Manatawny Still Works in Pottstown, PA

Whiskey distilleries tend to be nostalgic for good reason.  So much of our national history coincides with that of American whiskey production in the United States.  There is a great deal of pride in who did what first and in each distillery’s origin story.  Pennsylvania lost its historic ties to whiskey production in the early 20th century and it wants to reclaim its rightful national status as the birthplace of American whiskey.  (Though Kentucky tends to wear that crown, it truly belongs to Pennsylvania.)  The question is, how does a brand new distillery make a name for themselves in a sea of whiskey nostalgia and half true origin stories?  You embrace the history of your town, your state and respect your local community, that’s how.  Be honest with your customers.  Make your products distinct and work with local businesses.  One of those exemplary distilleries in Pennsylvania is Mantawny Still Works in Pottstown, Pa.

The origin of the distillery is in its owners.  Working in conjunction with Sly Fox Distilling, which already has a big fan base up in the Pottstown area, NOAH was formed (NO A**Holes) by six men.  John Giannopoulos, Jeff Vaughan, Paul Czachor, Al Matarazzo, Derek Menaldino and Max Pfeffer created Manatawny Still Works a stone’s throw from the Sly Fox Distillery.  Max Pfeffer was the head brewer at Sly Fox before transitioning to his new role as distiller.  He studied chemical engineering at Penn State University, completed the Master Brewer Program at UC Davis in California, and went on to be brewer at both Victory Brewing and Sly Fox.  Their new craft distillery was never designed to be small for long.  They ambitiously bought a 1200 liter Italian-made still (Barison Industry) right at the start to create a variety of spirits.  It is a beautiful sight and the first thing you see when you visit the distillery.  Their 7500 square foot distillery, which doubles as an aging warehouse for their many whiskey barrels, opened in late March of 2014.  It is the first craft distillery to exist in Montgomery County since 1969.

The name Manatawny comes from the local creek that runs through the town.  Manatawny means “the place we meet to drink” in the language of the Lenape native American tribe that once lived in the region.  The distillery is just getting going and has many small batch whiskeys that have already been released to the public.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and their growth is showing no signs of slowing down.  You could certainly make an afternoon of touring both Manatawny Still Works and Sly Fox Brewery, but I would recommend pausing at their cocktail bar and relaxing a bit with the locals that frequent the distillery.  Support the local pride like a Pottstown native!  Settle down in the place they meet to drink!

 320 Circle of Progress Dr #104, Pottstown, PA 19464  Phone:(484) 624-8271