Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.

Seed to Spirit


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Midwest Living Features Bottling Parties at Whiskey Acres


Bottle Good Cheer in DeKalb, Illinois

Want to add a bit of backstory to the spirits you give and serve over the holidays? You’ll get one, plus a discount to boot, at a bottling party.

Writer: Kit Bernardi
Like elves in Santa’s workshop, volunteers at Whiskey Acres Distilling Company near DeKalb, Illinois, mix hard work with high spirits bottling Midwest bourbon, vodka and whiskey in assembly-line fashion.

The party experience amps up as the holidays approach, with festive lights glowing around the copper still on this five-generation farm. During the three-hour shift, volunteers cork, heat-seal, label, tag and box bottles, then walk out with a supply of spirits made with grains grown and distilled here, taking advantage of a 20 percent discount on the goods they package. They also receive pizza, a tour, a T-shirt and tastings, but the best benefit is having a hand in creating the take-home beverages.

Whiskey Acres hosts up to four bottling parties in November and December. Cofounder and distiller Nick Nagele can’t promise what will be ready when. “When our palate says a batch of bourbon, vodka, rye or corn whiskey is ready,” he says, “we post a shout-out for bottlers on social media.”

Sign up online to receive bottling event e-vites at Whiskey Acres (whiskeyacres.com). Check for other events at Midwest distilleries, including Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan (journeymandistillery.com), and Yahara Bay Distillers in Fitchburg, Wisconsin (yaharabay.com).