Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jul 26 2017

Craft Distilleries Revive Pennsylvania's Pre-Prohibition Tradition

After A Nearly 100-Year Absence, Small-Batch Distilling Has Returned To The Philadelphia Area

Craft distilleries in the Philadelphia region are absolutely booming, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s industry, Pennsylvania housed the country’s densest cluster of homespun and commercial whiskey producers, beginning with some of the country’s earliest settlers.

In 2011, Pennsylvania’s government passed reforms that allowed distillers to offer tours, samples and onsite sales. These new laws opened up the craft to would-be distillers who now proudly produce and sell small-batch spirits in Philadelphia. In a sign of the industry’s maturation, the Philadelphia Distillery Trail keeps a running tally and map of the select regional makers, to promote visitation and sampling.

Here’s a look at some of the region’s distilling pioneers:


  • Federal Distilling – The clear nectar of the gods is the specialty at this Kensington must-visit. A tribute to the rich history of Philadelphia, Federal’s signature Stateside Urbancraft Vodka is the main attraction. Tours and tastings take place Friday through Sunday. 1700 N. Hancock Street,
  • La Colombe Distillery – Past the fresh-baked breads and fragrant coffees at La Colombe’s flagship Fishtown cafe, a glassed-in distillery houses a 450-liter antique copper still where the coffee roaster distills its Different Drum Pennsylvania Rum. The sipping rum infused with coffee is sold onsite by the glass and by the bottle; during weekday happy hours, all draft beers, rum drinks and cocktails sell for half-price. 1335 Frankford Avenue, (267) 479-1600,
  • Naoj & Mot – Launched as a distraction for a mother grieving her deceased son, this South Philly distillery has been producing the Pollyodd line of Italian liqueurs since 2012. Though the distillery itself is closed to the public, Joan Verratti, the state’s first licensed female distiller, runs a vibrant tasting room where she pours five natural cream-based and five water-based spirits like Limoncello using locally sourced ingredients. 1908 East Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-1161,
  • New Liberty Distillery – Last year, this sought-after Kensington distillery earned one silver and two bronze medals for its whiskey varieties from the American Craft Spirits Association. Saturdays and Sundays mean free tours of New Liberty’s rustic space—circa 1906 horse stables—after which guests can head upstairs to the third-floor bar and lounge for a tasting, an expertly prepared whiskey cocktail—or both. Crane Arts, 1431 N. Cadwallader Street, (800) 996-0595,
  • Philadelphia Distilling – An old Fishtown factory houses Philly’s first post-Prohibition distillery, which employs hand-hammered copper stills and Hall-Woodford wooden fermentation vessels to create batches of Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Blue Coat Barrel Finished Gin, Vieux Carré Absinthe, Penn 1681 Vodka and THE BAY Seasoned Vodka (seasoned with traditional Chesapeake Bay seasonings). The distillery offers a full bar and restaurant with an outdoor patio, tasting room—named to Philadelphia magazine’s 2017 “Best of Philly” list—and retail store. 25 East Allen Street, (215) 671-0346,
  • Red Brick Craft Distillery – Founded with a successful crowd-funding campaign, this Kensington distillery produces two small-batch whiskeys and Simple Shine, a clear sugar wash rum. Tours and tastings take place by reservation on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 2628 Martha Street, (267) 603-3790,
  • Rowhouse Spirits – A small shed on the property of Philadelphia Brewing Company (PBC)—not, as the name would suggest, a rowhome—is where former PBC brewer owner Dean Browne perfects his craft. Rowhouse makes very small batch gin (lauded by Philadelphia magazine as “Best of Philly” in 2016), traditionally Scandinavian Nordic Akvavit, Poitín Irish-style moonshine made from 100% barley malts and Bear Trap herbal liqueur, which tastes like anise and is made from 19 fresh organic botanicals. Tours of the 1,200-square-foot space take place Thursday through Saturday. 2440 Frankford Avenue, (267) 825-7332,
  • W.P. Palmer Distilling Co. – This Manayunk distillery takes a historical approach to its sole spirit: gin. Handcrafted in a copper-pot still, Palmer’s Liberty Gin uses a traditional 18th-century Dutch recipe that calls for rich botanicals, citrus and spices. 376 Shurs Lane, Building A, (215) 588-5108,

