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Destination Distillery: The new lodging trend sweeping the nation

Summer is nearly here, which means so is your summer vacation. BigFish brings you an opportunity to experience something different this year. We recommend sleeping with the stills instead of under the stars.

The American craft distillery has been on the rise for several years now. As more open, many look to stay competitive by putting their location and setting to good use. One way they’re doing it is to become a destination distillery. This experience is sweeping the nation right now, just like winery inns from years ago. And just like those winery inns, destination distilleries offer an intimate experience for enthusiasts looking to learn more about process, ingredients, and the artists behind their favorite product. Of course, on top of all that, many craft distilleries offer you outdoor adventures, excellent food, and evenings by the fireplace.

From luxury inns to romantic bed and breakfasts to day trips from the Chicagoland area, BigFish has curated a list of destination distilleries for your consideration.


Marble Distilling Co. - Carbondale, Colorado - 18 hr drive, 4 hr 20 min flight from Chicago

Just down the road from Aspen, there’s a reason why Carbondale is called the “Ultimate Rocky Mountain Hideout”. Carbondale is a hidden gem that boasts a creative, eclectic community where fine food, fabulous drinks, the great outdoors and amazing people come together. In fact, Carbondale was named one of the country’s best towns by National Geographic and Outside Magazine.

The Distillery Inn is truly one-of-a-kind. It is the only inn in the world housed within a working distillery, offering five luxury hotel suites for nightly rental with a massive copper tank visible through the bar window. The service is no-frills, but the rooms are surprisingly plush, with remote-controlled fireplaces and minibars with martini shakers. Here, guests can “Sleep with the Stills” in a relaxed, state-of-the-art room with refined amenities. Each room, including one ADA accessible room, is outfitted with hand-selected sustainable materials, sophisticated finishes and the most comfortable beds this side of the Rockies.


Amenities:

Fireplace, private balcony or patio, king-sized beds, flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffee machine, spa bathrooms & rainshower, Tesla charging stations in parking lot, Wi-Fi, dog-friendly


Colorado Spirits Trail Package: Explore colorful Colorado one distillery at a time. In the West there is an old adage that ‘whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.” Colorado Distillers tend to be more of the loving type and for that reason, they would love to share their spirits and stories with you. Hop on the Colorado Spirits Trail and find local distilleries that embody the spirit of the West, as the Renaissance of Craft Spirits continues to emerge in Colorado.

There is no better basecamp than the Distillery Inn for your western slope Spirits Trail adventure! Package includes: Luxury 1 Night accommodation at The Distillery Inn, Welcome Cocktails, Tour & Tasting, a stamp on your map, your choice of a bottle of one of Marble’s three signature spirits to take home (vodka or liqueur) – one per reservation.


Local Attractions:

Glenwood Adventure Park: America’s only mountain-top theme park above Glenwood Springs.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs: 16 natural-mineral hot springs, soaking pools, and a freshwater family pool.

Aspen, Colorado: The perfect ski resort and outdoor adventure destination, any time of the year!


Black Star Farms Inn - Suttons Bay, Michigan - 5 hr 34 min drive, 1 hr flight from Chicago

Black Star Farms’ romantic B&B is a member of Select Registry, a collection of North America’s most distinguished B&B’s, inns and boutique hotels. The distinctive inn is located on their 160-acre Suttons Bay estate in the heart of Northwest Michigan Wine Country, nestled below a hillside of vineyards with sweeping pastoral views, just 12 miles north of Traverse City along scenic M22 in Leelanau County.

A booking at this B&B is more than just a hotel room. Each stay in one of their luxurious guest rooms includes a daily gourmet, farm-fresh breakfast, nightly hospitality hour with wine and hors d’oeuvres, a bottle of house wine, and a VIP tasting at Black Star Farms’ exclusive Barrel Room; valued at $120. Guests also enjoy discounts on tasting room purchases, dining at the Hearth & Vine Café (seasonal), and access to the hiking trails. The library and lounge offer spaces to relax and enjoy the fireplace while reading, playing games or sipping a glass of wine. Outdoor patios, the grand front porch and fire pit offer seasonal opportunities to enjoy your surroundings. In the winter, complimentary snowshoes are available.


