With no legal definition of “craft,” it’s easy to dismiss it as a marketing term. But maker culture transcends jargon. Across the United States, independent, locally minded producers create products that showcase heritage crops and area traditions. Now, anyone thirsty for small-batch drinks with regional flavors can find them in communities and cities across America.
Here are 50 truly local beverages made in all 50 states. If you’re planning a cross-country road trip, make sure to leave room in your trunk for these souvenirs.
Launched in 2017, Alabama’s first bourbon makes use of the state’s abundant corn to produce this small-batch spirit that tastes a bit like freshly baked bread, with notes of rye and oats.
Price: $37.99 for a 750 ml-bottle of small-batch bourbon.
This modern absinthe is based on a recipe from the 1700s and is made with no artificial colors or added sugars. Instead, distillers double-soak the spirit with southeastern Alaskan herbs like wormwood, lemon balm, and anise hyssop.
Price: $40 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Green Siren Absinthe is available in Alaska at select locations listed here.
Arizona: Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.’s Salome Saison
As its name suggests, this brewery, which has two locations in the Phoenix metropolitan area, is inspired by Arizona’s landscape and incorporates Arizona-grown citrus into its brews. Salome Saison uses Arizona-grown lemons alongside other pink peppercorns and faro. The result is an aromatic, earthy, and slightly tart beer — the perfect refresher for a hot desert night.
Price: $6.50 for a pint.
Arkansas: Post Familie Vineyards Muscadine Wine
The Post family has been providing Arkansas residents with sweet Muscadine wine since the 1800s and is now the state’s largest commercial winery. It even offers overnight stays for those interested in exploring Arkansas’ wine trail, and sells plenty of fresh grape juice if you’re stocking up on mixers.
Price: $7.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Post Familie Vineyards Muscadine wine is available in select locations you can view here.
California: Drake’s Brewing Co’s Cherryland
Located in San Francisco’s East Bay, Drake’s uses local Russian heirloom black cherries to produce this hard-hitting (8.3 percent ABV!), oak-barrel-aged American sour beer. Almost two pounds of cherries go into every gallon of beer, and it has notes of almond, dark fruit, and wheat malt.
Price: $15.99 for a 500-ml bottle.
Purchase: Available seasonally at Drake’s Brewing locations throughout the San Francisco area as well as select bars and stores in California, such as Hog’s Apothecary and BevMo!. A full list of locations can be found here.
Price: $22.99 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Rising Sun Distillery Colorado Chili Spirit is available at select locations in Colorado and can be purchased here.
Connecticut: Hartford Flavor Company Wild Moon Birch Liqueur
The sap of New England birch trees, which some believe naturally cleanses the body, adds sweet, spicy notes to this liqueur, which also has root beer and vanilla flavors.
Price: $19.99 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Wild Moon Birch Liqueur can be purchased online here.
Delaware: Off the Hoof Scrapple Flavored Vodka
Scrapple is a popular Delaware breakfast meat — and divisive delicacy. If you really want to go whole hog in Delaware, try this small-batch vodka that combines the flavors of pork, corn, apples, and spices. Sound strange? Sure. Then again, an awful lot of people are drinking bacon-washed bourbon.
Price: $23.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Off the Hoof Scrapple Flavored Vodka can be purchased online here.
This distillery in America’s oldest city hand-cuts its spirits and uses locally grown sugarcane to give it flavor. The resulting spirit has notes of green apple, white pepper, and molasses.
Price: $28.98 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: St. Augustine Distillery Florida Cane Vodka is currently available for purchase only in Florida.
Georgia: Anything from Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
This Athens-based operation is a fiercely local, nationally revered brewery. Exclusively available in-state, it’s available in Athens, Atlanta, Columbus, and Augusta. Its top-rated beer is Tropicália, an IPA named for a Brazilian arts movement.
Price: From $10.49 for a 6-pack of Tropicália.
Hawaii: Volcano Winery Infusion Tea Wine
Where there’s a volcano, there’s good soil, and this winery on the Big Island is taking advantage of everything Hawaii’s tropical climate offers. The winery’s Infusion blend incorporates locally sourced ingredients like black tea and macadamia nut honey, the result of which is like drinking a smooth, sweet tea that just so happens to have booze in it.
Price: $36 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Volcano Winery Infusion tea wine is available for purchase in select states here.
Huckleberries, an Idahoan delicacy akin to very sour blueberries, are only harvestable from August to September, and they tend to grow in limited quantities. Grand Teton infuses this vodka with freshly picked huckleberries for 12 weeks, giving the spirit a perfect sweet-sour balance.
Price: $15.99 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Grand Teton Huckleberry Vodka can be purchased here.
