celebrating our second century

The Distillers

Recently we visited the supplier of our a. vod vodka – Philadelphia Distilling. Philadelphia Distilling is the first craft distillery in Pennsylvania since Prohibition! Opened in 2005, they're only 12 years old, but have already staked out a reputation for award-winning spirits! While best known for their Bluecoat Gin (and the bright blue bottles) we asked them to make vodka for our properties.

They're located in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia – about 2 miles northeast of City Hall. In addition to their distillery, they recently opened a cocktail bar and lounge in order to promote their spirits. Here's a bit of signage above the door that leads from the bar area to the distillery.

We were greeted by this striking wall of Bluecoat Gin bottles, glowing in the morning sunshine!

The distillery is located behind the bar room. A giant glass and steel window wall provides a view from the bar room into the working portion of the building.

The company uses these two hand-hammered copper stills to distill their spirits. Copper is considered the best material for this purpose for two main reasons: excellent heat conduction and also for the molecular reaction that the liquid undergoes with the copper, producing a smoother liquor.

A small detail from the bar: even the jiggers are copper.....

Master distiller, Aaron Selya, next to the two 2500L Forsyth stills. Aaron oversees the spirits–making process as well as testing and crafting new products, such as the recently introduced Bluecoat Barrel–Finished Gin. He's a Pennsylvania native, and a super nice guy!

Given that only 90 cases of a. vod are produced at a time, the bottling process is slightly low tech. Three bottles at a time are filled using a 'gravity' filler machine.

It's a small, happy team on the bottling line.

The finished a. vod bottles await boxing and distribution to aka properties. AKA's bartenders have created delicious, refreshing cocktails using our a. vod in addition to the classics, of course.

In fact, AKA's president, Larry Korman, prefers to sip his a.vod as simply as possible: well-chilled by stirring for 30 seconds with ice and then served on the rocks with a twist of lemon!