old herald brewing and distillery is now open in collinsville. photo by meera nagarajan

First Look: Old Herald Brewery and Distillery in Collinsville

Old Herald Brewery and Distillery
, Collinsville’s first brewery and distillery, opened doors at 115 E. Clay St. on Jan. 3. The 15,000-square-foot building that used to contain the hometown newspaper operation now houses a 125-seat bar and restaurant, a full distillery, a 10-barrel brewhouse and an event space between two levels.

Owners Derik and Whitney Reiser are longtime residents of Collinsville. Derik Reiser helms the distilling operations, but the couple brought on a team of seasoned pros to oversee the other aspects of the multifaceted operation.

Executive chef Krissana Frawley, who has spent her career in the kitchens of Cleveland-Heath, Beast Craft BBQ and Prime 1000, created a menu of comfort food favorites with subtle personal touches. A simple mixed green salad features house ricotta and spherified balsamic pearls, while more substantial fare includes dishes like haddock fish and chips made with spent grains from the brewing process.

a flight of beer at old herald brewing and distillery // photo by meera nagarajan

Brewer Tor O’Brien interned at Perennial Artisan Ales before working at 12Degree Brewing in Louisville, Colorado. He launched Old Herald’s beer program with six approachable brews including an American pale ale, an IPA, a Kölsch and a black ale.

Reiser’s spirits program, operating under the name Ardent Spirits, has debuted with a gin, rum, vodka and an agave-based spirit. Bar manager Greg Schweickert uses these spirits as the base for a tight cocktail menu featuring balanced drinks like the surprising Tom Collinsville, which changes from blue to purple when gin mixes with a pea flower syrup, lemon juice and club soda.

The Reisers plan to package and distribute Ardent Spirits within the year, while Old Herald beer will only be available at the brewery and possibly select taps around Collinsville. Customers can take home 32-ounce growlers of their favorite brew on tap.

Old Herald is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Here’s a first look at Collinsville’s newest restaurant, brewery and distillery.

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.