Category Archives: Distillieries

November: Maryland Spirits Month

Stills

Did you know the month of November is Maryland Spirits Month? From a beautiful, picturesque visit to a farm distillery to some of Frederick City’s finest craft spirit establishments, Frederick County has a scene and/or craft spirit for you. You can find our listing for the eight distilleries that call the County home here.

Whether you want to gift local craft spirits, show them off at a gathering or share them among your holiday traditions, we are sure you can find something for all your holiday festivities right here in Frederick County. Keep reading to learn more about our local distilleries.

 

American Shochu Company

As the only shochu distillery in North America, Lynn and Taka Amano had a passion to bring awareness to Japanese culture through this spirit unique to Japan. They describe shochu as, “…an ultra smooth white whisky, softer and lighter.” They do not have a tasting room, at this time; however, their products can be found on their website and at local liquor stores.

Dragon Distillery

An ode to Dungeons and Dragons, sci-fi and the like, Dragon Distillery plays off its brand in all that they do. The uniqueness continues in the variety of spirits and canned cocktails they craft. Head to the distillery Thursday through Sunday and have your shot at axe throwing during your visit.

Fordham Lee

Best known for its aged bourbon cream-based liqueurs Cherry Charm, Blueberry Swirl and most recently Snickerdoodle, Fordham Lee has found its niche. Grab one or all of these from a local retailer or their online store as a treat to impress loved ones this holiday season!

McClintock Distilling Co.

As a tribute to the distillery’s namesake, locally renowned innovator McClintock Young, the foundation of McClintock Distilling is based on innovation, creativity and sustainability. The distillery has earned numerous awards for its high-quality spirits crafted from organic ingredients. Head over to the Back Bar and try one of their signature cocktails.

Puerto Rico Distillery

A father-daughter duo leads this veteran and woman-owned business that encompasses their Hispanic Heritage in all that they do. They specialize in Pitorro (also known as Puerto Rican moonshine), a clear distinctive flavored rum distilled from sugarcane byproducts. Visit their tasting room to try signature flavors blended by adding fresh or dried fruits and other flavors.

Rosie Cheeks Distillery

Frederick County’s newest distillery offers premium moonshine produced right there on their Iron Roses Farm in Walkersville. By visiting their on-farm tasting room, customers receive a unique experience with a lovely view and have the choice of seven signature flavors and a variety of seasonal flavors all made with locally sourced ingredients.

Springfield Manor Winery, Brewery and Distillery

The first on-farm distillery in the County, is named for the artisan springs and limestone terrain of the area. Picturesque mountains, woodlands and scenic vistas create gracefully refined and dignified spirits only a historic estate can offer. Visit this one stop shop for local wine, beer or spirits. Distinguished spirits are only available for purchase on-site.

Tenth Ward Distilling Company

Proud to be woman-owned, Tenth Ward specializes in a variety of year-round spirits and canned cocktails. The boss lady, the whiskey woman herself, Monica Pearce advocated for and helped paved the way for craft distilleries in Frederick County. Visit Tenth Ward’s Cocktail Lab to try a flight or hand-crafted cocktail and check out Whiskey Hall for your next event.

Puerto Rico Distillery: Built on Hispanic Heritage

Puerto Rico Distillery

As we wrap up National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), we are highlighting a business that encompasses Hispanic heritage in all that they do: Puerto Rico Distillery. October is also National Women’s Small Business Month, which is the perfect opportunity to highlight part-owner Crystal Rivera.

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning, Crystal and her parents were opening Puerto Rico Distillery on Hughes Ford Road in Frederick. The heart of the business is rooted in Puerto Rican culture and tradition. The foundation of their distillery is Pitorro or Puerto Rican moonshine. This clear rum, distilled from sugar cane byproducts, has a distinctive flavor that differs from other rums many are accustomed to. Base Pitorros are then blended and flavored by adding fresh or dried fruits and other flavors. Flavoring blends soak anywhere from days to weeks, months, or even years (for those extremely patient distillers.)  Similar to the popularity of home brewing in the U.S., making and blending Pittoro is common in Puerto Rico. Culturally, Pitorro is enjoyed straight, sipping while socializing. Around holidays like Christmas, friends and family gather and share their blends (hoping to be the favorite!)

Prior to owning the distillery, Crystal worked for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program. ProStart, which Crystal participated in as a student, is a high school culinary arts and restaurant management program. The experience and knowledge she gained from her time with ProStart prepared her to open her own business. Crystal Rivera Following Hurricane Maria, while living in Columbia, Maryland, Crystal and her parents’ dream to open a distillery true to their Puerto Rican roots began to blossom. While she loved her work with the non-profit, Crystal wanted something more for herself and to be more involved in her culture. While deciding on a location, they found themselves visiting Frederick often, loving the vibe and supportive community. They took a leap of faith, went with their gut, as Crystal said, and fortunately for us, chose Frederick as home!

“Everything Puerto Rico Distillery does is deliberate,” Crystal said.  Everything from their décor to the tank names help bring a slice of Puerto Rico to Frederick.  They stay true to their roots “Puerto Rican Born. Maryland Made” and are committed to sourcing products from both Puerto Rico and Maryland. They are passionate about staying true to their Hispanic heritage and being able to offer the Puerto Rican community this traditional spirit that many find nostaligic. Crystal is eager to educate the community about the culture and history of Pittoro.

