Wondertucky Distillery is set to open the doors to a new tasting room this week.
Owner Dave Cunningham started distributing his handcrafted bourbon and whiskey at his distillery, Wondertucky, the first of its kind in McHenry County. Today, the products are on the shelves of more than 200 stores, from local specialty shops to larger chains such as Jewel-Osco and Binny’s. Getting the finished product to store shelves has proven to be the most difficult part of the business thus far, according to Cunningham.
Cunningham makes all of the products by hand in his Woodstock location, each batch taking about a week to complete. Products offered are corn whiskey in three different proofs (80, 100 and 120) and bourbon. Prices for a bottle range from $13 to $35 depending on size and strength.
“We’re a small batch, craft boutique distillery, from grain to bottle. Everything is handcrafted rather than mass-produced,” Cunningham said.
Jessica Zuba runs the office and oversees the production line. Though things have been hectic for the pair with establishing the addition to the business, she says the work is worth it. “We eat, sleep and breathe this. You’d have to love this, to do what we do here.”
The new western-themed tasting room will accommodate 46 people, and offer free tastings of the distillery’s various products. Guests also can purchase bottles to take home along with other merchandise such as T-shirts. Optional distillery tours are $10 or are included with a purchase.
Cunningham claims a key component to the quality of his product is the water he uses when producing it.
“Part of why I chose to do business here initially … a glacier came through here tens of thousands of years ago and deposited a huge amount of limestone underneath us. We’re sitting on a great deposit here. We’ve got good water in Woodstock, and it makes good booze.”
He’s also grateful for the acceptance by the community. “I’m so happy to be doing business in Woodstock,” he commented.
The distillery and tasting room at 315 E. South St. will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. The soft opening is set for Wednesday, Dec. 21, from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. and will feature catered food and an acoustic band.
“I love what I do. I want the general public to understand how much I love doing this,” Cunningham added.