kernza®. “The grain is unique and is the most sustainable grain available. The deep taproot means you don’t have to till it or replant it every year, so the carbon stays locked in the soil making the soil healthier,” Kreidler says.

Tattersall proudly launched a 100 percent Kernza whiskey earlier this year, drawing mass attention—though it’s not currently available at its Minneapolis location. The whiskey showcases nutty notes, almost like a brandy. Look for it in local liquor stores or at the distillery.

Tattersall Distilling in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Tattersall Distilling in River Falls, Wisconsin.

A First-Hand Experience in Northeast Minneapolis

Cozy up at Tattersall’s cocktail room in the historic Thorp building in the northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis. The chic industrial atmosphere leads to unwinding with a perfectly crafted old-fashioned or locally grown rye whiskey.

The extensive drink menu has something for every pallet. Each cocktail is expertly crafted with Tattersall’s wide selection of gin, vodka, aquavit, whiskey, rum and brandy, distilled in both locations.

Our party of five had a hard time landing on a drink of choice—they all sounded delicious. So, we opted for the flight boards. The Aged Spirits Board has a smooth selection of rye, wheated bourbon and barreled rum. The Berry Board has a wide array of perfectly balanced and not-too-sweet sour cherry, blueberry and cranberry liqueurs.

It was a Friday night, and the Fare Game food truck was in full swing. The cheese plate paired beautifully with our drinks, and the burgers received a unanimous five stars.

Tattersall Distilling Northeast Minneapolis
1620 Central Ave., NE Suite 150, Mpls.; 612.584.4152

Tattersall Distilling River Falls
1777 Paulson Road, River Falls, Wisconsin; 534.248.8300
Facebook: Tattersall Distilling
Instagram: @tattersalldistilling


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