Road Trippin': LeClaire's Libation Lane
LeClaire Iowa is not a large community but when it comes to local beer, wine and spirits they’re ahead of the game.
Just a stone’s throw from the Mississippi, Wide River Winery's LeClaire tasting room is a welcoming example of Iowa’s growing wine industry.
Offering about a dozen wines their reds, whites, dry and sweet make a short trip from their Clinton winery.
“We offer a wide variety to please any pallet,” says Liz Quinn, of Wide River. “We often get people here that have never done a white wine tasting before and they leave with six bottles of wine.”
The wines maker is also a practicing lawyer who aptly names each bottle with legal lingo.
“White-collar crime is my favorite; the wine maker’s favorite is a Felony Red,” says Quinn.
But in this tasting room you are the jury.
Just $7.00 gets you a glass to keep and 5 wines to sample.
Whether enjoying samples inside or music on the patio I find Wide River guilty of good time.
Wandering out of the winery I find my way just down the block to Green Tree Brewery.
“In two years we went from thinking it would be a nice hobby I hoped that it would pay for itself, to distributing so much beer in Illinois and Iowa that we're brewing twice a week,” says local Dentist and Brewer Richard Day.
Despite a full load of patients, he doesn't mind spending nights and weekends in their basement brewery.
“It's just a riot to be in there making beer and doing it on a scale big enough that thousands of people can enjoy the beer,” says Day, adding with 15 different beers there's always something for somebody to try that they like.
The taproom sits right on the river and it’s a hard view to beat whether inside or out on their covered patio.
Another stop that shares the spectacular sights sits just next door at the Mississippi River Distilling Company where they make a little bit of everything.
“if it's made from grain we probably make it, bourbon, rye whiskey, we make vodka, gin, a series of liquors,” says Ryan Burchett who runs the distillery with his brother.
Until recently they could only serve samples and sell bottles on sight but in July a new law allowed then to start a lot more.
“Now we can sell cocktails here so we've opened up our Cody Road Cocktail House so people can belly up and enjoy a little bit of it,” says Burchett.
It has really changed things for them and their customers.
“They're getting to experience our spirits in a whole new way, not just a little quarter ounce sample cup,” he says.
Visit one or all and if you get a growler or buy a bottle at each stop make sure you get a Libation’s Lane punch card to get a free glass designed with every business.
“Having a brewery, a winery, and distillery all in one town we just naturally had to get together and do something like this,” says Day.
It’s a great way to kick back relax and enjoy the view.