Copperwing Distillery is now open in St. Louis Park

Katelyn Regenscheid

Katelyn Regenscheid

For three years, a trio of science-minded whiskey lovers had a dream. This weekend, it came true.

Chris Palmisano, Brian Idelkope, and Kyle Kettering of Copperwing Distillery have officially opened their doors for business. The St. Louis Park taproom poured its first drink for the public on Saturday, March 11.

The state’s newest microdistillery, Copperwing, is located in an industrial area of St. Louis Park. At a small pre-opening party the night before, the city’s mayor, Jake Spano, told the gathering, “St. Louis Park has long been known as a quiet suburb with good schools and safe streets. Well, it’s possible to have good schools and safe streets -- and microdistilleries.”

The intimate taproom glows warm with Edison bulbs that glint off copper and stainless steel distilling equipment. The bar offers contrasting decor of natural wood and metallic effects, including prominent copper lettering. With a name like Copperwing and a mutual love of engineering, the owners couldn’t pass up the chance for artistic flair. They cut a literal copper ribbon for their opening.

“I’ve never been more excited to go to work in my life,” says Idelkope.

Until the owners settle on a full bar staff, Idelkope and Palmisano will be mixing cocktails. Though the Old Fashioned is their most popular drink, Idelkope is fond of the That Reminds Me, a savory and sweet mix that “you won’t find on any menu at any other place.”

A packed bar at the new Copperwing Distillery. / Cristina Palmisano

A packed bar at the new Copperwing Distillery. / Cristina Palmisano Cristina Palmisano

What else will Copperwing be serving up? Just about everything. With just three spirits (vodka, whiskey, and vodskey), Copperwing has still managed to create a drink list two pages long. It even includes a G&T, despite the distillery not serving gin--at least not yet. To get away with using vodka in a gin and tonic, copperwing uses a vodskey, a spirit made by distilling a whiskey mash to not-quite-vodka proof. The result is a clear spirit with the underlying sweetness of a whiskey and a flavor that will make you order a second round.

Now open, Wednesday-Saturday
6409 Cambridge St., St. Louis Park