Every label on every bottle of Revelton Distillery Company's distilled spirits contains the phrases "Our Liberties We Prize" and "Our Rights We Maintain". If you think you've heard that before, you probably have as it is nearly identical to the State of Iowa's motto of "Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain".
That homage to Iowa makes sense as Revelton, located on the edge Osceola and just 45 minutes south of Des Moines on Interstate 35, is one of Iowa's newest distilleries.
Revelton is just across the road from Lakeside Hotel Casino. What's between the two of them? I-35.
This facility at one time was a winery. A few years ago, Rob and Christi Taylor purchased the building and some of the surrounding land and opened up Honey Hill Event Center, a popular spot for weddings and other family and corporate events.
In January of 2020, they suspended operations of Honey Hill and set in motion a plan to turn the space into Revelton. It takes a lot of financial capital and hard work to get a successful distillery off the ground given all the specialized equipment involved. The City of Osceola detailed a lot of the effort on their website and it's worth the read.
Since many distilled spirts require a lot of aging, a storage warehouse was recently erected. There is room for more buildings when the time comes.
There's ample parking available on concrete lots.
Iowa Adventurer and a friend paid a visit to Revelton earlier this year (before the snow melted) not long after it opened to the public. We had a great experience. Once inside the building, it's easy to see why this is quickly becoming a great hangout spot for Osceola and the surrounding area.
Once inside the building, you find yourself in a lovely foyer.
Heading through a set of doors, you enter into an absolutely gorgeous tasting room.
The attention to detail in quite exquisite.
From floor to ceiling, the space has an almost "swanky" feel to it with the royal blue and white color scheme, exposed rafters, wood floors, and attractive lighting.
There's an assortment of seating options - from high top tables to comfortable couches and chairs.
Of course, the focus of the room is the three-sided bar with a beautiful wooden bar back.
The friendly staff working will be happy to offer you a few small tastings. If you want to try one of their specialty craft cocktails, they've got a number of different ones to to choose from. The drink pictured is the crème vanguard.
They've got a page on their website dedicated to their products. If you follow them on Facebook or Instagram, you'll also see that they are regularly rolling out new stuff. They are also building an impressive network of retailers as part of their sales distribution. I know many different grocery stores and liquor stores throughout Iowa and beyond are stocking this product because it's quickly generating a lot of consumer enthusiasm. However, you can also purchase a few bottles of your choosing directly from the distillery.
They've also got other branded merchandise for sale.
Iowa Adventurer happens to know Rob and Christie, the owners, and so Rob was kind enough to give me and a few other patrons a brief tour of the production room. I'm not sure how often Rob gives tours, but he recently hosted Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg for a visit.
The entire basement of the facility has been transformed into a modern commercial distillery and bottling area.
Iowa Adventurer has toured a number of distilleries over the years - both in Iowa and elsewhere - and I find it fascinating. There's a lot of moving parts and the processes have to be very exact in order to get a product that is both high quality and consistent. Rob went off to school in Louisville to learn from some of the world's best distillers and I think that is why his products have already generated so much buzz.
There's even a pretty distillery cat who has taken up residence. Perhaps one day she'll have a liquor named after her? At a minimum, she needs her own cocktail "cattail?" on the menu.
My visit was in winter and so that's obviously not conducive for outside enjoyment in Iowa. However, there is outside space that can be enjoyed during the warmer months of the year.
These very ornate steps will take you down to an area that can utilized for weddings or other outdoor celebrations.
If you'd still like to host your wedding or private event at Revelton, they are still available to host weddings and other corporate events. Additionally, based on the activity on their social media accounts, they are regularly hosting musicians and other events. This is a great spot just to come and hang out on a date night or with a group of friends.
In Iowa, we've seen first the growth of wineries, and then breweries, and now distilleries. We're also seeing people lately create businesses around coffee roasting and now specialty meats. There's potential for entrepreneurs in Iowa in this realm and it's exciting.
For the Taylors, as was written on the city's website, they see the future of Revelton as "not just as an event center to serve the local community, but as a national and even international attraction for fans and connoisseurs of fine distilled spirits."
Those are big ambitions.
However, Revelton is off to a good start and the potential for significant growth is very high. You may wish to adventure on over to Osceola soon so someday you can say, "I knew them when".
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Clarke County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this site.