Amenities:

Meeting spaces, Tesla charging station, discounted tasting room purchases, hiking trail access, library and lounge, gourmet farm-fresh breakfast, nightly hospitality hour, a bottle of house wine, and a VIP tasting in the barrel room


Local Attractions:

Great Lakes Children’s Museum: This museum was created to provide hands-on, interactive, and informal educational environments for children.

Leelanau Farmers Markets: Between five different markets, the Leelanau Farmers Markets are sure to have what you are looking for!

The Bay Theatre: Plays first run and independent films. The theatre has 271 seats and is equipped with state-of-the-art digital projection and Dolby surround sound.


Iron Fish Distillery - Thompsonville, Michigan - 5 hr 14 min drive, 1 hr flight from Chicago

This lovingly renovated historic farmhouse is the perfect setting for your next “up north” getaway. Located just 1 ½ miles from Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan, this 3 bedroom, 2 bath farmhouse sleeps six very comfortably, and offers great indoor and outdoor spaces for relaxing, with a living room on both the first and second floors, as well as a back patio and classic front porch.


Amenities:

Easy access to skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, and paddling your kayak or canoe down the Betsie River. Public beach access, open floor plan, well-equipped kitchen, nearby restaurants and shopping


Local Attractions:

Crystal Mountain Resort: With lots of fun attractions for the whole family or a group of adventurous adults, Crystal Mountain Resort is worth checking out!

Michigan Legacy Art Park: This 30-acre park offers an art experience with hiking trails that are uniquely Michigan.

Wee Bee Jammin’: This quaint shop produces delicious artisan jams in northern Michigan and other signature Michigan items make for the perfect souvenir!


DAY TRIPS FROM CHICAGO


Central Standard Craft Distillery - Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 1 hr 36 min drive from Chicago

Central Standard Craft Distillery’s Guided Tastings give you a chance to learn about their small-batch distilling process and have fun while doing it. The best part is getting to taste the spirits right in front of the still that makes them all! After you have been blown away by what you have learned, they have a comfortable and cozy tasting room just steps away for you to stay and enjoy delicious handcrafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients on the ever changing seasonal menu. Book a tour here.



1205 Distillery - Indianapolis, Indiana - 2 h 56 min drive from Chicago

1205 Distillery currently gives tours by request Thursday-Sunday from 12-5. The tour is $5/person (this charge is waived if a purchase is made in the tasting room) and includes a walk around the distillery, a lesson on the basics of distilling, and samples of their products. They also show you where and how their whiskey is aged and what makes their products different from the rest! The tours usually last anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Book a tour here.



West Fork Whiskey Co. - Indianapolis, Indiana - 2 hr 57 min drive from Chicago

West Fork Whiskey distills and serves all of their whiskey in their tasting room at 1660 Bellefontaine St., Indianapolis, IN 46202. Try and buy bottles, flights, and craft cocktails at your leisure — just not on Mondays.



Their new tasting room in the Kennedy-King Neighborhood is less like the tourist traps down south, and more like the high-end whiskey lounge Indy has been waiting for.” - Indianapolis Monthly



Hendricks Family Distillery - Eureka, WI - 3 hr 4 min drive from Chicago

Tours are welcome! Please call 920-379-4515 to set a time up to come out and visit!




Three Rivers Distilling Company - Fort Wayne, Indiana - 3 hr 8 min drive from Chicago

Get an insider's look at the Three Rivers Distilling Co. distillation process and taste Three Rivers Distilling Company’s handcrafted local spirits. To book a tour, please select an available tour time listed below.  Tours are $10 per person and typically last an hour. Remember to bring a valid photo ID. For questions regarding tours or groups of 10 or more people, please email tours@3rdistilling.com. Three Rivers Distilling Co. is also proud to offer a full food menu from their from-scratch kitchen.



StilL 630 Distillery - St. Louis, Missouri - 4 hr 23 min drive from Chicago

You will get the chance to see the entire process from Grain to Glass. View, up close and personal, their mashing, fermenting, and distillation equipment, including their handmade pot stills, which were made right here in Missouri. Not to mention some special barrels, the bottling wing, and StilL 630’s Library of Indomitable Spirits! Book a tour here.