Federal Distilling Room Now Open in Kensington

Matthew and Bryan Quigley with partner Clement Pappas | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Matthew and Bryan Quigley with partner Clement Pappas | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood becomes more of a destination for distilling fans with the opening of the Federal Distilling Room at 1700 North Hancock Street. The bar connects to Federal Distilling’s distillery and serves the distillery’s flagship Stateside Vodka in addition to a wide variety of other spirits, wine and beer.

Founders Matt and Bryan Quigley have gone with a full bar over just a tasting room in order to cater to a wider audience. Even three years in, the brothers haven’t been able to convert their mother from wine to vodka.

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Liquor Changes Mean Opportunity for PA Wine, Spirit and Beer Producers

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New law allows brewpubs to sell PA wine and spirits.

Yesterday, Monday, August 8th was the day Pennsylvania received its runner-up prize to actual liquor privatization with Act 39 passing into law. The main point that has been covered so far is that supermarkets can now sell wine. But that’s only a kind of can, as the separate entrance, separate cafe area requirements that were required to sell beer are in place for wine as well.

Another touted win for consumers is the ability to have wine shipped directly to your home from out of state producers. That brings Pennsylvania into compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from a decade ago.

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Best of Philly: Get a Hangover

Do This Now: Get a Hangover | Photo by Nell Hoving

Do This Now: Get a Hangover | Photo by Nell Hoving

But make sure it’s worth it. Thanks to Philly’s booze boom, a slew of local distilleries and breweries are turning out home-grown sips well worth the Advil.

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Morgan’s Pier Is Hosting Distillery Tours

Spirit+Tour+Poster+REvLike us, Morgan’s Pier is enjoying visiting local distilleries this summer. The riverfront bar is offering tours of Stateside Vodka and Red Brick Craft Distillery. The tours start out at Morgan’s Pier with light snacks and a specialty cocktail made with spirits from the distilleries. Then everyone gets on a trolley bus and learns how those drinks came to be. Each distillery offers an exclusive tour and tasting to the guests.

After the two stops, the trolley heads back to Morgan’s Pier for a nightcap. The tours cost $35 and there are two more this summer, Tuesday, August 16th and Tuesday, September 14th. The events start at 5:30 p.m. at Morgan’s Pier, with the trolley leaving at 6 p.m.

Purchase your tickets online.

Morgan’s Pier [Foobooz]

Speakeasy Style Bar Opens in Doylestown

The Still Mule 400

A Mechanic Street Mule at the Still in Doylestown

Out in Bucks County, just above the Doylestown Brewing Co. (52 East State Street, Doylestown), a speakeasy has been operating almost unnoticed for almost a month.

Run by Chris Hall, The Still is self-proclaimed Prohibition-style cocktail bar that is apparently still a pretty well kept secret.

The bar only uses spirits from local PA distilleries and have nine homemade infusions made with all local ingredients. The cocktail list covers the basics and includes some historically accurate drinks as well (which come with a lengthy explanation of their origins).

And while it’s no Hop Sing, this is definitely a cool addition to ‘burbs.

The Still is open Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.

The Still Menu (PDF)

Manatawny Still Works Opening Tasting Room on East Passyunk

The Manatawny Stillworks tasting room will open on Passyunk Avenue | Photo by Arthur Etchells

The Manatawny Stillworks tasting room will revamp the kitchen of Chiarella’s on Passyunk Avenue | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Manatawny Still Works will be the first local distillery to take advantage of a change to Pennsylvania’s Limited Distillery license that allows distilleries to open satellite tasting rooms. The Pottstown based spirits manufacturer has signed a lease and intends to open a tasting room at 1603 East Passyunk Avenue. The location is the former kitchen of Chiarella’s Ristorante.

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Try Bethlehem Rye Whiskey at Trestle Inn

social still rye 400Tonight, The Trestle Inn’s Spirit of Wednesday features a new rye whiskey from Bethlehem’s Social Still. The not-available in stores rye is pouring tonight via complimentary tastings and $10 for a neat pour.

Social Still Rye Whiskey is 70% rye and 30% malted barley and aged for 192 days. The rye is described as having a subtle fruity aroma, and a pronounced rye flavor with a long spicy finish.

Social Still, just one of the most recent Pennsylvania distillers to hit the market focuses on obtaining Pennsylvania corn, wheat, rye, barley and other grains from family farms for their organic practices. The grains are then milled, cooked and fermented in their Bethlehem distillery. Social Still has a bar and restaurant on site if you find yourself in Bethlehem.

Trestle Inn [Foobooz]
Social Still [Official]

The Procrastinator’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Pecan pie at Percy Street

Pecan pie at Percy Street

So there’s less than a week left until Thanksgiving … and you still aren’t ready. Maybe you have a good excuse, or maybe you’re just the type of person who always leaves your plans or your food contribution to the last moment – and even then, you just show up with booze. (Not that there’s anything wrong with showing up with booze.) Whatever the case, we’ve got some truly great ideas and last-minute lifesavers. Whether you’re still trying to find something special to bring to party, or desperately looking for a place to get a table for eight, this guide is for you. Read more »

Foobooz Booze Nooz

Photo by Claudia Gavin

Photo by Claudia Gavin

The local distilling scene is really taking off. Foobooz Booze Nooz will be our periodic roundup of new distilleries, products and events.

On Thursday, November 12th, Rowhouse Spirits is releasing their first barrel-aged product. “(e)” Malt Whiskey is the first whiskey to be fermented, distilled, aged and bottled in Philadelphia since in maybe 30 years. There’s a single barrel being released and just 50 bottles will be sold out the Frankford Avenue distillery. So why (e)? It has to do with owner Dean Browne’s last name ending with an “e” and whiskey being spelled with an “e” in the United States. The 50 bottles of the 50% ABV whiskey will be $50 per bottle. And oh, did we mention Dean Browne turns 50 this month?

We were lucky enough to sample some of the whiskey yesterday, and much like Browne’s gin, its nuanced flavor had us going back for more.

Those 50 bottles of Rowhouse’s whiskey may be gone in minutes but there will still be a reason to head to the tasting room on Friday (not the least of which is Browne’s extremely good gin). The Mural Arts Program will be holding a dedication ceremony for the mural by Phillip Adams that adorns the distillery. The dedication and after-party will be from 6 pm to 8 pm.

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