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Detroit City Distillery turns event space into a spacious, candle-lit bar

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Over the summer the Detroit City Distillery was able to serve cocktails outside its tasting room in the open air streets of Eastern Market. 

Now that the crisp air is starting to roll through, the booze-makers have refashioned their 7,000-square-foot event space at their production facility, the Whiskey Factory, into a spacious and lush cocktail lounge. 

Detroit City Distillery has transformed the second floor of its Whiskey Factory into a spacious, lush cocktail lounge.

Available by reservation only, the 50-person capacity bar is on the second floor of the production facility, which used to be a Stroh's Ice Cream factory. The Whiskey Factory's lounge will be open Thursday through Sunday. 

"It's a very rare opportunity for us to activate this space and invite the public into a super-spacious, sexy candlelit cocktail lounge," said Detroit City Distillery's Mike Forsyth, adding that they aren't able to host event in this space now because of the pandemic. 

Here, they'll serve their "most ambitious cocktail menu ever." 

"Tons of cocktails. We've done some fun barrel-aged cocktails, there's flights so people can try all the spirits and there's some rare stuff that we can do tastings and stuff with ... it's a super fun space to be in," he said. 

Enjoy barrel-aged cocktails by candle light in this 7,000-square-food lounge at the Detroit City Distillery's Whiskey Factory.

Among the barrel-aged cocktails is the Remy McSwain, made with their Homegrown Rye and Bloodline Whiskey, red vermouth, herbal liqueur and cherry-vanilla bitters. The Whiskey Factory will also have four variations on the gin and tonic, dessert drinks and classics like the perfect Manhattan and the Last Word. Guests can also purchase bottled spirits or cocktails to-go. 

The Whiskey Factory's lounge, 1000 Maple in Detroit's Lafayette Park, will take bookings for groups of up to six people from 6 p.m.-midnight Thursday - Saturday, and 4-10 p.m. Sunday. They still offer tours of the facility, too. 

As for the Detroit City Distillery's tasting room bar less than a mile away in Eastern Market, Forsyth said they're turning that into a retail-only space where people can come by and pick up bottles of their craft spirits like the limited-edition honey bourbon, a collaboration with Bees in the D that will be released Dec. 4. 

Visit to reserve a seat at the Whiskey Factory or more information in purchasing. 

Another local spirit maker, Valentine Distillery in Ferndale, is changing things up for the winter. The producers of award-winning vodka and other liquor opened its Friluftsliv Lounge at the tasting room at 161 Vester. 

Named after a Norwegian term that loosely translates to "outdoor life," Friluftsliv is an outdoor tent that recently opened with hot cocktails, and later, an outdoor ice bar and ice shot glasses. 

Visit for more information.

Twitter: @melodybaetens 

The tented lounge outside Valentine Distillery's Ferndale tasting room.