Brooklyn Park business finds success in spirits
Nearly two years after releasing its first batch of craft spirits, a Brooklyn Park distillery is on its way to becoming a staple among Minnesota-made spirits. 

In February 2015, CCX News first introduced our viewers to Skaalvenn Distillery, and its owners Tyson and Mary Schnitker who were just a few months away from releasing the first batch of Skaalvenn rum and vodka.

"We want to create a good product, we want to have a good following, we want people to have fun when they're drinking our products," said Tyson Schnitker in the 2015 interview. 

Fast forward to today, and the latest batch of Skaalvenn vodka is on its way.
Owned and operated by Tyson Schnitker, Skaalvenn is still a one man business, but now there's four different products: vodka, rum, aquavit and a newly released habenero rum. There's also the possibility of a fifth product coming soon.

"I've got another new product that I'm hoping will be out before summertime, but I'm keeping a secret on that one," said Schnitker.

The brand name, a loose translation of Norwegian meaning, cheers, friends is gaining momentum in the state.

Skaalvenn is now available in more than 300 locations in Minnesota, including on select Target store shelves and at area liquor stores and restaurants.

"It's a good product, it's a fun brand, and people want that," said Schnitker.

With about a thousand bottles sold a month, Skaalvenn is looking ahead to the next step: the Brooklyn Park distillery is ready to expand to a new location, and Tyson Schnitker has his eye on hiring his first few employees when the time comes.

"Short term, we want to get a cocktail room going soon. Our lease is done here in under a year, and so we really want to find a new space, find a city that wants to have that going," said Schnitker.

There's growing competition in Minnesota among local craft distilleries. When Skaalvenn got its state license, it was the 16th distillery in Minnesota. Now there are around 30 distilleries licensed in the state.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

March 13, 2017


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