Northside Distilling is Turning Out Corn Whiskey From (Where Else?) a Tiny Old Barn


Northside Distilling occupies an impossibly small converted horse barn behind Fred Koch’s now-phantom greenhouses on Springlawn Ave. The conversion to a distillery created enough space for all aspects of production, as well as a cozy tasting room.


Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Their output is small, but has been growing quickly thanks to support from several bars and restaurants around town. Head distiller Chris Courts and his assistant, Mike Marcagi, are inquisitive sorts who tinker and experiment (there’s bourbon and gin in the works), and since the grain of choice is corn, they’ve hit upon a remarkable diversity of character between the three spirits.

Head Distiller Chris Courts

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

They launched a little over a year ago with a Corn Whiskey ($34.50). If you’re an old moonshiner—and in this era of discontent, who isn’t?—don’t think of this as diluted white dog. It’s a clear spirit with real character, not unlike a more assertive rhum agricole blanc, though unmistakably whiskey. Which is to say smooth, and readily subbed for bourbon, even in an Old Fashioned, although you ought to change the name.


Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

With respect to moonshine, this past spring the boys released Northside Shine ($24). Use it in place of vodka to make your cocktails a bit more randy—or just go with their most recent release, vodka ($22), which is distilled nine times (from corn) and will drumpf anything you’re using in that after-work vodka martini. It’s a fine way to have a happy hour as you sit back, sip, and think about more good times than bad.

Northside Distilling, 1326B Springlawn Ave., Northside, (513) 549-3831,

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