Monday, October 22, 2012

The Montgomery Distillery

On Front St in my town, there is an old brick building that has changed hands and faces since the early 20th century. It's latest shape is in the form of a distillery (and is one of my favorites yet!). We keep adding breweries to our city like mad, but distilleries we don't have. I have enjoyed watching them develop the site from afar (i.e. facebook) but finally got a look inside on Saturday.

Through double glass doors, under a large "M" made of antlers, you enter the Montgomery Distillery. The tasting room is alive with rich fabrics and dark woods. A huge bar holds shelves of silver-labeled bottles and leather-wrapped flasks. An antique cash register reflects in the mirror. The feel is tasteful, classy, modern, and welcoming. Their personnel are kind, their cocktail menu is delicious. This place makes you smile.

I was there to participate in one of their bottling parties. I think this is awfully clever. Civilians get to come learn about the distillery and have a hand in the bottling, while the company gets a lot of eager, cheap labor! Perfect! Both parties leave happy! I got a tour of the basement which included the explosion-proof mill, all the holding tanks, and the beautiful stills. They are a steam punk dream! 

The whole facility is clean and crisp and organized. It feels a little clinical, but I think that it should! I also have to admit I felt at home--all those stills and supplies reminded me of my laboratory! Ah, is there a more perfect mix? Chemistry and spirits! I'm in love!

We were introduced to the multi-step process of bottling and I chose my station: filler o' vodka. To my right was the gal who pulled bottle after bottle off the pallet and blew out the dust inside. I filled 'er up with that liquid sunshine which is known as wheat vodka. Made sure the customer didn't get short changed and each one was 750ml, I passed them on to the cork man. Labels were added next by a table of ladies and then into the boxes to be taped up for distributing. We put together 759 bottles!

When the bartender talked to me in the tasting room when I first arrived, she said that the process was very therapeutic, and she was right. The tasks were calming and fun. I also have a taste for the mundane and tedious (hello I'm a chemist) so it was even better. I'll admit it felt pretty cool to be the one to fill those bottles that would later find their way into the hands of customers. That my handwriting adorned some of those labels proudly stating this was "batch no. 4." Maybe I'm just easily entertained, but it was a great afternoon!

We were rewarded with pizzas from a great restaurant next door, and each given a free t-shirt on the way out. It brought together a bizarre group of people and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Actually, I've already signed up for three more parties! Maybe someday I can work at a place like this!


  1. I must say, you sure know how to find interesting things to do in our city. Sounds like a fun and very informative class. LYS

  2. Hi E,Charlotte, What a fun and interesting yet educational day. Such a brillant idea of the company and great marketing tool.
    It sure sounds like you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing.

    Hugs, CM

  3. Thanks for coming Charlotte!! Ryan really enjoyed having you and loved this piece on your blog! Thanks for all your help with bottling - we are grateful! - Jenny


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