Weston, Missouri is a town that caters to those of us who like an adult beverage or two. Behind this innocent looking "country store" facade downtown lies something entirely unexpected, if you hadn't done your research ahead of time. But of course we had.
Instead of foodstuffs, hardware, candy, and other knick knacks you might expect to find at an actual country store, this is actually the retail storefront for the McCormick Distilling Company, the oldest continuously operating distilling company in the United States. Naturally, we thought it worthy of a stop on one of our bike rides in the area!
In addition to the distillery's history, impressive too is their store's tasting policy. Per day, each adult is allowed two tastes of any liquor that they sell for 25 cents each. And was it ever a hard choice, as they sell a lot of products. Check 'em out.
The "bartender" explained many of the choices to us, and with some difficulty, we chose. I tried their Madagascar Vanilla 360 vodka, which was delicious, and a caramel-flavored whiskey I didn't like as much. I love caramel flavor but am just not a whiskey gal. Barry tried their imported tequila (from Mexico, of course) and their unique "Fireshine", a blend of real moonshine (corn whiskey) and cinnamon liqueur that tastes just like a fireball. Yum! Needless to say, he had to purchase that one!
Now you see the wisdom of their tasting policy. After plying you with two small shots, I wonder how many people are able to resist a purchase? Very few, I'd wager!
The actual distillery sits right on the edge of town nestled in green rolling hills. They give hour-long tours that are reported to be fascinating, though we did not take one. We did happen upon the place on one of our bike rides on a later day, though.
The distillery in the white buildings at the back.
Another well-known and excellent place for libations in downtown Weston is the Weston Brewing Company. Here is some history of the brewery from Wikipedia:
The Weston Brewing Company was first established in 1842 by German immigrant, John Georgian, and was one of the first lager beer breweries in the U.S. Five arched, limestone cellars, dug to a depth of 55 feet below ground, were constructed to create the ideal conditions for Georgian’s lager beer which needed to be stored below 60 degrees. The brewery closed in 1919 when prohibition, otherwise known as "the great experiment", was signed into law. In 2005 the Weston Brewing Company reopened and one of the cellars now houses a unique bar which requires patrons to descend down through a small rock faced tunnel to get to the large, cool, cavern like bar.
We visited the brewery for lunch (not the same day we went to the distillery, mind you!) Since we had our bikes with us, we did not descend into the cavern-like underground pub but sat outside in the breeze where we could keep an eye on our wheels.
We ordered a beer flight so we could try all the beers brewed here. I wasn't a fan of the stout, but the others were all quite tasty. Additionally, the brewery makes a line of beers and ales called Root Sellers. These are sold in cans and are really unique. We split a Carrot-Apple Ale, as we just had to try it. It is made with carrots instead of hops and is dangerously good! It's in the pint glass in the photo below.
After a healthy (and not totally liquid!) lunch, we split a piece of lemon chess pie with raspberry sauce. Delish!
Before hitting the road, we bought some of the Root Sellers beers to go. These are available in grocery stores but are more reasonably priced when purchased directly from the brewery. A four-pack of 16-oz cans is just $6 each, no tax. Barry is a root beer fan, so we got those for him.
We actually rode back a couple of days later for another four-pack of the Carrot & Apple Ale and and four-pack of this hard ginger ale, which we hadn't seen before. Isn't the label and name just perfect for us? It is oh-so-delicious.
Weston has a couple of wineries as well, but we passed on those since we'd recently visited a winery in Hermann and were well-stocked on wine.
No matter what you're drinking, or if you simply want to sip something different, it seems that Weston has it!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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