There we were on a beautiful inland lake for our “Up North” summer vacation. Up North is anywhere towards Canada from Milwaukee for those not privileged to be raised in Wisconsin.
And as many Cheeseheads know, the only thing predictable about weather in America’s Dairyland is that it is frequently bad – in any season. This was early August – with temps “soaring” into the – uh 60’s, rain showers, howling wind and leaden gray skies. Typical! So rather than slathering on sun block, cruising the lake on a party boat, water skiing or stand-up paddling, we were looking for distraction.
Not only did we find a great way to get in out of the rain, we made an unusual, unexpected and delicious discovery – American Yeoman vodka.
It turns out that about ten miles away on County Highway B, is the Perlick Distillery, where young entrepreneur distiller Scott Perlick is fashioning bespoke vodka made from the wheat and other grains grown all around him on his family’s farm. It is a storybook Midwestern farm – with a big red barn and outbuildings, silos and crop fields radiating in all directions – home to five generations of Perlicks. Inside the distillery’s beautifully built-out tasting room, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. We were greeted by Scott’s sister Tanya, with shot glasses filled to the brim with ice-cold Yeoman vodka. We sat down at one of only four or five tables, chatted with Scott’s dad who does all the farming, and made our selections from the drinks menu. Our crew chose a combo of Moscow mules in copper mugs, bright pink Cosmo’s, the urbane dirty martini, and my personal fave – the Pomegranate!
In between rounds – it was still raining, so what the heck – and with drinks in hand, Scott took us downstairs to the Yeoman distillery room where he explained his process and his dedication to quality – in ingredients and painstaking small batch process. The tour and Scott’s enthusiasm put our tasting in a whole new light. Scott and his family are incredibly passionate about what they are doing – and distilling delicious vodka.
So the next time you happen to be Up North, be sure to check out Scott Perlick and American Yeoman vodka. It is a perfect way to while away a rainy day. In fact, we might be praying for rain on our next visit. In the meantime, check it out: http://www.perlickdistillery.com/