Bourbon distilling has entirely caught on in the Northeast as much as it has everywhere else. The two states we are featuring sure have a lot of moonshine producers, so maybe they are only a few short years away from bourbon. We continue with Part 5 of The Bourbon Flight’s Bourbon Distilleries Across America series, which explores distilleries throughout the United States. This series will introduce bourbon lovers to both known and unknown distilleries.
This is simply an informative piece, not a review, since we have yet to sample the bourbons. We want to inform readers that distilling bourbon is a nationwide love. Tradition and passion run through each bottle of bourbon, from Elmer T. Lee to the unknown distiller.
We cannot highlight every distillery in a state, but we will certainly try to bring the most helpful information to you. We plan on highlighting two states in each Original Pour.
Keep checking back to see when your state is highlighted. We are going in alphabetical order.
Continuum Distillery—Waterbury, Connecticut
Founder and Head Distiller Brandon Collins is no stranger to whiskey. At a young age, he was touring George Dickel and Jack Daniel’s distilleries. Having a master’s degree in chemistry helps a little too.
The distillery has partnered with many breweries to use “trimmings” from beer production to create its spirits and limit water and raw ingredients. Furthermore, they even age their Fort Hill small-batch bourbon in ex-beer barrels to give it a unique taste. In fact, all of Continuum’s whiskey starts from beer.
A small tasting room awaits where you can sample the spirits produced. A cool factor in the distillery’s aging process is that the staves are only sourced from storm-damaged oak trees. Just another way the distillery lives its mission #maintainthecontinuum.
Litchfield Distillery—Litchfield, Connecticut
The people who run the distillery call themselves the Batchers of Litchfield. The name is to honor the early farmers of northwest Connecticut who farmed the rocky, rough terrain of the area.
The distillery has an intimate tasting room and also offers tours of its beautiful rickhouse/bottling area. The spirits are primarily available in the Northeast but check out your favorite spirit delivery site for availability.
The distillery’s owners, brothers Jack and Peter Baker, founded Litchfield in 2014 and continue to oversee its upward momentum. They are also interested in building a Connecticut Distiller’s Guild, a trail where spirit lovers can drive from distiller to distiller around the state.
White Hills Distillery—Shelton, Connecticut
Founded in 2020 by Dan Beardsley, White Hills Distillery is housed in a reconstructed horse barn that was initially erected in 1849. As with any barn built in the 1800s, the history is abundant and Beardsley remembers his great-grandfather’s still being in the barn.
Magnificent oak beams tower above guests as their spirits are served and the tasting room looks into the distillery process and aging area. Distillery events include a warmup, barrel-proofing parties, and a bourbon and cigar night. You’ll also be treated to live music if you catch them on the right night.
This small distillery is producing award-winning bourbons, such as its single-barrel bourbon that won a silver medal at the 2022 North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition. A true small batch aged in 5-gallon barrels, the Connecticut Grain is another award winner produced by the distillery. Each spirit is available for purchase or tasting at the distillery.
Beach Time Distilling—Lewes, Delaware
Co-founder Greg Christmas, a Tennessee transplant, decided to open this small craft distillery in 2015 along with a tasting room. The tasting room bar is lined with staves and a surfboard dons the wall, giving the space a relaxed beach feel.
For $10, visitors to the distillery get a tour and a sample of the spirits. The distillery produces several gins and rums and its Some Beach Bourbon is aged three years for maximum taste.
One of only two bourbon-making distilleries in the state, Beach Time Distillery is ready for growth in the industry. Delaware is small, but the future looks bright for Beach Time Distillery.
Painted Stave Distilling—Smyrna, Delaware
Celebrating nine years, the Painted Stave Distillery continues to produce and bottle all its products by hand. The distillery was the last brand of whiskey produced in Delaware before Prohibition and it seems fitting that Diamond State Bourbon became the first legal bourbon made in the state.
The Painted Stave’s tasting room and merchandise center rival bigger distilleries in Kentucky. The distillery also features a covered patio with tables where guests can enjoy the night air while sipping bourbon or one of the other great spirits produced at the facility.
The distillery serves a full menu of cocktails and is a must-visit if you are in the state. If not, it may be a fun day trip to experience Delaware’s first legal bourbon producers.
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