Philadelphia, PA - The Philly regions craft distilleries are restoring Pennsylvania once-popular prestige as the nations distilling capital. Right up until prohibition all but wiped away the states spirit markets, Pennsylvania housed one of the best known homemade and commercialized bourbon suppliers in the county.
But then in 2011, Pennsylvania approved changes to the law which now permit distillers to provide tours, trial samples, and on-site purchases. These new rules and regulations opened up the art distilling to a world of to would-be local distillers who currently make and market small-batch spirits all-around the Philadelphia region. The Philadelphia Distillery Trail organization provides a map of the regional distillers, to encourage visitation and sampling.
Listed below are a few of the regions distilling innovators: Philadelphia
- Federal Distilling – The clear nectar of the gods “Vodka” is the specialty of this Kensington must-visit tasting room. Their best tribute to the broad background of Philadelphia is Federal’s unique Stateside Urbancraft Vodka and their primary attraction. Tours and tastings take place Wednesday all the way through Saturday. At 1700 N. Hancock Street, statesidevodka.com
- Naoj & Mot – Established as a diversion for a grieving mom and her departed son, this particular South Philly distillery has recently been producing the Pollyodd line of Italian liqueurs ever since 2012. Although the distillery is itself closed to the general public, Joan Verratti, the state’s first licensed female distiller, operates a lively-tasting room in which she offers five natural cream-based as well as five water-based spirits—Limoncello and the like—using regionally sourced ingredients. 1908 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-1161, pollyodd.com
- New Liberty Distillery – This particular distillery has recently received several awards for their whiskey varieties from the American Craft Spirits Association. Open Saturdays as well as Sunday with tours of the New Liberty ’s distillery space and former equine stables. After touring, visitors can proceed up the stairs to the 3rd-floor drink station and tasting room, for a skillfully made whiskey cocktail. Hours are going to expand to Wednesdays through Sunday. Crane Arts, 1431 N. Cadwallader Street, (267) 928-4650, newlibertydistillery.com
- Philadelphia Distilling – A fantastic old Fishtown factory contains Philly’s very first post-Prohibition distillery, that uses hand-hammered copper stills in addition to a Hall-Woodford wooden fermentation containers to produce batches of Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin, Vieux Carré Absinthe, Penn 1681 Vodka as well as THE BAY Seasoned Vodka (with traditional Chesapeake Bay seasonings). The distillery features a full bar and also restaurant along with the open-air patio area located at 25 E. Allen Street, (215) 671-0346, philadelphiadistilling.com
- Red Brick Craft Distillery – Started by way of crowd-funding, this Kensington distillery makes three small-batch whiskeys plus Simple Shine, a clear sugar-wash rum. Tours and tastings are through reservation on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 2628 Martha Street, (267) 603-3790, redbrickcraftdistillery.com
- Rowhouse Spirits – A Fabulous distillery as the name should suggest, a rowhome where former PBC brewer/owner Dean Browne perfects his art. Rowhouse creates small-batch gins, such as traditional Scandinavian Nordic Akvavit, Poitín Irish-style moonshine built from 100% barley malts, and Bear Trap herbal liqueur, that tastes similar to anise and is crafted from 19 fresh organically produced botanicals. Tastings in the 1,200-square-foot space take place Thursday thru Saturday. 2440 Frankford Avenue, (267) 825-7332, rowhousespirits.us
- W.P. Palmer Distilling Co. – A Manayunk distillery that provides a historical approach to their unique spirit "gin." Hand-crafted inside a copper-pot still, Palmer’s Liberty Gin is prepared with an old-fashioned 18th-century Dutch recipe which calls for rich botanicals, citrus fruit, and spices. Open on Saturdays for tasting and tours. 376 Shurs Lane, Building A, (215) 588-5108, palmerdistilling.com