Five Awesome New Philadelphia-Area Craft Distilleries

Small-batch gin, whiskey, vodka and more fuel spirited tastings and tours...

A little news to lift the spirits — five craft distilleries have opened in recent months in the Philadelphia region, inviting tipplers to hop on a tour and savor local flavors.

In just over four years, the number of craft distilleries in the Philadelphia region has increased by more than a dozen, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s industry, Pennsylvania housed the country’s densest cluster of homespun and commercial whiskey producers.

Today, makers and masters of craft liquor are giving the industry a revival in the area. With crisp temps approaching, fall makes for the perfect season to go check out the latest distilleries and their belly-warming goods.

From small-batch gin in Kensington (Rowhouse Spirits) to four-grain bourbon and rye in Phoenixville (Bluebird Distilling) to a double gold medal award-winning regular vodka in Lansdale (Boardroom Spirits Distillery), plenty of spirits await in the Philadelphia area.

Check out our list of newcomers below to create your own distillery adventure and to find a full list of craft distilleries in the Philadelphia area, check out the Craft Distilleries and Spirits Trail on visitphilly.com.

New Liberty Distillery

Opened by a founder of Philadelphia Distilling (which was the first distillery to open in Pennsylvania since Prohibition) and veterans of the spirits industry, Millstone Spirits Group designs and manufactures copper stills and produces whiskeys and vodka out of historic building in Kensington under the new name of New Liberty Distillery. On Saturdays, visitors can choose a standard or premium tour package to explore the showroom and distillery — partially housed in circa-1906 horse stables — and taste the distillery's product, branded as Kinsey spirits after a 19th-century Pennsylvania label that folded in the 1970s.

New Liberty Distillery

When:Tasting room open Saturdays and by appointment
Where:New Liberty Distillery, 1431 North Cadwallader Street

www.newlibertydistillery.com

Rowhouse Spirits Distillery

A visit to Rowhouse Spirits gives a glimpse of the evolution of the modern American craft movement — from craft beer to craft spirits. Rowhouse owner Dean Browne works out of a tiny shed on the property of Philadelphia Brewing Company, where he worked for years as a brewer. Currently, Browne produces small-batch gin, traditionally Scandinavian Nordic Akvavit, Poitín Irish-style moonshine made from 100-percent barley malts and Bear Trap herbal liqueur, which tastes like anise and is made from 19 fresh organic botanicals. Browne also offers rum and barrel-aged spirits. Tours of the 1,200-square-foot space take place Thursday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

Rowhouse Spirits Distillery

When:Tasting room open Thursday-Saturday
Where:Rowhouse Spirits Distillery, 2430 Frankford Avenue

www.rowhousespirits.us

Federal Distilling

The Kensington neighborhood’s Federal Distilling specializes in a liquid tribute to the rich history of Philadelphia, and their signature Stateside Urbancraft Vodka is the main attraction. Tours and tastings are available Thursday through Saturday. Swing by the distillery for a tour, then grab a drink at the Federal Distilling Room (FDR), a full-service lounge offering custom cocktails, beer, wine and panoramic views of the distillery floor.

Federal Distilling

When:FDR Cocktail Lounge open Thursday-Saturday; Retail store open Monday-Friday
Where:Federal Distilling, 1700 N. Hancock Street

www.statesidevodka.com

Boardroom Spirits Distillery

Corporate émigré siblings recently founded Boardroom Spirits Distillery by tapping the talents of a Hungarian master distiller, Attila Kovacs. The distillery uses natural ingredients and not-yet-mainstream technology to produce five varieties of whiskey, rum, gin, brandy and vegetable-based specialty spirits. For the vodka lover, Boardroom offers both a double gold medal award-winning regular vodka, as well as “fresh vodka” infused with real cranberry or citrus, along with other seasonal small-batch releases. Tours are offered on weekends at 1 and 5 p.m. In addition, local food trucks help tasters hold their liquor on Foodie Fridays.

Boardroom Spirits Distillery

When:Tasting room open Wednesday - Sunday
Where:Boardroom Spirits Distillery, 575 W. 3rd Street, Lansdale

www.boardroomspirits.com

Bluebird Distilling

Historical records suggest that Bluebird Distilling is Chester County’s first post-Prohibition distillery. Bluebird uses natural ingredients to produce its broad selection of products, including white whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, plus four-grain bourbon and rye. That wholesome ethos extends to the self-proclaimed “urban steampunk” saloon, where bartenders mix cocktails with fresh-squeezed juices and from-scratch ingredients.

Bluebird Distilling

When:Tasting room open Wednesday through Sunday
Where:Bluebird Distilling, 100 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

www.bluebirddistilling.com


To find more craft distilleries in the Philadelphia area, check out the Craft Distilleries and Spirits Trail on visitphilly.com.

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