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Ohio’s rich history and fertile landscapes have given rise to a flourishing craft spirits scene, with numerous distilleries producing exceptional libations. Among the state’s myriad distilleries, five stand out as beacons of quality and tradition, crafting spirits that pay homage to Ohio’s heritage while pushing the boundaries of innovation. In this exploration of the “Best Distilleries in Ohio,” we delve into the stories and spirits that make these establishments true gems in the world of craft distillation.

1. Middle West Spirits

Middlewest Distillery

Established in 2008, Middle West Spirits proudly stands as a flagbearer of the Ohio River Valley’s distinct flavors. Rooted in Columbus, this distillery pays homage to its origins while embracing innovation. Crafting spirits from grain to glass, Middle West Spirits demonstrates an unwavering dedication to quality. Noteworthy collaborations, such as the partnership with Jeni’s for a whiskey and pecan ice cream, showcase their commitment to pushing boundaries while staying true to their roots. With their focus on flavor and craftsmanship, Middle West Spirits offers a truly unique experience.

Link to their website.

2. Everwild Spirits

Everwild

Nestled in downtown Sandusky, Everwild Spirits emerges as a captivating ode to a family legacy that spans over a century. Founded by Rick and Gia Lynch in 2020, this award-winning craft bourbon distillery has rekindled the flames of a distilling dynasty that was forced to extinguish during Prohibition. Inspired by his great-great-grandfather’s legacy, Rick, alongside Gia and her brother Jude, embarked on a mission to reclaim their heritage. The distillery’s commitment to authenticity shines through its use of locally sourced grains and water from the same limestone aquifer that fueled a legendary brewery. Everwild’s modern craft bourbon is a testament to Ohio’s character and the resilience of family traditions.

Link to their website. 

3. Northside Distilling Co.

Northside

What began as a basement hobby among friends, Chris and Josh, blossomed into the charming Northside Distilling Co. Located in Cincinnati, this distillery embodies the spirit of handcrafting, rooted in tradition and authenticity. The journey from a 13-gallon still in a family farm to a downtown establishment has only enhanced their no-frills, honest approach. Offering spirits crafted with a personal touch, Northside Distilling Co. reminds us that true craftsmanship comes from dedication and passion.

Link to their website.

4. Hocking Hills Moonshine

Hocking Hills

Brian St. Clair and Brother Eric’s endeavor, Hocking Hills Moonshine, takes us back to the Prohibition era with its artfully crafted corn liquor. Founded in 2015, this moonshine distillery is a nostalgic tribute to the bootleggers of old. The St. Clair brothers have perfected their recipes, delivering smooth yet potent shine that garners praise even from non-drinkers. From the original 90-proof concoction to the bolder 120-proof Buckeye Lightning, Hocking Hills Moonshine evokes the thrill of times gone by.

Link to their website. 

5. Watershed Distillery

Watershed

Greg Lehman’s pursuit of his passion for distillation birthed Watershed Distillery, a force to be reckoned with in Ohio’s craft spirits scene. With a commitment to reviving the state’s distilling traditions, Watershed produces an array of spirits that have captured the hearts of many. Their bourbon and gin portfolios, along with a range of specialty spirits, epitomize Ohio’s spirit of innovation and craftsmanship. The full-fledged experience of tours, daily operations, and an on-site kitchen/bar enhances the visit to Watershed Distillery, where history and modernity converge.

Link to their website. 

Conclusion 

Ohio’s distilleries are a testament to the state’s vibrant spirit and dedication to crafting exceptional libations. From the family legacy at Everwild Spirits to Middle West Spirits’ innovative collaborations, the authenticity of Northside Distilling Co., the nostalgia of Hocking Hills Moonshine, and the revival of tradition at Watershed Distillery, each establishment offers a unique perspective on Ohio’s rich distilling heritage. These five distilleries stand as beacons of excellence, each contributing their own distinct flavor to Ohio’s flourishing craft spirits scene. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a curious enthusiast, exploring these best distilleries in Ohio is an experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.