Dogfish Head Builds ‘Small Batch Spirits’ Distillery Within Main Brewery
(Milton,DE) – Back in 2002, in a rural Delaware scrapyard, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione picked up a little stainless steel feed bin that he had big plans for.
Sam worked with engineers and welders to reshape the tank in the form of a pot still – lovingly named ‘Frankenstill’ – and Dogfish Head’s days of hand-distilling gin, rum and vodka began.
For a dozen years, Dogfish’s little “distillery that could,” perched on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, has been putting out an extremely limited selection of rum, vodka and gin. Most has been sold right out of the pub and at select retailers in Delaware. But now, after an 8-figure expansion at our nearby Milton brewery, we will have the space to kick our distilling up a notch (or three).
“Dogfish Head’s distilling roots run deep,” says Sam. “We’ve been putting our off-centered thumbprint on the distilling world for over a decade, and I’m excited that we’re now able to take this project to the next level by broadening production and distribution.”
With a twin 500-gallon copper pot still and a 26-foot column still from Louisville’s Vendome Copper & Brass Works, spirits like Brown Honey Rum (made with Delaware honey), Dogfish Head Jin (the O.G. hop-infused spirit) and some off-centered new recipes will finally make it beyond Delaware’s borders.
Dogfish rum, gin and vodka will begin rolling out in spring 2015 throughout Delaware, New York City and additional mid-Atlantic markets.
The new distillery will be led by award-winning Head Distiller Graham Hamblett. Graham, a horticulturalist with nearly two decades of experience running an artisanal winery and distillery, joined Dogfish in January.
“I am ecstatic to be part of the new chapter in the book of Dogfish Head’s spirits,” says Graham. “It is an honor and thrill to embrace the off-centeredness that Dogfish is so well-recognized for, and I’m eager to get this program up and running.”
But don’t fret for Frankenstill. Just as we use our Rehoboth pub’s pilot brewhouse to test beer recipes, we’ll continue to keep Frankenstill busy testing new spirits and distilling one-offs for our pub-goers.