River Pilot Vodka

Over a century ago, river pilots brought LeClaire, Iowa to life through their remarkable ability to navigate boats cleanly through the Mississippi's dangerous cross currents, rocks and channels. The very first was Philip Suiter. River Pilot Vodka is handmade in Le Claire - overlooking the the river Suiter piloted - and reflects the soul of this honest, honorable and down-to-Earth pioneer.

River Pilot is a crystal clear vodka with unparalleled smoothness. We use 100% Iowa ingredients in this product. First, we distill a clear sweet corn vodka using corn harvested less than 3 miles from our distillery. That spirit is blended with a neutral corn spirit distilled at a local corn processing plant. The two spirits are combined and then carbon filtered at our distillery. Finally, the blend is redistilled through our small batch process to ensure the smoothest and cleanest of vodkas. Each bottle is hand numbered to reflect the handcrafted dedication each bottle receives.

River Pilot Vodka

Our difference

This blend showcases a booming, but little known Iowa industry. Iowa is the number one beverage alcohol producing state in the country. Hundreds of vodkas worldwide are made with spirits distilled at Iowa corn processing plants. Because it isn’t bottled in Iowa, people don’t know about the industry. We sell our alcohol byproducts to a local processor who re-distills them into alcohol fuels. Knowing they also made spirits, we decided it would be a great collaboration to blend the spirits to make a premium local product.

Pour River Pilot Vodka for pleasure beyond taste and raise a glass to the hardworking river pilots who tamed the Mighty Mississippi.

Where to buy

Meet the Pilot

My name is Philip Suiter and the river was my life. My greatest days were always spent along the banks of the river where I called home. In 1824, I was 26 years old when I handcrafted a boat from white oak strips a grapevines at my home in Lawrence County, Ohio. With my wife and 2 children in tow, we paddled down the Ohio River and then turned north for the slow trip up the Mississippi.

We landed in Illinois where we stayed for a few years. The locals quickly recognized my talents on the water. I spent so much time on the river, I knew by memory every twist in the bank, every line of rocks, every cross current that would be of danger to travelers on the water. In 1829, a young engineer by the name of Robert E. Lee requested my service. His charge was to map the currents and channels of the river. Using landmarks on the banks, I helped him to chart the mighty river and the workings of even the smallest flows.

Read more about the Pilot

River Pilot Vodka
Mississippi River Distilling Company

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