Quincy Street uses goldenrod honey from northern Illinois to make this unusual spirit distilled from mead, the ancient honey wine. The spirit is fermented before it is distilled, and ultimately resembles rum — but with a distinct honeyed finish.
Price: $54.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Quincy Street Distillery Prairie Sunshine is available in select locations and can be purchased online here.
Sweet, farm-fresh corn is harvested, hand-cut, and distilled in this 100 percent Hoosier State-made bourbon. The sweet corn gives the bourbon a sweeter, softer taste with notes of caramel and banana, as opposed to the spice of a rye or wheated bourbon.
Price: $139.00 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Old 55 Distillery is available in select locations and can be purchased online here.
This grain-to-glass distillery sources products from in state, including corn, coffee, and cream used for this sweet after-dinner drink.
Price: $21.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Mississippi River Distilling Company Iowish Cream Liqueur can be purchased online.
Kansas: Till Wheat Vodka
Grains are a huge part of Kansas’s craft-beer scene. This distillery uses local wheat to create its vodka, which gives it a smooth, creamy finish.
Price: $29.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Till Wheat Vodka is available for purchase online in select areas you can view here.
Kentucky: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company celebrates Kentucky’s bourbon heritage with an array of bourbon barrel-aged beers. Its flagship Kentucky Ale rests in charred bourbon barrels for at least six weeks, imparting vanilla and oak flavors.
Price: $12.99 for a 12-ounce 4-pack.
Purchase: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is available for purchase in select locations and online here.
Louisiana: Bayou Spiced Rum
This spiced rum incorporates local sugarcane and molasses, and rests for up to 30 days with Creole baking spices. Prefer to eat your sugar and spice? The distiller teamed up with local chef John Folse to create a special rum cake recipe, too.
Price: $23.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Bayou Spiced Rum can be purchased online here.
Beer and lobster are a classic summertime pairing in Maine; renowned Newcastle brewer Oxbow decided to take it one step further by brewing this crisp, gose-style beer with fresh local lobsters. “There’s a little bit of sweetness from the lobster that provides a nice balance,” Oxbow head brewer Tim Adams told The Boston Globe. “But when you pour yourself a glass of this beer, you’d never say, ‘Oh my God, this tastes like lobster.’ It is really more of a background note, which is probably a good thing.”
Price: $13.35 for a 500-ml bottle.
Purchase: Oxford Brewing Co’s Saison Dell’Aragosta can be purchased at select bars and retailers in the New England area, including Gordon’s Wine.
Maryland: Flying Dog’s Old Rise Summer Ale
This brewery based out of Frederick combines the state’s beloved Old Bay crab seasoning with its hoppy and citrus-flavored ale, producing the ultimate Chesapeake Bay beverage.
Price: $10.99 for a 12-ounce 6-pack.
Purchase: Flying Dog’s Old Rise Summer Ale is seasonally released and can be purchased online here.
Massachusetts: Mystic Brewery Table Beer
A Sam Adams for the new age, Bryan Greenhagen’s Mystic Brewery is located outside Boston and specializes in farmhouse-style saisons such as Table Beer, using homegrown yeast strains and local ingredients. It also makes seasonal brews such as Three Cranes, a beer made with cranberries from Cape Cod.
Price: $12 for 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.
Purchase: Mystic Brewery beers are available in its taproom and select locations in the New England area.
Traverse City is America’s cherry capital, and this local distillery uses fruit grown on its family farm to bottle these quality cocktail garnishes.
Price: $19.95 for a 16-ounce jar.
Purchase: Available for purchase online.
Hardy and resilient, rye is the perfect grain for Minnesota’s cold winters. Far North Spirits harvests winter rye on its own estate for Roknar, and it gives the spirit notes of star anise, cinnamon, and even soft pretzels.
Price: Prices start at $39.99 for a 750-ml bottle and vary depending on which state you are purchasing them in; 375-ml bottles start at $25 and are available only at the distillery tasting room.
Purchase: Far North Spirits Roknar is available at selected locations across the country and can be purchased online.
Mississippi: Cathead Pecan Vodka
Mississippi’s abundance of pecans features prominently in this Cathead Distillery vodka. The state’s first distillery since Prohibition, this small-batch producer macerates roasted pecans and uses a stainless-steel aging process to help give its vodka a nutty, sweet finish.
Price: $21.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Cathead Pecan Vodka can be purchased online.
Missouri: Wood Hat Spirits Persimmon Cordial
The only distillery in the United States to use a wood-fired still, Wood Hat Spirits features a variety of local fruit and nuts in its products. This persimmon cordial showcases the fruit’s sweetness and balances it with spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
Price: $29.99 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Wood Hat Spirits Black Walnut Liqueur is available at stores in Missouri and can be purchased in select locations online.
