- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Dubuque doctor is going into the distillery business, and he’s getting a little help from his family.

Joe Berger, 50, and three adult children are opening the doors to Paradise Distilling Co. on March 1, the Telegraph Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1hcqABv ). They’ll brew three styles of rum at their 11,000-square-foot facility, which includes an area for tasting.

The space aims to remind customers of warmer weather, with a sandbox in the tasting room, fake palm trees, beach chairs and a mural of the ocean.

“I think the environment is very important to what we’re doing,” said Nickolas Berger. The 20-year-old is one of Joe Berger’s five children and will be his father’s right-hand man. He’s produced an estimated 3,000 gallons of rum ahead of the opening. A 21-year-old son will assist with distilling on the weekends while he attends Iowa State University. A 21-year-old daughter has been helping with social media and communications.

Joe Berger, a local obstetrician gynecologist, said he’s been brewing beer at home for more than two decades. He’s focusing on spirits because of the growing popularity of micro-distilleries.

“Micro-distilling is the next wave of the alcohol business,” said the elder Berger, who’s been preparing for the distillery’s grand opening since July. “I figured, if I wanted to start a family business, it would be important to get in on the first wave.”

Tours of the distillery will be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Joe Berger said he feels confident about his products.

“We have rums that vary from no-oak exposure to heavy oak exposure,” he said. “It will appeal to a very wide taste profile.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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