Puerto Rico Distillery has made a valiant effort to give back through charitable donations. Tasting proceeds for the entire 2022 year have been devoted to La Goyco, specifically to La Casa de la Plena founded by their late dear friend Tito. La Goyco is a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico that supports artisans and traditions. They also operate a community center, provide refrigeration to the public for medications and necessities if they lose power, administer workshops and so much more.

Puerto Rico Distillery currently offers 10 flavors of their Clandestino Pitorro. The distillery’s permanent flavors include Traditional (a favorite and family recipe flavored with raisins, prunes and cranberries), Almond (using almond extract brown sugar and honey from the University of Maryland), Coconut, Pineapple and Coffee. Others available at this time include Coconut Chai (very popular, get yours while it lasts!), Kiwi, Passion Fruit and Tamarind. Visit Puerto Rico Distillery for products or check out other locations and ways to purchase on their website. Make sure to follow Puerto Rico Distillery’s Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up with their business!

For more ways to support local Hispanic-owned businesses and resources available to Hispanic entrepreneurs, visit the Frederick County Office of Economic Development’s blog on Hispanic Heritage month, linked here.

Today and every day we are thankful for the Hispanic heritage and culture in Frederick County’s vibrant community.

Frederick’s Newest Farm Distillery! – Rosie Cheeks Distillery

Rosie Cheeks Distillery Grand Opening
Saturday, April 30, 2-10pm
10229 Woodsboro Pike
Walkersville, MD 21793

You don’t want to miss this event – the grand opening of Frederick County’s newest farm distillery! Head on out to try the flavors of Rosie Cheeks moonshine that are produced and bottled right there on the beautiful Iron Roses Farm. Bring your blankets and chairs for this family-friendly event to relax and enjoy live music. Food will be available for purchase from IN10SE BBQ and Glamourview Creamery.

Rosie Cheeks is a true family affair. Lee, along with Kristy’s father, manage the distilling process while Kristy creates the flavors. Lee and Kristy’s children also help jar the final product. Kristy informed us, “All Rosie Cheeks Moonshine flavors are created with real fruit and natural ingredients.” She expressed that while this generates more work, in the end they are able to create a better tasting and higher quality product for their consumers.

Rosie Cheeks Distillery currently produces 14 flavors of moonshine; seven of which are available year-round including, original (100 proof), peach cobbler, sippin apple, apple pie, caramel apple, smoky and campfire. At the farm you will be able to purchase a flight with five one-ounce tasters or a four-ounce beverage. They will also be releasing a new secret flavor for Saturday’s celebration! We are so excited to add Rosie Cheeks Distillery to the Homegrown Frederick craft beverage and farm distillery community and hope to see you at the Grand Opening.

If you’re looking for other locations to purchase a jar, visit their website here. Be sure to follow Rosie Cheeks Distillery and their updates on Facebook.

 

Fierce Female Distiller: Monica Pearce

As we celebrate March as Women’s History Month, we would like to take this time to highlight a few of Frederick County’s finest women in the agriculture and craft beverage industries.

If you have never been to Tenth Ward Distillery and aren’t familiar with Monica Pearce, here is your chance to get to know one of the fiercest females in the craft beverage industry. Monica started Tenth Ward six years ago with just 1,600 square feet of production and tasting room space combined and the help from her mother on weekends.  In those six years, the business has grown to employ seven full-time staff members within nearly 16,000 square feet of space between two combined locations.

Monica celebrates the uniqueness of being a woman-owned distillery and embodies that within her brand; check out Tenth Ward’s “whiskey woman” merchandise at your next visit. Being a woman in a young craft distillery field has not come without its challenges. She expressed the struggle she and other women distillers face to be recognized as experts in their craft. Monica is working to change that perception. She is also passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive business culture by providing employment opportunities to both women and minorities. Monica shared some advice for women interested in the craft beverage industry. First, “Never stop learning. Attend training and obtain certifications as often as possible.” Furthermore, “Build your brand around being woman-owned and create a network of women entrepreneurs.” Monica encourages those interested to tap into the surrounding free resources early on by following social media groups, blog posts, podcasts, etc.” She also emphasized how women within the industry are extremely supportive and welcoming.

Monica has truly paved the way for distilleries in Frederick County. Although she shared the abundance of red tape she had to filter through as she began Tenth Ward because it was such a new concept (being one of only three craft distillery businesses in the State of Maryland), she praised Frederick County’s work creating the “how-to” guide for starting a craft beverage business.

Monica is the Vice President of the Maryland Distillers Guild board, a member of the Frederick Tourism Council board of directors, and a member of the American Craft Spirits Association. Monica is an advocate for the distilling industry and spends her timing fighting for a fair regulatory process for this growing industry.

To learn more about Tenth Ward Distillery’s monthly can cocktail club, quarterly bottle club, or more about their private event spaces visit Frederick Maryland Distillery | Tenth Ward Distilling Company. You may also visit Homegrown Frederick to keep up with local events featuring our craft beverage industry like the Spring Spirits Soiree on March 26th. If interested in obtaining a copy of the “How to Start a Winery, Brewery, Distillery” guide please email kstevens1@frederickcountymd.gov or rtucker1@frederickcountymd.gov.