Rock Town Distillery soon to be up and running | Eat Arkansas

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rock Town Distillery soon to be up and running

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

philbrandon2.jpg
Phil Brandon spent the morning unloading giant metal pieces — square tubs, long cylinders affixed with pressure gauges, large copper contraptions that called to mind steampunk submarines. In a matter of weeks, he plans to connect them all in his East Sixth Street warehouse in Little Rock and start churning out hand-crafted booze, small batches of bourbon, gin and vodka, which he'll bottle in house and distribute throughout Arkansas in 750 ML bottles.

The idea for Rock Town, which bills itself as Arkansas' first craft distillery, came to Brandon, a former acquisitions man at Alltel, when the company merged with Verizon, he said this morning at his warehouse. He figured he was soon out of job or, at best, in a new one and was tired of the corporate life. So he took his love for small batch single malt Scotch and decided to try his hand at distillation, but with an Arkansas focus. To get the idea off the ground, he visited distilleries, took several classes, sought guidance from a former master distiller at Maker's Mark and filled out three inches worth of paperwork to secure a federal permit.

rocktown.jpg
In keeping with the tenor of the times, Rock Town aims to be extremely provincial. Aside from the equipment, much of which was made in Kentucky, including the 250-gallon copper still, which was made by the same company that produces stills for Maker's and Wild Turkey, just about every other aspect of the business has an Arkansas connection. The soft red winter wheat and number two yellow corn that'll go into making the spirits will be Arkansas grown. The 10 gallon charred white oak barrels that the bourbon will age in come from Gibbs Bros. Cooperage in Hot Springs. And Glazer's will distribute, initially only within the state's borders.

Brandon said today that he hopes to be in production by mid-July and in stores and bars by August with his gin and vodka. The bourbon, of course, will take longer to age, though since Rock Town is working in truly small batches, the aging time is shortened, in this case, hopefully to six to eight months, Brandon said. Tasting tours at the factory, at 1216 E. Sixth, near Heifer International, should begin in September.

Initially, including Brandon and his wife, Rock Town's staff will be four.

brandonsbottles.jpg

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Cotton, Boozman Nowhere to Be Found Edition

    Arkansas politicians and the health care overhaul and Russia investigation, the ascension of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the firing of Pulaski County Superintendent Jerry Guess, the end of Riverfest, UA-LR and football and maybe more — all covered on the podcast.
    • Jul 21, 2017
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • The Power Ultra Fallout Edition

    The Power Ultra Lounge shooting and related political fallout, Secretary of State Mark Martin and Trump’s election integrity commission and former circuit judge Mike Maggio — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jul 7, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • A sneak preview of Fourquarter Bar in Argenta

    A look at Fourquarter Bar in Argenta, brought to you by the folks behind Midtown Billiards. Beer, barbecue and killer cocktails abound!
    • Feb 23, 2016
  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Blogroll

Slideshows

  • Arkansas Times' photographer Brian Chilson was at Midtown today to check on progress being made towards their grand opening scheduled for July 7.
    [content-1]The owner, Maggie Hinson, will be handing out markers so patrons can "mark their territory" on the walls of the new location.
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation