Skaalvenn Distillery Opens Cocktail Room, ‘There’s Nothing Like This in Brooklyn Park’
For the past five years, Skaalvenn Distillery owner Tyson Schnitker has produced his popular line of spirits in a Brooklyn Park office complex along Boone Avenue.
“This is our new workhorse,” Schnitker said, pointing out a silver production still. “We just upgraded to this a couple months ago and it’s working great.”
But that piece of equipment isn’t the only thing about this distillery that’s new.
Skaalvenn Distillery is now home to a cocktail room, fulfilling a goal that’s been on Schnitker’s mind for years.
“When you walk into that door, the amount of expletives I’ve heard as people step into this space really tells me that we did something exceptional,” he said.
The cocktail room opened in mid-October. It’s a Japanese-inspired space that allows for social distancing. The Brooklyn Park facility limits capacity space and also asks that customers make reservations due to COVID-19.
Schnitker says they hope to provide an experience that’s usually found in a place like downtown Minneapolis, only with free parking and considerably shorter walks from your car.
“There’s nothing like this in Brooklyn Park,” he said. “There’s some good restaurants and a couple of good bars around, but there’s nothing that’s to this level.”
Drinks with Only House-Made Spirits
And then there are the drinks. One of the requirements of a cocktail room is that it has to produce all of its own beverages.
“We can’t just buy a spirit and use it here,” Schnitker said. “We can’t use tequila, we can’t use scotch, we have to try and come up with some type of substitute using only our spirits.”
Dick Dunham is one of the bartenders charged with that task.
“It’s really fun learning how to do all these little things that contribute to the success of a from-scratch cocktail bar,” Dunham said.
Skaalvenn, which is a Norwegian term that means “cheers, friend,” has products in 400 retail stores across Minnesota.
But for people seeking a new weekend spot to toast with their friends in person, this nondescript office complex now offers people that chance.
“We just hope to be a part of this community for another six years or more to come,” Schnitker said.