As demand for their Cody Road Whiskey grows, Mississippi River Distilling Company is partnering with another local business to grow their production. This Friday, Crawford Brewing Equipment, a division of the Crawford Company in Rock Island, Illinois, will deliver and install a new 1,400 gallon mash tank at the distillery. The new mash tank has been custom built to specifications from MRDC and will nearly triple the distillery’s brewing capacity.
“When we started, we brought most of our equipment over from Germany.” said co-owner and distiller Ryan Burchett. “It makes it tough to get parts for repairs when you have to go half way around the globe. We noticed the great work Crawford Company did building the equipment for Front Street Brewery in Davenport. So we asked them if they could help us as well.”
Keith Gerks, division manager for Crawford Brewing Equipment said it wasn’t a big stretch for them to build a tank for a distillery. “The principles are the same as for our beer tanks. These guys actually need less equipment on the inside than the beer equipment. It was just a matter of making it big enough so the distillery could continue to grow with it.”
“We love to work locally.” said Burchett. “It’s what our brand is built on. All of our spirits are made from grain sourced from farmers within 25 miles of the place. We thought why not use equipment made locally too?”
The growth is part of a large scale push to increase production at the small distillery. “Our spirits continue to turn heads in the marketplace.” said co-owner and distiller Garrett Burchett. “We’ve been winning awards across the country and now our products are available in 25 states. So with more people asking for it, we need to make more of it.”
The distillery just finished the addition of a 1,500 square foot barrel storage room. The new barrel room triples the whiskey storage capacity of the small distillery. “We have to make the whiskey now that we plan to sell in a few years because of the aging process.” Burchett added. “This new mash tank will allow us to distill a lot more whiskey and the new barrel room gives us the storage to have more aging than ever before.”
Mississippi River Distilling Company is entering their 5th year of operation in LeClaire. Along with the growth of the distillery, construction is underway on the new Green Tree Brewery business next door to the north. Local restaurateur Barrel House is planning to begin construction on a new restaurant this spring as a neighbor to the distillery on the south. “It’s really exciting to see this end of downtown LeClaire coming together.” said Burchett. “This is becoming one of the premier places in the entire region for tourists and locals alike to enjoy shopping, dining and to enjoy a good drink!”