Photo by: Felicity Bosk
Photo by: Felicity Bosk

I made the two hour drive down to the Chippewa River Valley for Thanksgiving a few days early in order to spend time with family, friends, and to stop by the local breweries. The first stop was the Leinie Lodge, of course, but after that we made our way downtown to the Chippewa River Distillery & Brewster Bros. Brewing Co. I’ve been here a few times since they opened in spring 2016- they’re cocktails have always impressed me. Their cocktail menu fills four pages as well as a separate seasonal menu filled with cinnamon whiskey, peppermint vodka, and hot cocoa. The taproom is glowing with two story high glass walls allowing guests to see the river and city around them. They have a wide variety of spirits and I was excited try something seasonal. 

Featured Bartender 

Robert Patrie has been the operations manager of the Distillery / Brewery since they opened. He said his job entails planning what they’ll be brewing and distilling, the bottling process, and making sure everything is stocked. Often he said he works seven days a week. He had been a dairy and grain farmer for most of his life. He mentioned all the grain they use in their products is grown within 10 or 20 miles from the taproom. Patrie’s favorite cocktail is the old fashioned, which promoted my partner to order himself one. 

Featured Drink 

I am a big coffee person so I’m always interested when a drink includes espresso infused spirits. The Naughty Jen is made of vodka, espresso vodka, Irish cream, in a chocolate syrup drizzled glass. Patrie said they get the espresso they infuse into the vodka, along with vanilla, from Woodman’s Market. 

How is it? 

More like a glass of chocolate milk than an iced latte this drink was creamy and chocolatey and delicious. The chocolate drizzle on the sides melted into the drink as the espresso flavor faded to a hint. The Naughty Jen is very much like a boozy chocolate milk and delicious dessert cocktail.