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Palmer Distilling's Liberty Gin is Flowing in Manayunk

by Caroline Russock on Jul 9, 2015 in Liquor

You know that old saying that beings “When one door closes…” Well, for Walter Palmer, founder of the newly opened Palmer Distilling, it goes a little like “When one door closes, a bottle of gin opens.”

Palmer was a lifelong gin and tonic drinker, and when he lost his job as president and CEO of the General Building Contractors Association during the financial crisis of 2008, he decided that it was time for a change.

Having made beer and wine with his father, Palmer enrolled in distilling classes at Cornell and embarked on a path that would lead him to Liberty, the small batch gin that he’s making in his Manayunk storefront today.

Taking a cue from the Dutch masters of gin making, Palmer tested out 50 recipes before settling on the one that he’s currently producing. Made with a replica of an 18th century still, Palmer begins with a neutral spirit and adds six aromatics: Juniper, coriander, cardamom, lemon peel, angelica root, and grains of paradise.

Palmer brings in Pennsylvania spring water as well as organic and American grown juniper, coriander, cardamom, lemon peel, and angelica root with the grains of paradise being the only ingredient that isn’t available grown to organic specifications.

Having just received approval from the PLCB, Liberty Gin is going to be hitting the shelves at 15 state stores in and outside of the city shortly.

There are plans in the works to convert a section of the distillery into a tasting room complete with live music and a selection of craft tonics by the end of July. Palmer’s first batch of whiskey should be ready to go at the end of the summer. 

Manayunk’s The Goat’s Beard and Chestnut Hill’s Tavern on the Hill are currently stocking Liberty Gin, but if you’d like to get a firsthand taste (not to mention the full backstory from Palmer), head into his Manayunk Distillery on Saturdays from noon to 6PM. Oh, and if you happen to swing by when the doors are closed, just knock. Walter will most likely be there to sell you a bottle.

Palmer Distilling; 376 Shurs Lane, 215-588-5108

Photos via Palmer Distilling 

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