PA Distillers Making Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer Made by Maggie's Farm and donated to Pittsburgh Health Dept.

Even before the Federal Government gave them the green light, several Pennsylvania distillers were moving from spirits production to making hand sanitizer, a suddenly in demand product that even hospitals are openly requesting.

Among the first was Lehigh Valley’s Eight Oaks Distilery. The switch has even been documented by the Associated Press and Popular Mechanics.

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Philadelphia Distilling Ramping Up Whiskey Production

Philadelphia Distilling is known for its Bluecoat Gin but it has been dabbling in whiskey production with its occasional Tough Broad Whiskey made in collaboration with Yards Brewing Co.

But in a recent newsletter, the Philadelphia distiller has made note that the first quarter of 2020 is going to be about whiskey production. Philadelphia Distilling will be using 100% local grains for their malt and rye whiskeys.

Be patient though, the whiskey won’t be ready till 2025.

Stoll & Wolfe Brings Rosen Rye Back from the Brink

Stoll & Wolfe Rosen Rye

Litiz, PA distiller Stoll & Wolfe has just announced a lottery to purchase the first 60 bottles of its Rosen Rye. The first PA produced Rosen Rye to be released in nearly three decades.

Rosen Rye is a heritage grain that had fallen out of use but was once a staple at the old Michter’s Distillery in Pennsylvania. Master distiller Dick Stoll may have been the last man to distill from the grain from before Michters closed its distillery in 1990. Now with the help of Laura Fields and her SeedSpark Campaign, the grain has found its way into Stoll & Wolfe’s latest whiskey.

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All PA Federal Legislators Support Craft Beverage Modernization

This week representative Fred Keller joined his fellow Pennsylvania lawmakers in supporting making the Craft Beverage Modernization Act (FET bill) a permanent law.

With Keller’s endorsement of the act, one hundred percent of Pennsylvania’s Senators and Representatives are cosponsors of the Craft Beverage Modernization Act.

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Last Frankford Ave Run for Rowhouse Distilling

Dean Browne at his Frankford Avenue distillery
Dean Browne in 2015 at his Frankford Avenue distillery

Dean Browne of Rowhouse Spirits posted a video on his personal Facebook page of the last distilling run he’s doing at his Frankford Avenue distillery in Philadelphia. In the comments Browne says he’s moving because he needs more space, but it doesn’t appear he’s exactly certain where he will land.

The distillery began as an idea in Browne’s head in the mid 2010s and was federally and state licensed by 2014. Since then Browne has specialized in small batch spirits including gin, herbacious spirits, brandy and whisk(e)y.

Stay tuned for more details.

Hewn Spirits Kicks Off Construction at New Distillery

New home for Hewn Spirits

Hewn Spirits, which currently distills in Pipersville, PA has kicked off construction at its new distillery at Quakertown’s upcoming Trolley Barn Public Market. Hewn is the latest tenant announced in a lineup that also includes fellow anchors Black River Winery and and the already openedTwo Rivers Brewing. The project will have 12-14 tenants in total.

Hewn also has a tasting room in Lahaska’s Peddler’s Village and according to a Facebook comment, are looking for additional locations on the Main Line and Lehigh Valley.

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Manatawny Launching Exclusive Gin for Hungry Pigeon Restaurant

Hungry Pigeon in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia is routinely among the top restaurants in Philadelphia, most recently ranked #2 by Philadelphia magazine, and their cocktail program has utilized Manatawny Still Works’ gin heavily on its cocktail list. Now they’ve collaborated with the Pottstown distillery to create their own gin, aptly named Hungry PiGIN.

Hungry PiGIN will make its debut Thursday evening during the restaurant’s Prohibition Cocktail Party starting at 5 pm.

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Distilleries Facing 400% Tax Increase

Barrels at Dad’s Hat

Craft distilleries are facing an uncertain future as they may be facing a 400% tax increase come January 1st. In 2017, a temporary tax cut was enacted that dropped the excise tax on liquor made from small distillers from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon. In addition to the shear amount of the tax, the tax was due when the alcohol left the distiller, so it needed to be paid way before the sales became to come in. With the tax relief many distilleries reinvested in their business, adding employees, equipment and locations.

The tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2019. The Distilled Spirits Council is among the organizations lobbying to make the cuts permanent.

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PA Distilleries Get Longer Hours

PA State Capital at Night

Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 947, aka the Craft Beer and Spirits Parity act, into law last week. It allows Pennsylvania breweries and distilleries to have the same operating hours as Pennsylvania wineries. Breweries and distilleries, as well as their satellite tasting rooms can now sell their products from 9 am to midnight Monday through Saturday and Sunday till 11 pm.

The bill was co-sponsored by Lehigh County’s Rep. Peter G. Schweyer and Anthony Brichta. The new rules will go into effect within 60 days.