Sweet serendipity is part of the foundation of the new Up North Distillery, which opened recently in Post Falls.
Randy Mann and his wife, Hilary, had developed an appreciation for whiskey from trying local brands, while Dan Beckius and his wife, Danielle, felt the desire to distill after traveling to North Carolina and Tennessee. Then the husbands met at an American Distilling Institute class in Seattle, discovering they lived within blocks from each other in Coeur d'Alene.
"We decided it made sense to pool resources for this business venture, and have been planning every aspect of our business ever since over cards, camping and weekend outings," says Hilary.
Another stroke of luck was finding a nearby distiller not only interested in selling his equipment — two 300-gallon tanks — but also his existing products and expertise as a consultant.
Try variations of Up North's apple brandy or honey spirits, including the more intense, oak-barrel-aged products, as well as applejack spirits — a brandy and cider mix.
Because of their liquor license, Up North can serve a range of regional spirits in their distillery and bar. They feature flights of vodka, gin and whiskey ($5-$7) from Oregon, Idaho, Montana and/or Washington, while both their brand and regional products are featured in their signature cocktails, which rotate monthly. Try a Glacier Sunrise with rye whiskey, orange juice and grenadine ($6) or the Grapefruit Rosemary Mule, with choice of vodka or gin ($6). You can also order from the full bar.
Up North also keeps it local with three rotating draft beers, including Coeur d'Alene's Daft Badger ($5), as well as local wines: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay ($5/glass, $19/bottle).
Because they hit the ground running, Up North Distillery already is bottling their spirits.
"We may be the only distillery in Idaho where you can order a cocktail, try a sample of our product, and buy a bottle to go, while also enjoying other regional craft distilleries, local beer and wine," says Hilary. ♦
Up North Distillery • 846 N. Boulder Ct., Post Falls • Open Mon-Sat, noon-8 pm; Sun, 10 am-9 pm • upnorthdistillery.com • 208-773-4445