The Quad Cities welcomes a new business to downtown Davenport! Artisan Grain Distillery recently opened their doors at 318 E. 2nd Street, right next door to Great River Brewery. Owners Allen and Sarah Jarosz have been distilling moonshine since February of this year and have begun to distribute their product locally on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities. It is available for sale at the distillery as well as Hy-Vee grocery stores.
After retiring from the airline industry, Allen started a successful tractor parts business out of a hobby of fixing antique tractors. His entrepreneurial spirit was calling, though, as his pallet for whiskey and bourbons developed. Turning another hobby into a business, the idea of Artisan Grain was born.
The distillery is located in a beautiful, old Buick dealership building in the Bucktown neighborhood, an area rich with Iowa distilling history. The already in-tact tile floors and drainage system were perfect for the new enterprise; they basically just had to move the equipment in. This consists of a kettle, a water silo, and the still as well as the fermenters. Allen ferments in six, open-air, 550-gallon fermenters, which ends up turning out about 50 gallons of finished product, after the stilling process is complete.
Artisan Grain Distillery is carrying on a local tradition of producing spirits from local ingredients. Iowa is surrounded by the best farmland of the world and produces the majority of the grain bill used at the distillery. This area also has sweet water that’s easily accessible and perfect for making moonshine. In the air are wild yeasts strains that make their way into the open-air fermenters, adding a special little taste of our Mississippi Valley in every batch of Artisan Grain’s Corn Whiskey.
Scott County, as well as the state of Iowa, has a lot of history in regards to distilling spirits that dates back some 180 years. Even during Prohibition, our area balked at the Federal law, choosing to live and create as it saw fit. Allen Jarosz is revitalizing this tradition by producing a spirit of yesterday, making new history for the Quad Cities, with a tip of the hat to the past.
You can visit Artisan Grain Distillery Monday through Friday 8am – 4pm (Friday til 7pm) and Saturday 8am – 7pm. Tours are available Friday from 4-7pm and all day Saturday. Coming this summer will be a tasting room and merchandise area, though you can stop down now and buy a bottle of moonshine during operating hours. For more information about Artisan Grain Distillery or the history of Iowa Whiskey, visit www.artisangraindistillery.com