The micro-distilling scene in Louisiana is about to get another player. Louisiana Spirits LLC is set to have their rum distillery in operation by this coming summer.
Louisiana Spirits LLC is building a new state of the art distillery to create world-class rum crafted with Louisiana sugar cane in Lacassine, La. Construction is underway on the 18,000 square foot facility which will house the full distillery, barrel storage, bottling line and offices. It will also include a gift shop and a viewing room that explores the state’s historic role as a sugar cane producer and rum distiller with memorabilia and curated exhibits. Louisiana Spirits is gearing up to offer its first rum in 2012.
“Our vision for a world class rum distillery in Louisiana is a natural fit for the Lacassine area. Our Louisiana rum will represent the best the state has to offer in the way of local sugar cane, molasses and raw sugar. We’re committed to delivering products that honor Cajun heritage and are worthy of the ‘Made in Louisiana label,” said Trey Litel, President of Louisiana Spirits LLC.
“The growth of artisan distilling in the USA has been inspiring, and so has the trend toward local ‘farm to table’ products made in the USA. We plan to do that here. We believe Louisiana enthusiasts and consumers will recognize and switch to an authentic Louisiana rum now that they have a worthy choice,” Litel adds.
The local Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development and Tourist Commission office has supported the project since site selection by providing legislative and program support. “Louisiana Spirits is important to the economic engine of Jeff Davis Parish providing a new tourist attraction and adding value to area agriculture products,” said Marion Fox, Executive Director of Jeff Davis Economic Development, Tourist, and Film Commissions. “The owners are sincere, experienced entrepreneurs and marketers who wisely chose Jeff Davis Parish as the location of this new venture, and our team strongly supports their new distillery!”
Tim Litel, Skip Cortese, and Trey Litel founded Louisiana Spirits in May 2011. The Litel brothers are from the Lake Charles area and have teamed with Skip Cortese of Baton Rouge for the venture. “The idea came out of a duck blind conversation near the Lacassine Wildlife Refuge and some sugar cane fields. So, it was natural to select our site near the sugar mill at Lacassine,” said Tim Litel. “We could not be happier with the local government’s reception and support from LED, and we look forward to getting the distillery up and running.”
“We have visited many distilleries in other states, but they do not have the fascinating history of the Louisiana sugar cane industry to work with. We plan to celebrate that history with our distillery and our rum. We have researched the origins of rum and its introduction in Louisiana,” said Skip Cortese. “In Spanish Colonial Louisiana, around 1770, a settler named Manuel Solís built a rum distillery and a small mill to grind cane. Rum was produced in Louisiana even before Étienne Bore perfected sugar production! This practice continued in most plantation sugar houses until the Civil War. We thought with abundant sugar cane fields in south Louisiana; why not revive rum distilling here today?”
With Louisiana being the fourth largest producer of sugar cane in the United States, there is a big opportunity here for the state to shine and add its unique value to the spirit.
For more information, visit www.laspirits.net.