Montana: Glacier Distilling Huckleberry Gin
Situated just outside Glacier National Park, this distillery features its local bounty in a variety of spirits. This gin is infused with local spruce tips and wild huckleberries, which beautifully balance the botanicals inside.
Price: $27 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Glacier Distilling’s Huckleberry Gin is only available for purchase in its tasting room.
Nebraska: Lazy RW Frontier Straight Whiskey
Run by a father-and-son team, this small-batch distillery uses Nebraska’s best-known crop, corn, plus a secret Prohibition-era family recipe to make straight corn whiskey.
Price: From $26.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Lazy RW Frontier Straight Whiskey is currently available at the distillery and at select locations in Nebraska.
This distillery uses mid-19th-century fermentation and distillation processes to hand-batch spirits in Mason jars. It sources all the barley for its Old Commissary Whiskey from within the state.
Price: $29.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Seven Troughs Old Commissary Whiskey can be purchased online.
New Hampshire: Flag Hill’s Sugar Maple Liqueur
Locally sourced Ben’s Maple Syrup gives a rich texture and sweet aftertaste to this spirit distilled from apples grown at Apple Hill Farm in Concord, N.H.
Price: $18.99 for a 375-ml bottle; $26.99 for a 750-ml bottle
New Jersey: Flying Fish Brewery Blueberry Braggot
Blueberries are widely planted across the Garden State. This local brewery combines them with local honey to create a crisp, fruity brew. (Flying Fish also previously made a beer inspired by the state’s beloved Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich, though none of those actual ingredients were used for brewing.)
Price: $12.99 for a 4-pack of 12-ounce bottles.
Purchase: Flying Fish Brewery beers can be purchased online.
New Mexico: Santa Fe Spirits Atapiño Liqueur
Piñon nuts from the Santa Fe National Forest are foraged, roasted, and infused into this single-malt white whiskey. Distillers then sweeten it with Ponderosa pine sap resin and sugar, and barrel age it. The resulting spirit has a nutty, pine-flavored kick.
Price: $30 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Atapiño Liqueur is currently available for purchase only in Santa Fe Spirits’ tasting room.
New York: Barking Irons Applejack
Applejack is one of America’s oldest spirits and, in New York, Barking Irons uses the cider from locally sourced apple varieties like Jonah Gold, Macoun, and Gala. After distillation, the 100-proof spirit is aged in oak barrels.
Price: $40 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Barking Irons Applejack can be purchased online.
North Carolina: Ben’s American Sake
Brewing sake is a new addition to North Carolina, but the mountains outside Asheville have long been a pristine water source. Ben’s American sake grows its own koji in-house, adding flavors and aromas such as fruits, flowers, and nuts.
Price: $10 for a 12-ounce can.
Purchase: Ben’s American Sake is currently available for purchase only at its beer and sake garden in Asheville.
North Dakota: Prairie Rose Meadery Mead
North Dakota has been America’s largest producer of honey for more than a decade, so picking up a bottle of mead is a great way to salute the state. Prairie Rose makes a variety of mead and sources most of its ingredients from nearby farms.
Price: $20 for a 750 ml-bottle.
Purchase: Prairie Rose Mead can be purchased online.
Ohio: Tom’s Foolery ODV Gin
Apples can be found in plenty of places, but gin made from apple brandy is considerably rarer. Small-batch distillery Tom’s Foolery adds juniper berries, coriander, and cinnamon to the apple brandy it distills from its apple cider, producing a flavorful but balanced gin.
Price: $26.95 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Tom’s Foolery ODV Gin is available at the distillery bottle shop and at select locations in Ohio.
Oklahoma: Prairie Wolf Spirits Obahoshe Rum
Known by Oklahomans as “inland-style rum,” Prairie Wolf Spirits recently released its Obahoshe spirit, which features sorghum cultivated by the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.
Price: $26.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Wild Root Spirits offers a selection of infused vodkas, one of which uses Oregon’s native marionberry. The berry, which only grows in Oregon, was developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in cooperation with Oregon State University, and is a blackberry hybrid that offers more intense tartness.
Price: $26.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Wild Roots Spirits Marionberry Vodka is available for purchase here.
Pennsylvania: Wigle’s Pittsburgh Harvest Whiskey
Pennsylvania is one of the top pumpkin producers in the nation. Pittsburgh’s craft distillery Wigle, in collaboration with Rivertowne Brewing Co., distills a pumpkin spice beer in its copper pot still and ages it in its barrels for just under three years. The end result is a whiskey rich with notes of cinnamon and pumpkin spice.
