Minot native brings award winning bourbon to town this weekend

Minot native brings award winning bourbon to town this weekend
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 2:22 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - This weekend in Minot you can do your part to beautify the city’s downtown, and enjoy some tasty bourbon along the way.

Minot’s Downtown Business & Professional Association (DBPA) will be hosting the second annual Straight Up & Toasted event at The Spot Saturday.

Proceeds will go to some much-needed aesthetic upgrades to the streets of downtown Minot.

The event will also feature some of the best bourbon in the country.

Each year, The City of Minot continues to improve the look and feel of downtown. Your News Leader spoke to some locals who shared what they’d like to see this year.

“More flowers, clean streets, benches, more families hanging out and wondering around,” said Natalie Lang, resident.

“More lighting, this spot is kind of a dark corner, could use some more lights, simple things like that. Some livery, more flowers and trees,” said Devin Yeisley, resident.

“More water features would be beautiful, fountains and maybe something the kids could play in,” said Emalie Gillette, resident.

Like these folks, Rebekah Neeley grew up in Minot but moved to Kentucky in recent years to work at her husband’s distillery. She’s coming back to the Magic City this weekend to help improve downtown, and bringing some of her family’s award-winning spirits with her.

“I love downtown and to be able to bring one of my passions back to downtown and help put up flowers or whatever else it goes towards, makes me really happy,” said Rebekah Neeley, Single Barrel Coordinator, Neeley Family Distillery.

Organizer Rod Wilson says this is a unique experience and is a wonderful way to help improve the ambience downtown.

“In North Dakota we celebrate people that have done well, and Bekah Neeley is one of those people. To have a hometown person come back and have an evening and she’s gonna be accessible, it’s just something you’re not going to get anyplace else,” said Wilson.

Last year’s event raised nearly $4000, which covered the cost of flowers. Wilson says they’re hoping this year’s proceeds will allow them to get more creative.

“Our goal is to get $10,000 for beautification of downtown, we just have a lot of things we’d like to do,” said Wilson.

Looking to make Minot’s downtown something the city can be proud of.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at The Spot. Tickets are $100 and there’s a handful left. They can be purchased online, or at the door if available.

Tickets to the event are $100 and include two cigars, three shots of Signature Bourbon, and hors d’oeurves provided by Whiskey Nine.

There will also be a silent auction, where someone may get the chance to be the first person try, and name, a brand-new product from the Neeley Distillery.

The highest bidder gets the opportunity to taste straight out of a new barrel, pick out the next barrel to be bottled, receive six free bottles to take home, and name the barrel. The name will also go on the label once its bottled for the gift shop.