Cincinnati may be known for our craft beer but the distillery scene in Cincinnati is just as authentic and impressive. From 100+ year old recipes to creating your own custom bourbon, have some fun trying out some spirits at your hometown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky distilleries.
We all know about Cincinnati’s beer history but the fact is – distilleries were just as common in Cincinnati during parts of the 19th century as breweries were. During the Prohibition era, Cincinnati distilleries all but disappeared – but lucky for us, they are making a comeback!
Try a Cincinnati area distillery below and find your new favorite!
Local businesses are working hard to ensure their businesses are a safe place to work & visit. Please use the websites provided to get the most up-to-date information on their safety procedures, hours of operation, and important details.
Northside Distilling Co.
Address: 922 Race Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Known for: Moonshine “Northside Shine”, Corn Whiskey, Vodka, Bourbon, Gin, American Agave, and Rum
Northside Distilling Co. was started by two good friends in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati. After outgrowing the Northside location in 2017, they expanded production to Race Street in downtown Cincinnati.
As they say, their production is “From Grain to Glass”. This means that every bit of their process is done by hand, from beginning to end, on site. With such a diverse portfolio of spirits, this is no small feat!
Try their one-of-a-kind spirits for yourself at the Downtown Distillery & Bar on Race Street. You can also schedule a tour, event, or private party – see their website for more details.
Address: 4712 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217
Known for: Brandy, Honey Liqueur, Five Grain Bourbon, Single Malt Whisky, Rum, Gin, Bierschnaaps, Vodka, Honeywine (Mead), and Wine
Woodstone Distillery’s carefully crafted process sticks mostly to the way things were done prior to the Industrial Revolution – small batches and no computerized equipment.
Several of their spirits have received accolades from prominent local and national publications, including a blind taste test in CityBeat Magazine where their Cincinnati Vodka was preferred over 10 nationally known brands.
You can find the Tasting Room in St. Bernard close to the St. Bernard Recreation Center. If you or your group are looking for something other than spirits, visit Friday and Saturday for the “Weekender” tasting to try five wines of your choice.
You might also like: The Ultimate Cincinnati Breweries Guide
Robert James Distillery
(Distillery) 2810 Highland Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
(RJ Cinema) 4450 Eastgate South Drive, Suite 100, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245
Known for: Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Bourvin (Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Wine Barrels), Straight Rye Whiskey, and Dark Rum
Robert James is a craft distillery located in Norwood. The distillery itself hosts private parties, tastings, and group tours – but for a truly unique tasting experience and AWESOME date night idea, you’ll definitely want to visit the the RJ Cinema Distillery and Taproom (separate from the Norwood facility).
At the cinema, you can try spirits from Robert James or enjoy local craft beers. Place your food or drink order at the counter, then hang out in the taproom or watch a movie in their theater. Kids ARE allowed (though obviously not served drinks containing alcohol). Beyond just movies, the RJ Cinema also has trivia night and will soon offer distilling lessons.
New Riff Distilling
Address: 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Kentucky 41073
Known for: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, Single Barrel Rye Whiskey, Kentucky Wild Gin, Kentucky Wild Gin Bourbon Barreled
New Riff is an independent, family owned distillery located in Northern Kentucky. Self described as a “new riff on old tradition”, New Riff honors the rich history of whiskey and bourbon in Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, while pushing forward with new and innovative ideas.
From tours to tastings and classes, learn all things whiskey and gin at New Riff Distillery. Sample cocktails and their award-winning spirits at the Aquifer Tasting Bar, or sign up for a cocktail class or guided whiskey tasting. To go even more in-depth into New Riff’s history and processes, sign up for one (or maybe even all three!) of their distillery tours.
Brain Brew Whiskey
Address: 3849 Edwards Road, Newtown, Ohio 45244
Known for: Bourbon Blending Home Experience & Teach Me My Cocktail Experience, Old Dexter Easy Drinking Whiskey, Paddle Wheel Luxury Bourbon, Deckhand Big & Bold Rye Whiskey, Tall Stacks BBQ Smoked Bourbon
Brain Brew is all about how YOU like your whiskey!
Whiskey gets most of its flavor from the type of barrel it ages in. When you mix whiskey from different barrels together, you can create even more flavor combinations. At Brain Brew, they do the first step – aging the whiskey. Then you get to mix them together to create your own unique, made-to-order bourbon!
These days, Brain Brew has pivoted to give you an at-home experience. Choose from the Bourbon Blending Home Experience or the Teach Me My Cocktail Experience. Each kit is designed for 4 people, and includes the alcohol, mixing materials, and video lessons. You can even order a full bottle of bourbon using the recipe you created in the Bourbon Blending Home Experience kit. Preorder your kit online, then pick up at their location. (Note from Brain Brew: “Under Ohio law, all products must be picked up at our distillery at the Eureka! Ranch, 3849 Edwards Rd., Newtown, Ohio 45244.”)
Second Sight Spirits
Address: 301 Elm Street, Ludlow, Kentucky 41016
Known for: Oak Eye Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, Unbarreled Rum, Spiced Rum, Smoked Cherry Rum, Bourbon Barreled Rum, Dark Rum, and Queen Mab
Second Sight was started by two friends whose careers found them in Las Vegas helping create Cirque Du Soleil’s LOVE and Viva Elvis. Today, they bring the same creative experiences to their distillery in Northern Kentucky – but this time in their rum and whiskey.
At this unique distillery, you’ll find spirits inspired by the Fairy Queen and the Peot Prince, Queen Mab, and the all-seeing (Oak) Eye. Learn more about Second Sight’s “tales of the circus, Las Vegas, and Craigslist purchases” by signing up for one of their distillery tours, available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Boone County Distilling Co.
Address: 10601 Toebben Drive, Boone County, Kentucky 41051
Known for: Small Batch Bourbon, Bourbon Cream, Single Barrel Bourbon, Eighteen33, Dubby Rum, Ruckers & Gaines Gin, Tanner’s Curse
Boone County Distillery Co. was first started in 1833 under the name of Petersburg Distillery. By 1860, they had produced over 1 million gallons of whiskey and became the biggest distiller in Kentucky by 1880. Unfortunately, they had to close their doors in 1910.
Fast forward over 100 years to 2015, and bourbon is once more being bottled in Boone County. That’s why Boone County Distilling Co. spirits are “Made By Ghosts®”!
Two tours are available to learn more about the distillery’s process and history: the longer Grain to Grass Experience (45 minutes), and the Mini Tour (15 minutes). Walk-ins for tours and tastings are available, but they recommend reserving your spots ahead of time on their website.
Known for: Old Pogue’s Master Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, and Old Maysville Club Kentucky Straight Rye Malt Whisky
Old Pogue was first started in 1876 in the original Bourbon County, survived Prohibition, and lives on today led by fifth and sixth generation Pogues. Schedule a tour online to visit the distillery, sample Bourbon and Rye, and see the Pogue family home.
While in Maysville, visit the Bourbon History Galleries at the Old Pogue Experience to learn all about the Whiskey Tax Act Rebellion, Prohibition, and Maysville’s storied history of bourbon. On your way out, stop by the Still Gift Shop to take home some bourbon-themed gifts.