Tattersall Distilling held its grand opening Wednesday, Dec. 1. The place was packed.
But the potential for big crowds was not the only thing that attracted owners to launch their new location in River Falls.
The sustainability and renewability efforts of the city of River Falls drew interest from Tattersall Distilling. Compared with potential locations in the Midwest for a new facility, River Falls showed the most potential.
Between initiatives to keep the Kinnickinnic River clean, renewable energy initiatives and goals to continue to improve, Tattersall found a good fit in River Falls.
About a year ago the city and Tattersall began discussing the possibility of bringing an establishment to River Falls.
“It was a very welcoming community when we first were introduced and started talking to the city and, and exploring it,” said Jon Kreidler, founder and chief officer at Tattersall Distilling. “It's just an exciting place to be.”
At the grand opening, those talks reached fruition. The massive facility features a restaurant dining room, a tasting room and gift shop, rooms for private parties and the distillery operation. Guests wandered the hallways, which featured large signs telling the Tattersall story and its process for distilling spirits.
Although they weren’t initially looking for a space as large as the old Shopko building they now occupy, Tattersall was able to incorporate various unique aspects to the facility to fill the vacancy.
“We adjusted our plans and kind of scaled them up a little bit to fit the building,” Kreidler said.
“Working with the municipality here in the city to make things happen on the solar side… was pretty seamless. They know what they're doing,” Kreidler said.
The Tattersall building features a 405-kilowatt rooftop solar array, the largest of any craft distillery in the nation. The amount of electricity produced by the solar panels annually is equivalent to 373 tons of carbon dioxide offset.
While the sun is used for energy, any water used in production within the building is recycled by a water reclamation system, repurposed for future distillations. Having a Class 1 trout stream across the street from the Tattersall facility was another indicator that this would be a good fit, Kreidler said.
The focus on keeping the waterways clean and preserving the river “worked out really well and complemented what we were already doing, so it was a nice combination.”
Currently, Tattersall is working with another local company on mobile hydroponic farms, or growing plants in a nutrient solution root medium, which is a growing area of commercial food production and is used for home food production by hobbyists, according to the USDA. The goal at Tattersall is to have the hydroponic farm produce the greens for dishes like salads, sandwiches and pizzas.
In addition to looking at hydroponics, Tattersall is planning on getting a large scale composting program off the ground. The team has been working with waste management and is hoping to have one of the first large-scale composting programs of its kind in River Falls.
“And hopefully what that will do as we build … it'll allow other people to start doing it, too,” Kreidler said. “And once we reach a critical mass, then it'll be a much bigger priority for waste management and we can make that a more common theme throughout the city.”