At my core, I’m a beer gal. But every once in a while, I like to switch things up and drink something with a bit more edge (read: alcohol).

And that’s where Cut Spike Distillery in La Vista comes in handy. Cut Spike’s taproom is housed in the same building as Lucky Bucket Brewing Company’s taproom, so if you want beers, spirits or cocktails — or both (no judging) — you’re covered.

Cut Spike produces whiskey, rum, vodka, brandy and other spirits, and visitors can sample them neat or in about two dozen cocktails and mixed drinks. They offer vodka cocktails, bloody marys, martinis, rum cocktails, whiskey cocktails and a selection of beer cocktails with Lucky Bucket beer. You can try a flight of one-ounce pours of Cut Spike’s premium vodka, barrel aged rum and single malt whiskey for $10.

I chose to stick with the cocktails. I got the Dark and Stormy and the Pineapple Upside Down Cake martini. At $7 and $9, respectively, they felt a bit pricey, but they were good. Of the two, I preferred the Dark and Stormy. It was made with Cut Spike barrel aged rum, ginger beer and a splash of Lucky Bucket’s Certified Evil beer. The Pineapple Upside Down Cake came with Cut Spike premium vodka, pineapple juice and grenadine. It was good, but I’m not sure it reminded me of its namesake cake.

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My drinking buds sampled around the menu and their favorites were the Dirty Martini and the Bloody Brilliant Bloody Mary. The Dirty Martini was made with Cut Spike premium vodka and olive juice. Like the three other martinis on the menu, it was $9. My friend liked it — just as he likes almost all dirty martinis. The Bloody Brilliant was $8 and was made with Spicy Pepper Infused Cut Spike premium vodka and Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix. My friend said it was good, and spicy, just as advertised.

In addition to their wide selection of drinks, the combined Cut Spike and Lucky Bucket taproom offers up many entertainment options. Cut Spike has board games and darts, and thanks to its spacious digs, it’s able to offer games that wouldn’t fit in your neighborhood bar and grill — including tailgate-style games like cornhole.

Another benefit of the taproom is that you don’t have to worry about feeling crowded. The place is huge. It takes up two sections of a strip mall and its open, high ceilings and concrete floors make it feel even more airy and spacious. There is plenty of seating along the massive bar, and at both tables and booths.

The high, open ceilings and concrete floors could make the place feel cold, but in this case, they don’t. Large, chalkboard walls covered with doodles make the taproom fun and welcoming, as do the string lights which are draped throughout. These touches make hanging out at the taproom feel natural, in part, because it feels like hanging out in your buddy’s tricked-out garage or backyard.

All told, Cut Spike’s taproom is a very enjoyable place to spend a happy hour or an evening, whether you you’re there for their spirits or Lucky Bucket’s beer.

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