Distiller hopes to boost tourism for SWLA - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Distiller hopes to boost tourism for SWLA

LACASSINE, LA (KPLC) -

Southwest Louisiana will soon get a new tourist attraction.

The Louisiana Spirits Rum Distillery is just off of Interstate-20 in Lacassine, a convenient location for the thousands of travelers driving by it every day.

Construction is going well according to Louisiana Spirits President Trey Litel, and southwest Louisiana will officially be a rum producer in the near future.

"The front door when you walk in will be very impressive," said Litel. "Twenty-four foot ceilings with this aged timber."

The building is being constructed to hold several molasses tanks and lots of barrels of rum.

"We can do a big enough capacity to fill the demands of the state of Louisiana and even outside of the state," said Litel.

Once open the distillery will have two specialties.

"We're producing and bottling a rum," said Litel. "We'll have a light rum and a spiced rum from the state of Louisiana."

The main ingredients in rum, cane sugar and molasses, will all come from right here in Louisiana.

"We believe that Louisiana has a lot to offer the world in the world of food and beverage," said Litel. "We thought it was very important that it be an authentic product actually produced in the USA and better than that, in Louisiana."

Not only is the facility going to be Louisiana inside, it's going to be Louisiana outside, complete with two ponds out front, Cypress trees and native grasses. You might even see a few alligators.

"A lot of people come through Louisiana visiting our state, or on their way to the beaches in Alabama, Mississippi or Florida," said Litel. "We want to celebrate what Louisiana is all about. Kind of the bayou country."

Litel wants residents and tourists to know that the facility will be capable of more than just selling rum.

"People can come by to visit," said Litel. "You can take a tour. You can watch the production happening. You can learn about the history of sugar and the history of rum making in Louisiana.

"Litel hopes the construction will be completed by October. and he says rum production could begin in December or January."

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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