Great Northern Distillery comes to Stevens Point in 2022
By Layton Norris
PORTAGE COUNTY – Great Northern Distilling announces that it plans to construct a new facility in Stevens Point, which will replace the original location in Plover. Great Northern Distillery plans to vacate the Plover location and begin production in the new Stevens Point location by late April of 2022.
Small-batch craft distilled spirits have become increasingly popular throughout central Wisconsin. One such distillery that has become a popular producer is Great Northern Distilling, which just recently announced its plan to move its location from Plover, to Stevens Point.
Founder of Great Northern Distilling, Brian Cummins, announced that the move from Plover to Stevens Point is underway and that the company “hopes to break ground here in the next week or so, as long as the weather holds out.” If the weather conditions remain ideal for construction, then the company plans to “pour the footings and foundation for the building.” From that point forward the “prefabricated portions of the building [will be] delivered in mid to late February,” which will then allow for the building to be “closed in,” and for workers to proceed by “working [on] the interior.”
According to Cummins, the company hopes to complete the construction that will allow for the company to start manufacturing on the new site by April of 2020. Cummins plans to include an improved “Tasting Room Bar” in the new structure, which will provide guests with the ability to observe their drinks being made by a mixologist. The new Tasting Room Bar will have 29 seats as opposed to the 11 seats available at the Plover location. This larger and improved Tasting Room Bar will be finalized and opened to “the public in late June of 2022.”
Along with the newly improved and far more spacious Tasting Room Bar, Cummins plans to include “an outdoor patio with a pergola, which will be dog-friendly.” The patio will be equipped with heaters, which should allow for people to enjoy the patio for three-quarters of the year. In addition, there will be “a new event space that will be on the second floor, [for the purpose of] hosting [private] events with up to 150 people.” These new accommodations are planned to be opened to the public in late June of 2022 along with the Tasting Room Bar.
Great Northern Distilling’s current facility in Plover was originally a car dealership, which Cummins “retrofitted into a distillery.” When founding Great Northern Distilling, Cummins knew that he wanted “the business [to be] in central Wisconsin because of the [abundance of] great water, and agricultural ingredients in the area.” The location of Plover was chosen simply for the availability of the building, which was “perfectly sized” for the distillery at the time.
Over the years, the Great Northern Distillery “outgrew the space [of the current facility,] and during COVID-19, the landlord [of the space that the distillery occupies decided] that he wanted to use the building for other purposes,” which compelled Cummins to consider “what [he] wants [Great Northern Distilling] to be for the next 10 or 20 years,” and where would be best.
When considering where the best location to move to would be, Cummins knew that he wished to remain in central Wisconsin. This led Cummins to consider downtown Stevens Point as the location that Great
Northern Distilling would operate out of in the near future. Cummins ultimately decided that Stevens Point would be the ideal location for the distillery because “downtown Stevens Point really feels like the center of gravity [within] the area.” Additionally, “Stevens Point and [the surrounding area] has such a good culture of creative entrepreneurs… It feels like there’s a great energy of creation and revitalization in downtown Stevens Point, [and Great Northern Distilling is] excited to be a part of that.”