Shelly Dailey and Brad Rolfs at Studio Distilling on Wycliff Street in South St. Anthony. Photo by Kristal Leebrick

Whiskey fans will be delighted to learn that a new micro-distillery has set up shop in South St. Anthony.

Studio Distilling’s lights are on at 2380 Wycliff St., and the copper-domed German-made still is working to produce “modern interpretations of traditional spirits.” Founder Brad Rolfs and partner Shelly Dailey say they aren’t quite tour-ready. It may be at least six months before their doors open for tastings and a year before an 80-seat cocktail room opens. Now, the craft distillery is busy malting, mashing, fermenting, distilling and then aging it all in small oak barrels.

They are starting with rye whiskey, said Dailey, “but we have dreams and recipes for an imperial stout beer whiskey and one distilled with coffee and chocolate.” They also have a recipe for a gluten-free whiskey made with quinoa.

The location for the new distillery was something that happened to be the “right place at the right time,” Rolfs said. “We like the idea of old warehouse areas.” It’s a plus to have Bang Brewing, the Urban Growler and the Green Line just blocks away, along with Surly Brewing Co. less than 2 miles away and Lake Monster Brewing also close by, Dailey said. Being in the Creative Enterprise Zone is a plus, she said. “It’s such an up-and-coming area.”

Opening a distillery is a long process, due to both Prohibition-era federal and state laws and the long process of creating the product. But Rolfs says the market for craft distilleries “is just getting started. We are where we were with [craft] breweries in the mid-’80s.”

Rolfs and Dailey are focused on whiskey, but they say they may entertain creating gin or vodka for cocktails down the road.

You can follow Studio Distilling on Facebook or on the website, www.StudioDistilling.com.

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