Bucks County:

  • Hewn Spirits – This small batch Bucks County operation sources grains locally, distills them in a handmade copper pot still and ages them in old, reclaimed rare-wood barrels. Among Hewn’s products: Shipmate Rum, Dark Hollow Pennsylvania Bourbon, Red Barn Rye Whiskey, Reclamation American Single Malt Whiskey and New Moon Moonshine. Distillery tours and tastings take place some Fridays and Saturdays in Pipersville, next door to the Bucks County Brewery; the Peddler’s Village bar and tasting room are open daily. 31 Appletree Lane, Pipersville, (215) 766-7711; Routes 202 & 263, Store #42, Lahaska,
  • Mountain Laurel Spirits – Named after owner Herman Mihalich’s father’s favored fashion accessory, Dad’s Hat rye whiskeys carry a strong sense of history. Mihalich employs a recipe that harkens to the 18th-century days when Pennsylvania farmers used their surplus rye grain to distill the homemade whiskey that later turned the state into the world’s chief producer of this type of spirit. Most Saturday afternoons, visitors can get a lesson in the modern and historical production methods from Mihalich or business partner John Cooper, and then sample the final product. Reservations required. 925 Canal Street, Building #4, Bristol, (215) 781-8300,

Chester County:

  • Bluebird Distilling – Historical records suggest that Bluebird Distilling is Chester County’s first post-Prohibition distillery. Bluebird uses all natural ingredients to produce its broad selection of products, including white whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, plus four-grain bourbon and rye—five of which medaled at 2017 American Craft Spirits Awards. That ethos extends to the self-proclaimed “urban steampunk” saloon, where bartenders mix cocktails with fresh-squeezed juices and ingredients made from scratch. Bluebird recently opened a sleek satellite tasting room in Center City. 100 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, (610) 933-7827; 27 S. 17th Street,

Montgomery County:

  • Manatawny Still Works – On banks of the Manatawny Creek—in the language of native American Lenape, “manatawny” means “the place we meet to drink”—this Pottstown distiller makes Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin, J. Potts Whiskey and other small-batch whiskeys, T. Rutter Rum and Three Bitches Wheat Vodka. An antique-filled tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday for cocktails and spirit flights (adding a food truck on Fridays and live music on Saturday evenings); tours take place on weekends. A new Manatawny tasting room opened in summer 2017 along South Philly’s East Passyunk Avenue. 320 Circle of Progress Drive, #104, Pottstown, (484) 624-8271; 1603 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 519-2917,
  • Faber Distilling Co. – In the heart of Quakertown, Faber Distilling Co. produces straightforward, easy-drinking vodka, rum and gin with tried-and-true techniques: “Five time distilled, filtered over 40 feet of activated charcoal, zero additives,” the makers like to say. Unlike any other Pennsylvania distillery, Faber delivers directly to bars and restaurants—something, the company says, no other Pennsylvania distillery has done since Prohibition. 2300 Trumbauersville Road, Quakertown, (215) 268-6071,
  • Five Saints Distilling and International Spirits – Named after his father and the four men who served as father figures to founder John George after his own dad passed away, Five Saints Distilling and International Spirits opened its doors in autumn 2015 in the Historic Humane Engine #1 Firehouse. Doubling as both a firehouse museum and distillery that specializes in premium spirits, including gin, vodka, whiskey (including bourbon) and orangecello, Five Saints offers tours, tastings, retail and events. 129 E. Main Street, Norristown,
  • Boardroom Spirits Distillery – Headquartered in Lansdale, this sustainable, family-owned craft-distillery uses local ingredients in Its line of award winning unaged spirits that include rum, gin, eau de vie brandy, triple sec, vegetable-based specialty spirits as well as vodka and real ingredient flavored vodka with brandy and whiskey in the near future. Visitors can enjoy Boardroom’s cocktail lounge Thursday through Sunday and book free tours through their website. Local food trucks help tasters hold their liquor on “Foodie Fridays.” 575 W. 3rd Street, Lansdale, (267) 642-9961, boardroomspirits.com575 W. 3rd Street, Lansdale, (267) 642-9961,

