This week we are highlighting the states of Iowa and Kansas. Both have a growing number of bourbon distilleries, each with their own unique approach to creating this classic American spirit.

We continue with Part 10 of The Bourbon Flight’s Bourbon Distilleries Across America series, which explores distilleries throughout the United States. This series will introduce bourbon lovers to both known and unknown distilleries.

This is simply an informative piece, not a review since we have yet to sample the bourbons. We want to inform readers that distilling bourbon is a nationwide love. Tradition and passion run through each bottle of bourbon, from Elmer T. Lee to the unknown distiller.

We cannot highlight every distillery in a state, but we will certainly try to bring the most helpful information to you. We plan on highlighting two states in each Original Pour.

Keep checking back to see when your state is highlighted. We are going in alphabetical order.


Cedar Ridge Distillery—Swisher, Iowa

A family-owned craft distillery founded in 2005 by Jeff and Laurie Quint, who wanted to create premium spirits using local grains and ingredients. This sprawling estate has gorgeous 360 views of the winery’s grape vines.

One of the things that sets Cedar Ridge apart is its commitment to using locally sourced ingredients. The distillery sources its grains from local farmers and uses natural limestone water from the nearby Cedar River to make its spirits. The distillery also ages its whiskey in barrels made from Iowa oak, giving it a unique flavor profile.

In addition to producing high-quality spirits, Cedar Ridge also offers tours of its distillery and tasting room. Choose from sitting inside or out on the expansive deck. Visitors can learn about the distilling process, sample the spirits, and purchase bottles to take home.

Century Farms Distillery—Spencer, Iowa

The distillery is a craft distillery founded in 2018 by Shane and Susan Baker, who are sixth-generation farmers and have been farming in the Spencer area since the 1800s.

The distillery produces a variety of spirits, including whiskey and bourbon using local grains and other ingredients. Century Farms Distillery’s tasting room is small but full of merch and high-top tables to enjoy various spirits. Visitors can enjoy the atmosphere indoors or out.

One of the unique things about Century Farms Distillery is its focus on sustainability. The distillery uses solar panels to generate some of its energy needs, and the spent grains from the distilling process are fed to the Baker’s cattle as a feed source.

Iowa Distilling Company—Cummings, Iowa

Founded in 2014 by Kolin Brighton, who wanted to create a unique whiskey using Iowa-grown corn. One thing that sets Iowa Distilling Company apart is its use of Iowa-grown corn in all its spirits. The distillery also sources other ingredients locally when possible, such as using honey from Iowa beehives in its Honey Liqueur.

In addition to producing high-quality spirits, Iowa Distilling Company has won several awards for its products. Its Straight Bourbon Whiskey won a gold medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Iowa Distilling Company also has a tasting room where visitors can sample the spirits and purchase bottles to take home. The tasting room is in a historic building that was originally a general store. It has been renovated to showcase the distillery’s products while maintaining the building’s original charm. The distillery also offers tours for visitors who want to learn more about the building’s distilling process and history.

Lonely Oak Distillery—Earling, Iowa

Small in stature but big in flavor, Lonely Oak was founded in 2016 by Jeff and Deb Dettmann. The pair established this micro-distillery in hopes of bringing people together and what better way than spirits?

Lonely Oak Distillery uses traditional and modern distilling methods to create its spirits, and it sources its grains and other ingredients from local farmers whenever possible. Its Steeple Ridge bourbon comes in single barrels and small batches.

The distillery is committed to sustainability, like so many other Iowans. The use of solar panels and their recycling programs help keep the state beautiful. The tasting room is located in a historic building downtown that was initially a bank and has been renovated to showcase the distillery’s products while preserving its historic charm.

Mississippi River Distilling Company—Le Claire, Iowa

Brothers Ryan and Garrett Burchett founded the distillery in 2010. Overlooking the great Mississippi, the distillery provides immaculate views while sipping on award-winning bourbon.

Producing multiple spirits, the distillery uses a German-made copper still with two columns to get the most out of the distilling process. Aptly named “Rose,” the brothers constructed the building around her.

One thing that sets Mississippi River Distilling apart is its commitment to experimentation. The distillery is known for its unique and innovative spirits, such as its award-winning Cody Road Bourbon, named after William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, born in Le Claire.


Boot Hill Distillery—Dodge City, Kansas

Boot Hill Distillery is a craft distillery named after the historic Boot Hill Cemetery in Dodge City, which was the final resting place for many of the Old West’s most notorious figures. “Born from a barrel. Forged in the dust.” Is the distillery’s motto.

The distillery uses Kansas wheat for its flagship bourbon, aged in #3 charred barrels. The distillery claims, “It is Kansas’s first Soil-to-Sip craft Bourbon.”

One unique aspect of Boot Hill Distillery is its use of solar power. The distillery is powered by a 27.4-kilowatt solar array, which provides about 75% of the energy needed to run the distillery.

In addition to producing spirits, Boot Hill Distillery also offers tours and tastings for visitors. The distillery’s tasting room is designed to reflect the Old West aesthetic of Dodge City, with rustic decor and memorabilia from the town’s history. The patio is the place to be as it overlooks the city. Largest enough to entertain but small enough to be cozy.

Overall, Boot Hill Distillery is a unique and innovative craft distillery that combines the history of Dodge City with modern techniques and sustainability practices.

Union Horse Distilling—Lenexa, Kansas

The distillery was founded in 2010 by Patrick Garcia and his wife, Megan, to create high-quality, small-batch spirits using ingredients. The distillery is named after a Civil War monument in downtown Kansas City.

The “Reserve” bourbon is made from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley and is aged for at least four years in new, charred oak barrels. This small sour mash batch is enough to warrant a trip, but the distillery offers tours and tastings. The on-site tasting room features a bar made from reclaimed wood and a selection of Union Horse merchandise.

Lounge in the tasting room that looks into the distilling process while sipping a cocktail. High-back chairs and comfy sofas allow visitors to relax or catch up on some history of the area.

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