It's repeal day! Prohibition officially ended four score and three years ago. (That's how they said 83 in the olden days). But guess what?! They didn't flip a switch and magically create a legal playing field/free market, nor did they magically flip a switch and eliminate the influence of criminal elements in the industry, nor did they magically flip a switch and create a wholesome and positive culture around alcohol.
Indeed, some of the compromises that were required to make repeal socially reasonable and politically palatable still significantly affect our work in the industry today. Add to those compromises the intervening decades of political wrangling and industry infighting between the big suppliers and distributors, and we work in a complicated patchwork of legal and practical limitations that make it hard to succeed as a small company. When we want to enter a new state, we have to investigate an entire array of new laws and practices, get the relevant licenses and comply with new reporting requirements, and find a new distributor who is willing to co-invest in developing a small brand, in spite of the many structural factors that make big brands much more attractive to distributors.
This history is the answer to many of your questions, including "Why can't you sell me a case of whiskey?" and "Why can't I buy your product in ___?" and "Why can't you just ship me a bottle?" and so on.
In the last zero score and four years (That's how they said not-very-long in the olden days.), Joel and Emily have been involved in local efforts to make life a little easier for craft distilleries. They've lobbied for legislation and testified before various state committees (with baby Espen in tow!), helping in a small way to pass the new laws that have allowed sampling at MN microdistilleries, then cocktail rooms, then very limited bottle sales.
These changes are important, and have made it much easier to get our product onto the tongues of all you good people. But we still have a long way to go to creating a level playing field for small producers, a healthy "drink less, drink better" culture, and of course to Vikre Distillery becoming the big company that can restrict newcomers from entering the industry. Just kidding.
Hey, at least it's legal to drink! So enjoy a glass of Northern Courage, and then work up the courage to call your legislators.