South Jersey:

  • Cooper River Distillers – Kentucky-bred owner James Yoakum comes from a place that produces many micro-distillers: home brewing, a pastime Yoakum enjoyed for years before deciding to open Camden, New Jersey’s first-ever legal distillery. Distilling Petty’s Island Rum, Copper & Vine Garden State Brandy and Cooper River Bourbon and Rye Whiskey out of a handmade copper still in a garage, Yoakum opens to the public every Friday, 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, 1 to 8 p.m. and during special events to show visitors around and sell them bottles and hand-crafted cocktails. 34 N. 4th Street, Camden, NJ, (856) 295-1273,

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

  • E-mail

Related Releases

Feb 7 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fishtown And The River Wards

Northeast of Center City, Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond—collectively known as the River Wards—are some of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. An influx of restaurants, bars, music venues, art galleries and residents are quickly transforming the makeup of these formerly working-class sections along the Delaware River.

Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar (DiPinto Guitars), drink craft beer while playing

Jan 23 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?


Beyond Philadelphia’s historic Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives a thriving Asian neighborhood, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, Philly’s Chinatown is packed end-to-end with restaurants and stores that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, with a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and hipster thrown in for good measure. On any given day or night, Chinatown is active and authentic, popular for steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles, seasonal street festivals, a new food hall (

Dec 21 2017

What’s In The Neighborhood?

Washington Square West

Washington Square West is a historic Center City neighborhood named for a 17th-century park and including the vibrant enclaves of Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Named “Southeast Square” in 1682, Washington Square originally served as a grazing pasture, potter’s field and gathering spot for early African-Americans—who dubbed the park “Congo Square”—on the edge of the original city of Philadelphia. Today, modern residences surround the park, now home to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, a sycamore moon tree and a steady stream of visitors. To Washington Square’s north are the 150 jewelry merchants of Jewelers’ Row.

Dec 5 2017

What's In The Neighborhood?

Fairmount & Spring Garden

Because of their proximity to the renowned arts and cultural institutions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Fairmount and Spring Garden neighborhoods are often referred to as the “Art Museum area.” But the personalities of these historic, laid-back, diverse communities are distinct in their own right.

Fairmount stands on its own as a destination in Philadelphia. The residential neighborhood is considered a sort of urban suburb, thanks to friendly residents and atmosphere. What’s a visitor to do here? Eat, drink and tour the former prison-turned-museum, Eastern State Penitentiary.

Wedged between the cultural powerhouses of the Parkway and better-known Fairmount, Spring

Oct 2 2017

What’s In The Neighborhood?

Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy

Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation

Sep 13 2017

What's In The Neighborhood?

South Street

Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Also lining South are ethnically diverse and destination restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, galleries and performance spaces.

Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask) spans up to 14


En Español

May 15 2017

Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly

A Sudsy Summer Awaits, Thanks To Pop-Up & Permanent Beer Gardens

Philadelphia has become a major hotspot for beer lovers (and food and wine lovers, for that matter) to drink outdoors, where beer gardens of the permanent and pop-up variety have sprung up all over the city and the surrounding suburbs. Summer staples such as Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Beer Garden and others have seen friendly competition from outdoor spaces at Evil Genius, the Philadelphia Zoo and others in recent years, and 2017 will be no different. Here are some of Philadelphia’s best places for drinking outdoors at parks, patios, porches, decks and docks:

Center City:

  • Drury Beer Garden
Apr 24 2017

Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural

Also Explore The Region By Foot, Trolley, Horse Or Smartphone

Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and, if so desired, spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • Bow Tie Tours – Learning about Philadelphia’s—and America’s—history through the true tales of real-life characters who walked the city’s streets is the secret to the success of
Nov 16 2016

What's In the Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy Neighborhoods?

Restaurants, Cafes, Markets, Shops, Arts and Attractions

Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation