Philadelphia Distilling- Before the Big Move

Philadelphia Distilling- Before the Big Move

Though many Philadelphians are aware of this, Philadelphia Distilling is moving.  They have been happily nestled in an industrial park on McNulty Rd. in the Byberry neighborhood of Philadelphia since 2005, and now they will be moving their base of operations to a more central location- the Fillmore.  This newly opened music venue is very visible from I-95. The new headquarters will have a tasting room, event space, retail shop, an 80-seat restaurant, 80-seat outdoor patio and cocktail bar.  My interest is not yet in the new location yet, because the roots of the distillery’s history are in Byberry…and the business is still located there…for the time being. I stopped by their McNulty Rd. location last month to pay some respect to the first Pennsylvania distillery...

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #15- Red Brick Craft Distillery, Philadelphia, Pa

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #15- Red Brick Craft Distillery, Philadelphia, Pa

  I had the good fortune to meet Zachary Cohen and Brian Forrest in March of last year at the American Whiskey Convention at Citizens Bank Park. They had not bottled any spirits as of yet, but they had been hard at work for more than 6 months getting Red Brick Craft Distillery up and running in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Zach worked with Deer Creek Malt House to prepare an educational display for the event that showed the amount of grain that went into a shot and a bottle of whiskey. Even without spirits to pour at the event, he certainly made an impression. He feels strongly about supporting local farmers and grain producers, so we had plenty to talk about. Zach leased the property on Martha Street in Kensington in October of 2014. What once...

Summer 2016 Pa Distillery Tour #14- Midstate Distillery, Harrisburg, Pa

Summer 2016 Pa Distillery Tour #14- Midstate Distillery, Harrisburg, Pa

This past winter, when I drove out to Harrisburg for the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show, I passed a brand new distillery that was just opening its doors to the public.  Midstate Distillery opened on January 9th, 2016 to coordinate with the first day of the grand event.  It’s been 2 years in the making, but they are now a part of the rapidly growing Pennsylvania distilling scene. Brian Myers and Dan Healy are part owners and brothers-in-law. They bought the building, which used to be the Smith Paint building, to house the first distillery in Harrisburg since Prohibition. Brian’s manufacturing and business experience and Dan’s chemistry background pair well. They were enthusiastic home-brewers, but found after visiting distilleries in Colorado, that their...

Summer 2016 Pa Distillery Tour #13- Disobedient Spirits, Homer City, Pa

Summer 2016 Pa Distillery Tour #13- Disobedient Spirits, Homer City, Pa

 “Disobey Responsibly.” Driving through western Pennsylvania gives you a feel for why distilleries still have an emotional connection to the Whiskey Rebellion. It’s rural. It can feel bit isolated from the big cities and the towns have a strong loyalty to their local businesses. Disobedient Spirits is located in the small town of Homer City, Pennsylvania. Driving into the town, you can’t help but notice its national pride in the local military because every telephone pole boasts a different image of an American veteran soldier from the area. The downtown of Homer City is quiet, but the distillery is not. Immediately on entering the distillery through the vestibule, the large tasting room opens up to your right. There are large plate glass windows that face the...

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #11- Ridge Runner Distillery, Chalk Hill, Pa

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #11- Ridge Runner Distillery, Chalk Hill, Pa

About an hour and a half southeast of Pittsburgh is the small town of Chalkhill, Pa, home to Ridge Runner Distillery. The Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania was the seat of the Whiskey Rebellion. Ridge Runner Distillery not only shares property with Christian W. Clay Winery, they share family ties. Christian Klay, distiller at Ridge Runner, was raised working the winery. His mother, Sharon, is a proud and energetic woman that built up her farm (Fayette Springs Farm) and vineyard around her passion for the property and the land that she fell in love with. She boasts 14,000 vines and when she does source grapes, they are only from within the state. Even after going away to college to study political science and computer science, it seems that Christian’s...