The Story You Haven't Heard
Nestled into the rocky shoreline sits the quaint village of Ranier, Minnesota that was once the epicenter of smuggling of spirits during the 1920’s. But none of this could have been possible without the Historic Cantilever Bridge, the conduit that connected Canada to the United States.
The Speakeasy’s and the Gin Joints needed a steady supply to stay in business, and we can neither confirm or deny that the fine citizens of Ranier were involved. Unbeknownst to the border patrol (often overlooked by residents), the Cantilever Bridge was the pipeline to liquid libations that would entertain not only the Northwoods but consistently reach as far as Chicago and beyond.
As we look to our past to inspire our future, Cantilever brings back that history, the passion, and the excitement of a by-gone era to offer you amazing distilled spirits that are all hand-distilled from scratch using the finest Minnesota grains and spring water, as well as Minnesota peat. Supporting our local community is at our core. We take great care in sourcing with local farmers first to provide the finest Minnesota Proud ingredients, and it is even better when it makes a superior product that will be produced and aged in the Northwoods.
People are our greatest asset and supporting our hometown is key. We are proud to say that this project that was driven by personal passions of Marty Goulet, Kalan Wagner, Duane Cridland, and Patrick Bracken now helps provide jobs, drives tourism, and gives everybody more of a reason to enjoy historical Ranier!
Our distillery is built at the former site of the world-renown headquarters of Woody’s Fairly Reliable Guide Service, a favorite to anglers around the world. As Woody would say, “A bad day fishing always beats a good day working.” With a nod to history (and to Woody), Cantilever will offer a fun, lifestyle-driven spirit line called Woody’s Fairly Reliable. These products are handmade with our love of Lake Life, sharing great times, and building great memories. It is nice to know that the products that you enjoy come from a place that you can always visit, but it is even better if you can take something home with you to share with family and friends. Join us at our Cocktail Room footsteps from the shore of Rainy Lake and allow us to share some amazing spirits, cocktails, and a few memories with you!
We hope that you enjoy our quaint little project in a historic little fishing village, and if you choose to cross into Canada, you can always do it by air, land, or sea, but for us, it will always be about the bridge.
Marty, Kalan, Duane, & Pat
Marty, Kalan, and Pat share what they love about Ranier and why they are excited about the Cantilever Distillery.