Modern Nomad is a weekly column dedicated to mobile gear, must-see world destinations, tips for life on the road, and traveling better through technology.
If you have plans for St. Patrick’s Day, you might want to cancel them. Skip the glittery green hats and novelty shamrock sunglasses this year and think bigger. The good folks at Mississippi River Distilling are offering an exclusive, hands-on weekend course in the fine art of whiskey making.
The small town of LeClaire, Iowa (population: 3,765) isn’t known as a hotspot of modern cocktail and spirit culture. Frankly, we’re not sure it’s widely known for much of anything. Nevertheless, it’s where Ryan and Garrett Burchett decided to take a chance, to follow their dream, and do something that hadn’t been done in the state since Prohibition. In 2010, the two brothers founded Mississippi River Distilling with an old school vision. They wanted to offer modern, small batch spirits handcrafted with real pride and the freshest local ingredients. It’s the sort of operation where every bottle is sealed and hand signed at the distillery.
In five short years, that passion has translated to a catalog of premium spirits including vodka, gin, bourbon, rye, and whiskey. But the brothers wanted to go further. In the past year, they’ve expanded to provide craft spirit fans with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how whiskey is made. This is how the Mississippi River Distilling Whiskey School came to be. The school’s mission statement is simple: “You love whiskey. So do we. And we want you to see what it’s all about from beginning to end.” The goal is to provide a comprehensive experience that takes students through the entire process — from mash to distilling — in one unforgettable weekend.
Enrollment is extremely limited with 2015 classes (March 7-8) open to just five students. The $2,000 USD entry fee includes:
- Admission for two to the MRD Whiskey School weekend
- Learning to make classic cocktails
- 6 bottles of Cody Road Whiskey
- 1 Used Cody Road Whiskey Barrel
- 2 Glencarin Crystal Whiskey Nosing Glasses
- 1 Cody Road Whiskey aluminum bar sign
- 2 Cody Road Whiskey T-Shirts
- 1 double queen bed room at the LeClaire Holiday Inn Express Riverfront
- All food and drink for the weekend