Price: $34 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Wigle’s Pittsburgh Harvest Whiskey can be purchased online.
Rhode Island: Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co’s Thomas Tew Rum
Rhode Island was once the rum capital of the world, and Thomas Tew was its most popular pirate. Tew met his end at sea, but his spirit lives on in this copper-pot-distilled rum made with blackstrap molasses, yeast, and water. The rum is aged in an oak barrel that previously stored bourbon for three to six years and is packaged with a wax seal.
Price: $32.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Thomas Tew Rum can be purchased here.
South Carolina: High Wire Distilling Southern Amaro
Who says amaro has to be made in Italy? Charleston black tea, tangerine, and mint come together in this digestif that’s proudly Low Country.
Price: $14 for a 200-ml bottle.
Purchase: High Wire Distilling Southern Amaro can be purchased online.
South Dakota: Prairie Berry Winery Chokecherry Cheer Wine
Although chokecherries are extremely tart, they are semi-sweet when enjoyed as wine and leave a lasting impression on your palate. This fruit wine is ideal for the winter holidays, and Prairie Berry Winery also makes a homemade mulling spice if the taste of chokecherries alone isn’t enough to excite your palate.
Price: $15.50 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Prairie Berry Winery Chokecherry Cheer can be purchased online.
Tennessee: Blackberry Farm’s From Tennessee With Smoke
Blackberry Farm, one of America’s most revered hospitality destinations, features a craft brewery that highlights local ingredients. This brew, a collaboration with Evil Twin Brewing, features hops that have been hickory smoked for a week, producing a beer that smells and tastes almost like bacon — in the very best way possible.
Price: $19.99 for a 25-ounce bottle; $25.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: A list of locations offering Blackberry Farm’s products can be found here.
This Texas distillery uses non-GMO black-eyed peas and corn to make its vodka. The result is a neutral flavor, ideal for cocktails or mixed drinks.
Price: $28.41 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Black Eyed Distilling Co’s BLK EYE Vodka is available for purchase in select locations online.
Utah’s High West Distillery uses oats to craft this unusual whiskey. By leaving the oat-based spirit in the barrel for just longer than five minutes, the spirit develops a silver color and smooth taste, without the typical bite of white whiskey.
Price: $36.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: High West Distillery Silver Whiskey Western Oat is available in select locations and can be purchased online.
Vermont: Magic Hat’s Maple Doppelbock
Magic Hat’s German-style doppelbock is the perfect vehicle for Vermont’s signature maple syrup. In addition to sweet maple, the beer has notes of biscuits, toast, and caramel, making it an excellent breakfast brew.
Price: $12.99 for a 4-pack.
Purchase: Magic Hat’s Maple Doppelbock is a seasonal item, available for purchase at select retail locations in New England and New York.
Virginia has one of the longest histories of alcohol production in the country. Copper Fox Distillery smokes peachwood to flavor its malted barley, the ingredients for which are sourced in-state and malted in-house. The result? A sweet and smoky sipping whiskey.
Price: $53.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Copper Fox Distillery Peachwood Single Malt is available for purchase in select locations.
Washington: BroVo’s Single Note Spearmint Liqueur
Washington State is America’s biggest producer of spearmint, and this seasonally available spirit resembles, well, a breath of fresh air. BroVo sources its spearmint from a Bellingham-area farm and it gives the neutral grain spirit a strong and fresh finish.
Price: $11.99 for a 200-ml bottle.
Purchase: BroVo’s Single Note Spearmint Liqueur is available for purchase here.
West Virginia: Appalachian Distillery Paw Paw Moonshine
Paw paw, a fruit that some claim tastes like a banana crossed with a mango, gives this 90-proof West Virginia moonshine a pleasantly tropical flavor.
Price: $19.99 for a 750-ml bottle.
Purchase: Appalachian Distillery’s Paw Paw Moonshine can be purchased online here
Wisconsin: Yahara Bay’s Preiselbeere Schnapps (Cranberry Brandy)
Cranberries are one of the few fruits that can stand the cold Wisconsin weather, providing this spirit with tart earthiness and a lasting finish.
Price: $20 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Yahara Bay Cranberry Brandy is available in select locations.
Wyoming: Koltiska Distillery Herbal Liqueur
Five generations of a Wyoming family have been using their secret recipe to concoct this herbal liqueur made from grain alcohol. The sweet, amber-colored spirit is sold in 60-proof and 90-proof versions and is affectionately known as “KO.” Take it as a shot if you’re looking to drink like a true Wyoming cowboy.
Price: $13.49 for a 375-ml bottle.
Purchase: Koltiska Distillery herbal liqueurs can be purchased in select locations.
Published: April 14, 2019