Updated: 02/19/2014 6:18 PM
Created: 02/19/2014 4:41 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Inside the Paulucci Building in Canal Park there is a new business that looks a little like a laboratory.
"Distilling is chemistry," explained Joel Vikre.
Joel's wife, Emily, is originally from Duluth. A year and a half ago, they moved back to Duluth from the east coast to take on a new venture. In a town known for its craft beer, the Vikres have taken on craft spirits.
This week, Vikre Distillery is rolling out its first line of spirits.
"We have everything we need to make a really great whiskey in Minnesota, especially northern Minnesota," said Emily.
Their water comes from Lake Superior and their grains from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
"Our botanicals are a mixture. We have some things that just can't be grown in Duluth, like grapefruit peel...but what we can find here, we use. So we have foraged for spruce tips and we have sumac from Hawk's Ridge," said Joel.
Their Boreal Gins can now be found at 25 different restaurants and liquor stores across Duluth.
"Each one [gin] takes a different north woods flavor, or a few...using either locally grown or foraged botanicals," explained Emily.
The Boreal Juniper is their most traditional gin. Emily describes it as "juniper-forward" but they also used rhubarb from their backyard, too.
Then there's the Boreal Spruce and Boreal Cedar, which includes black currants from Bayfield, Wis. Each gin has between 10 and 12 different herbs.
The Vikre's began with the idea of a whiskey distillery, but since whiskey needs to age, they decided to make gin while they wait.
The Boreal Gins can be found at Grandma's Restaurant, Canal Park Brewing, and several other bars and restaurants.
Chester Bowl Ski Jumps to be Torn Down, Memorialized
Out with the old and in with the new is a transition that's difficult for many especially when the old is something as historic as the Chester Bowl Ski Jumps. They will be torn down the week of August 18th, but a new memorial will go up by early 2016.
Duluth Hunt To Allow Unlimited Antlerless Deer Harvest
As hunters gear up for fall, bowhunters in Duluth are also getting ready for a change. The city hunt will allow unlimited antlerless deer to be harvested this fall. The change comes as most of the state is seeing tighter restrictions.
130 Years of Mining in Minnesota
Folks gathered in Soudan on Thursday, to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the first shipment of iron ore.
Independence Party U.S. Senate Candidate Announces Support for PolyMet
The Independence Party's candidate for U.S. Senate in Minnesota announced his support for a proposed copper nickel mine on the Iron Range.
Four Republican Candidates for Minn. Governor Face Off On Air
The four Republican candidates for Minnesota governor faced off in a radio debate Thursday morning in Duluth. Marty Seifert, Scott Honour, Jeff Johnson and Kurt Zellers addressed the issue of what to do in the case of a budget shortfall, among other questions.