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 #6- Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte, Pa

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #6- Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte, Pa

I was not prepared for my visit to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. No one told me how beautiful it would be! I was struck by, and found myself in in awe of, this little piece of Belgium in the middle of the state! Only 12 miles north of State College, the town has grown around its belle fonte- its beautiful spring.  What is necessary when making good whiskey if not good water? There are just the right levels of minerals in this iron-free water to make any whiskey maker in Kentucky jealous. Many Pennsylvanians don’t realize that their state possesses some of the highest quality water in the United States that can be perfect for productive fermentation. Anyone who’s driven down a highway through Pennsylvania has seen the many limestone cliffs. The quantity of dissolved...

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #5- Mountain View Distillery in Stroudsburg,Pa

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #5- Mountain View Distillery in Stroudsburg,Pa

Just south of route 80 in central eastern Pennsylvania is the small town of Stroudsburg.  This beautiful village, nestled between the Delaware Water Gap and the Pocono Mountains, is the perfect place for a vineyard and a cozy place for a distillery. Mountain View Distillery is a perfect tourist destination for a summer afternoon and I enjoyed every minute of my visit. Mountain View Distillery is owned by Linda and Randy Rice. The both left their jobs back at the beginning of the new millennium to follow their dream of starting a vineyard. (Linda is an ex-pharmaceutical sales rep and Randy was a teacher.) They moved onto their property in Stroudsburg in early 2002, began planting in 2003, and finally opened to the public in 2009. Since then, their ambitions have...

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #1- Social Still in Bethlehem, Pa

Summer 2016 PA Distillery Tour #1- Social Still in Bethlehem, Pa

The next few months of my summer will be spent touring Pennsylvanian distilleries. Pennsylvania is one of the fastest growing distilling states in the country, which is exciting for me. A growth in the number of PA distilleries means a shift in our state’s history with distilled spirits. It means opportunity for grain farming in our fertile state and attention paid to our water sources. It means a “new” industry with connections to and effects on local economies. This isn’t just good for creativity in the distilling of craft spirits, it is good for our cities, small towns and counties. The first distillery I popped into was Social Still in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They are located on the south side of Bethlehem where the blue collar steel workers once lived...