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As it was so famously put - "Is this Heaven? No - it's Iowa." At Wildcat Distilling, Co., we can understand how that question could be asked. While all four members of the founding team have deep roots in the farming communities of Iowa, two of our members - brother and sister Brad and Alissa Lemke - were lucky enough to grow up on a beautiful farm just outside of the small town of Duncombe, Iowa, where our distillery now stands.

Raised on the farm owned by our grandparents, as children we were always intrigued by the “Wildcat Cave” found deep in our timber and the centuries of carvings and history that cover it. A gorgeous limestone formation carved out of the sandstone bluffs by the creek running below, our grandparents would tell us stories about the mountain lions and bobcats who gave the cave it’s name and who’s dens we were careful not to disturb.

When we were older, we were told about the speakeasy in a barn that supposedly stood on the top of the cave during the days of prohibition. It was well known that the rich, black soil of our farm and the farmlands around us grew some of the finest corn in the area. Once distilled, this same grain was known to create some of the smoothest liquor too. Coincidence? We think not.

Among the legends, one of our favorite stories was the rumor whispered in the nearby towns that outlaws Bonnie and Clyde once took refuge in the cave during their infamous run through Iowa. We may never know for sure, but if the story is true, we’d like to think that they enjoyed some of that smooth Iowa corn moonshine during their time there.

Even though many years have passed since we've heard the stories, we’ve maintained the love of our land and our intrigue in the legends. Whether or not the lore is true, liquor and wildcats seem to be tied to our land. 

This is why we’ve created Wildcat Distilling, Co.: to honor the past while creating and bringing a piece of a New Iowa Legend to you.

From our farm to your glass.

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