Carefree distillery rebrands, plans to build ‘destination complex’

Aug 10, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:34 am

Mike McQuiggan and Renea McQuiggan (Courtesy photo/Carefree Spirits Distillery)...

Mike McQuiggan and Renea McQuiggan (Courtesy photo/Carefree Spirits Distillery)

(Courtesy photo/Carefree Spirits Distillery)

PHOENIX — A distillery established four years ago in Carefree recently announced plans to build a new multimillion-dollar destination complex in the northeast Valley town.

Construction will begin on the new Carefree Spirits Distillery facility next year, according to a press release.

Once completed, it will feature a distillery bottling plant, a tasting room with live entertainment, an event center and a retail store.

“Carefree and Cave Creek local businesses stand to benefit nicely from this world-class facility when we open in early 2023,” Renea McQuiggan, company president, said in a press release.

“The Carefree Spirits Distillery Tasting Room promises to be a true destination location for visitors and locals alike. We are proud of our amazing and supportive community.”

Originally known as Elysian Desert Distilleries, started by McQuiggan and her husband Mike, the company gained a following with their first branded product “Carefree Bourbon.”

Two years later, the company expanded and began offering its Chakra Vodka brand, a line of seven flavors and one non-flavored vodka, according to the release.

Earlier this year, the distillery won 10 quality awards from the International Bartender Spirits Awards for their offerings, the second straight year both brands have won distinguished medals.

Until the new facility opens, people can sample and buy the company’s products in the tasting room at 6201 E. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek.

The McQuiggans said in the release they were able to keep their business afloat and expand during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the loyal support of the community, with people showing up to buy products during the time the tasting room was shut down.

“For 61 out of those 63 days, I had customers come in to buy a bottle of Chakra Vodka or Carefree Bourbon, or both,” Mike said in the release. “The loyalty of those customers helped us pay our rent. Carefree Spirits Distillery was saved by the support of our local community.”

The company has plans for national distribution and marketing of its products but the spirits will continue to be blended, proofed and bottled locally in Carefree, according to the release.

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Carefree distillery rebrands, plans to build ‘destination complex’