DUBLIN, IRELAND - AUGUST 17: General view inside of the Teeling Irish whiskey distillery on August 17, 2022 in Dublin, Ireland. Teeling Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery established in Dublin in 2015 by the Teeling Whiskey Company.  It is the first new whiskey distillery to have opened in Dublin, once a world whiskey distilling capital, in over 125 years.  (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
The Nation's Only Indigenous-Owned Distillery Uses An Unexpected Ingredient
By Crystal Antonace
The Copper Crow Distillery in Bayfield, Wisconsin, is the only indigenous-owned distillery in the United States, operated by members of the Red Cliff Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa tribe. This distillery is built on the regional essence and flavors of the surrounding land, working to reflect the spirit and place in every authentic drink by using one ingredient you wouldn't find in any average cocktail.
The Maple Valley Cooperative links the history of maple syrup to indigenous tribes, and Copper Crow Distillery often uses maple syrup and other locally-sourced ingredients as seasons change. Although Copper Crow Distillery tries to avoid making spirits from Native foods that are heavily relied upon by tribes, they do sweeten their drinks with regional flavors like maple syrup, birch syrup, blackberries, raspberries, and apples.
Another unexpected ingredient the distillery uses in its drinks is a milk by-product known as whey from Burnett Dairy in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. The company has plans to expand its whey-based offerings and has already successfully produced a whey-based gin that tastes like sweet sake and a whey-based vodka.