Madison: Cheese and Spirits Tastings at Yahara Bay Distillers

Yahara Bay Distillers


I visited three distilleries in Madison including Yahara Bay Distillers which is one of the largest craft distillers in the state. They offer everything from whiskey to rum. They also do contract distilling and are the bottlers for Vom Fass, an European company with many stores across the US. When I visited the store in Madison, I was fascinated you could taste all the spirits before buying. At Yahara Bay, they explained the clear bottles with the handwritten names is a very Vom Fass thing.


One of the stills at Yahara Bay Distillers


Our informal distillery tour had us peeking into everything. I learned that once the spirits are barreled or bottled, they are immediately taxed. So you might see some big containers of liquid until they’re ready to barrel to age or bottle for distribution.

barrels and barrels of spirits!


It’s always impressive when you see so many spirits. Just imagine that whiskey one day when it’s ready to go!


limited release whiskey from Yahara Bay


I liked that we were enjoying all parts of the distillery and even tried a limited release whiskey in the gift shop.

cheese and spirits tasting at Yahara Bay


Back in the bar we tried a spirits and cheese tasting organized by Yahara Bay’s cheesemonger Liz Dueland. We had local cheeses with their Extra Dry gin, Barrel Mellowed gin, Yahara Bay rum and Mad Bird rum.

I thought this was a very fun tasting. I’ve had spirits with chocolate and spirits with food, of course. But I never thought about spirits and cheese before. For your next wine and cheese night, go with spirits instead!


dried tomato flatbread


Yahara Bay also offers flatbreads and many feature their spirits. I really liked the caramelized onion one with the Extra Dry gin. Plus we tried flatbreads with dried tomatoes and another with mushrooms.

ready to drink Wisconsin Old Fashioneds



For those who like the ease of ready to drink cocktails, Yahara Bay’s new Third Gear Old Fashioned is good to go over ice! Just add your own slice of orange and cherry.


Yahara Bay Distillers

6250 Nesbitt Rd., Madison, WI 53719  —   (608) 275-1050

© 2018 The Minty


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Thanks to Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau for the opportunity to check out Madison!