Ohio Spirits: Top Distilleries You Need To Try
By Vince Guerrieri

Ohio Spirits: Top Distilleries You Need To Try

Small batches make for big taste

Much like Ohio’s seen a massive expansion in craft beer brewing, a small but vibrant distilling industry has also developed over the past decade.

There are plenty of places to wet your whistle throughout the state – from distilleries that offer their own tasting rooms to products available at your local package store.

Candella’s Micro Distillery

Just outside the Youngstown city limits, in a former carpet store on Market Street in Boardman, Candella’s Micro Distillery makes small batches including cinnamon vodka and an oak barrel vodka that takes on a little bit of a whiskey color and smokiness. Their quaint location also makes a variety of wines and offers tastings. While they don’t serve food, they wouldn’t be averse if you wanted to bring something in!

Belle of Dayton

Head out to Dayton where this artisanal distillery is truly the Belle of the Ball. You’ll want to try their award-winning Dayton dry gin that’s crafted in small batches with lemon peel and coriander. Take their spirits home with you from stores in Cincinnati, Dayton, Cuyahoga Falls and more!

Cleveland Whiskey

In the heart of the city, there remains Cleveland Whiskey. This area favorite is famous for their unique creations like Honey Locust Wood and Sugar Maple Wood, which you can find in most local stores. For the full experiences, visit the original location and tasting facility at the MAGNET business incubator on East 25th Street.

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Middle West Spirits

The Midwest spirit is on display at this Columbus distillery. Middle West Spirits is daring with their creations like the Vim & Petal Gin, combining 18 botanicals and a full flavor. Sit down and stay awhile at the Service Bar, serving up delectable dishes like panang scallops and Mongolian glazed short rib.

Ernest Scarano Distillery

Just outside Fremont, lies Ernest Scarano Distillery, tucked away in a barn off U.S. Route 6. Founded in 2010 this family-own distillery takes pride in their small-batch whiskey making varieties like Old Homicide and Widmer Winter Rye.

Watershed Kitchen & Bar

Tucked away in a little corner of Columbus is a small distillery with big taste. Watershed creates new takes on average spirits like their Bourbon Barrel and Four Peel gin and their bottled Old Fashioned recipe. Perhaps their most innovative creation to-date is their famous Nocino, a black walnut liqueur only released once a year – get yours while supplies last!

Tom’s Foolery

A little outside of Cleveland lies Tom’s Foolery. The company got their start making applejack (think distilled hard cider that’s about whiskey-strength) before branching out into bourbon and rye whiskeys. This family-owned spot is planning a tasting room to open later this year, but in the meantime, you can find their creations in stores around Cleveland, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus. Click here for the full list.

Toledo Spirits

This micro distillery promises that “you’ll drink better in Toledo.” We have no doubt that’s true with creations like Tango Foxtrot, an experimental whiskey and Heart of Glass, a strawberry flavored vodka. You can visit their Summit Street location Fridays and Saturdays or by appointment.

Hocking Hills Moonshine

While you’re hiking through the Hocking Hills, you have to stop at Hocking Hills Moonshine. Sample one of their varieties of Buckeye Lightning (guaranteed to curl your toes) and take a tour through their facility in Logan. This family-owned shop is open Monday-Saturday.

Northside Distilling Company

Located in Downtown Cincinnati, Northside Distilling serves up everything from whiskey to moonshine. For those passionate about bourbon, Northside offers Bouborn 101 – a class outlining the in-depth distilling process and history of this American spirit to ensure you become a connoisseur!  You can take home their creations from stores in Cincinnati and Dayton.

For more sips and spirits, Find It Here at Ohio.org.

About the Author

Vincent Guerrieri has been a writer for all of his professional life. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a bachelor's degree. His works include writing for newspapers in major cities, online news sources, regional publications, public relations/speech writing, and as a contributor to the Ohio. Find It Here. travel blog.