So you’re getting ready for your first distillery tour. With over 1,200 distilleries throughout the U.S., you have a wide variety of options ahead of you. Every distillery is different, with unique processes, techniques, and features. Their tours aren’t just about teaching you how spirits are made either. They’re about combining ambiance, music, flavors, education, and more to craft a multi-sensory experience. They put together one-of-a-kind tours to make your date night, company outing, party, or evening with friends memorable. So how can you make the most of it? What can you expect from a distillery tour? How should you prepare to tour a distillery? Find out now.
What Happens at a Distillery Tour?
As was stated, every tour is different. But generally, they’re going to take you from the grain to the bottle. Many facilities complete the different stages of production at separate locations. So your tour will go through however much of the process they handle on-site. Whether that’s everything except the bottling process, everything after the barreling process, or something else.
The distilling equipment is usually large, clean, shiny copper stills. While exciting to see, remember that they’re probably in use and touching such equipment is off-limits.
If your only experience with drinking spirits neat in the past was in the form of a shot, remember to slow down. Your tour is about understanding the drinks and how they’re made, not just consuming them. Learn to savor the samples you’re given and recognize the notes your tour guide might bring out. If you taste something you don’t love, that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to try the next one. One craft distillery can create a vast array of drinks.
Make time for your tour. Pondering, savoring, and meandering are your main goals for the day. Don’t squeeze in a distillery tour if you have dinner reservations 45-minutes later. Give your tour ample time for chatting with the makers, making new friends, and enjoying the surroundings after the fact.
What Should You Wear?
Make sure to wear closed-toe shoes. It is a production first and foremost, so you’ll be touring around some large and heavy equipment. Make sure your shoes are not only protective but comfortable for walking and standing for extended periods of time. Your tour may require extensive walking if it takes you to the far ends of the facility.
Are Guests Under 21 Allowed on Tours?
It depends on the distillery. Some will allow those under 21 on the tour, but without permitting them to sample. Others will keep tours 21 and over exclusively. Remember to read up on your distillery of choice in advance to find out about scheduling, pet-friendliness, family-friendliness, and more. Some locations might offer a full cocktail bar and dinner menu, others might just be about the production and a few simple drinks. Make sure the distillery you’re visiting meets your group and their goals for the day.
Prepare to Ask Questions
Now is your chance to talk to the experts. Any whiskey lover wants to know what it is exactly that produces the flavors they crave. Asking questions along the tour enables you to fine-tune your palate and discover more bottles you’ll love. As you’re tasting, keep a mental list of questions you have for the makers. Encourage your friends to do the same. You’ll enjoy picking up the distilling knowledge they draw out as well.
Best Distillery Tours in Jersey
Ready to plan your tour? We work with four different distilleries in South Jersey to present you with the best local spirits available. Explore each of the individual distillery pages to find out more about the drinks they produce, how they got started, when to visit, and more. Your next adventure awaits.