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Local Distillery Spotlight: Philadelphia Distilling

by Drink Philly on Mar 26, 2018 in Liquor

Drink Philly is proud to present a new series, Local Distillery Spotlight, where we profile local distilleries and their products that help make Philadelphia's spirits scene so unique. 

In our very first installment, we're focusing on one of the city's signature distilleries, Philadelphia Distilling. Founded in 2005 by Andrew Auwerda and Timothy Yarnall, it was one of only 50 distilleries operating in the country when it opened (and as of 2016, there were over 1,300), and it was the first new distillery opened in not just Philadelphia, but all of Pennsylvania since Prohibition. 

They launched their first spirit, Bluecoat Gin, in 2006, which remains among its most popular products, and in 2017, they moved out of a smaller space in the Northeast and into a location in Fishtown that was once the home of the Ajax Metal Company. At 13,000 square feet, which includes the full distillery, a tasting room, a retail store, and a private events space, the building took four years to renovate and complete. 

Their product line has expanded greatly since Bluecoat's inception and now includes Penn 1681 Vodka (introduced in 2008), Vieux Carre Absinthe (also introduced in 2008), and The Bay Seasoned Vodka (introduced in 2013).

Perhaps the biggest launch since the original Bluecoat was the distillery's Bluecoat Barrel Aged Gin, described as a "gin for whiskey drinkers," which came out as a limited release in 2014 before becoming a permanent part of the distillery's line.

A few things make the distillery's process special, including the hand-hammered Forsyth copper stills and the wooden fermentation vessels from Hall-Woodford. The distillery is also quite eco-friendly, using its own water purification system, recirculating the water it uses in the distilling process, and lighting the space with LED lights.

If you want to host your own event at Philadelphia Distilling, their comfortable yet luxurious fourth-floor event space is accessible by a Bluecoat-wallpapered elevator and offers views of the Ben Franklin Bridge, its own bar, and exposed brick walls — a setting perfect for any occasion.

The distillery and tasting room are available for tours and cocktails, respectively, and the tasting room's menu includes 16 rotating, seasonal cocktails made with their own products. The team's talented bar staff whips up everything from classic Negronis and Martinezes to unique cocktails of their own inventions made with local ingredients that change frequently.

You can visit the retail store from Thursday through Sunday from 12 PM - 11 PM, take a distillery tour on Thursdays (6 PM), Fridays (6 PM and 8 PM), and Saturdays & Sundays (2 PM, 4 PM, and 6 PM), or get a drink at the tasting room on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 PM - 11 PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 PM - 11 PM.

Photos by Drink Philly


Tags: Local Distillery Spotlight
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