MUNSTER — Walking into the 3 Floyds Distillery, visitors are greeted with a fuzzy, moss-covered wall and a colossal mural depicting Genghis Khan slicing Chewbacca from "Star Wars" in half.
The ceiling is constructed from a collage of charred wooden boards from barrels that once held aging alcohol. Pointed metal lighting fixtures hung like stalactites from a cave, resembling the upside-down crown of 3 Floyds' celebrated beer mascot, Alpha King.
The aesthetic is what head distiller, Abby Titcomb, called a “beautiful brutality,” matching the bite of the distillery's many potent liquors accentuated by the sweetness of added ingredients such as cherry, honey clove and lemongrass.
“I love the juxtaposition of softness and jagged, roughness,” Titcomb said. “Nick (Floyd's) aesthetic of art comes through comic books, history, fantasy, nature, music, metal — and all of these pieces really come together here.”
The Region staple celebrated its leap from renowned beer to experimental spirits with a grand opening Friday evening that celebrated craft liquors, cocktails and cuisine pairings at the new distillery, located right next to the brewpub. A Crete, Illinois, farm lent some baby goats to the festivities, who grazed outside of the venue in a pen.
The distillery offers rum, whiskey and gin. Those spirits can be mixed with a variety of fruity, creamy and sour flavors to create unique cocktails. It boasts a variety of snacks, including meat and cheese boards, savory English pastries and "adult lunchables" — an entree sampler.
Cole Ersel, culinary director at the distillery, said visitors can mix and match any drinks with a variety of dishes, however, there are some pairings that were made for each other. One of those is the Tropisk, a sweet Dark Matter coffee and rum slushy that pairs well with a fresh sour cream doughnut from Munster Donut, complete with dips like whiskey caramel, and toppings, like pretzels, he said.
Titcomb has traveled throughout the nation and world in search of inspiring food and drinks. The spirits and cocktails were inspired by trips to Denmark, Mexico, London, San Francisco and Wisconsin.
“I just really want to make good booze,” Titcomb said. “The 3 Floyds' 'It's not normal,' philosophy carries over, so we do thing our own way. But we also pay homage to honored traditions. Brewing and distilling is such an ancient tradition that dates back thousands of years.”
Much like 3 Floyds Brewpub, the distillery has room for evolution and creative addition, she said. When asked what plans she had for the future of the distillery, she revealed some major aspirations: “Global domination,” Titcomb laughed.
“But really, I am a whiskey drinker so I'd like to experiment more with that. We have 200 barrels aging upstairs now and there's room for 1,400, so I'd like to fill the barrel house," she added.