News

January 2012 Update

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the year 2012!   Hard to believe it, but this is now our third year in business, and we couldn't be happier!  Sure, we're working our tails off, but anything this much fun is worth the effort!

Here's hoping you and yours have a wonderful 2012, filled with joy, prosperity, and good friends and family.

Cheers to 2012!

Becky on NPR

Becky at Catoctin CreekPerhaps the highlight of our December was Becky's appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU.  Not only is it way cool to be on the radio, but we actually listen to his show almost every day in the distillery!  So to be on this show from one of our favorite radio celebrities, well, it was just really awesome!

Becky was joined by Kevin Kosar, author of 'Whiskey: A Global History' and Bill Thomas, owner of Jack Rose in D.C. to be a part of the show, and together, it made for a really interesting Whisky 101 course:

This storied spirit has a history both global and local, whether distilled in the northern isles of Scotland or the green hills of Kentucky. Sales of all types of whiskey are soaring, and small craft distilleries are popping up across the U.S. We learn about the different varieties--from bourbon to Scotch-- and how this liquor is made and enjoyed. Responsibly, of course

If you missed the show, worry not.  You can download the original podcast and listen to its entirety, here.

Appreciating the Year 2011

Brand AmbassadorsThere was so much to be thankful for in 2011, and I won't list them all here.  We won several awards and got some really nice press.  2011 was also the year that we took on three wonderful new employees: Greg, Emily, and Chad.  We couldn't ask for better help, and time and time again, these guys are putting a top-notch professional face on what we do back at the distillery.  Thank you, guys!

Most of all, we are thankful for good friends, family, and the support and kindness of customers like you!  Without you, none of this would be worth it.  Keep enjoying those spirits, and we'll keep making them for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for midwinter that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • January 10 - Chocolate and Cocktail Pairing at DC Wisdom - Merideth from MC2 Chocolates, Scott from Catoctin Creek, and Erik from Wisdom will all be on hand to pair up some amazing cocktails with some amazing chocolates!  Space is limited, so reserve by using the link, above.
  • January 13 - Bottling Workshop #1 - A rare Friday workshop, where we're bottling Watershed Gin.
  • January 14 - Distilling Workshop - Our very popular whisky workshop is totally full now, so if you haven't reserved your space, look for the next one--probably in April--to be announced on January 15th.
  • January 15 - Bottling Workshop #2 - A rare Sunday workshop, where we're bottling Roundstone Rye.
  • February 18 - Loudoun Grown Expo - Back by popular demand, the expo highlights the best of Loudoun's local food, wine and YES, spirits!  This year, we'll be paired up with the NOVA Roller Derby girls, so look for some rowdy fun in the booth!

For the full list of events, check our events page.

Cocktail for December - Hot Lavender Lemonade

Farmhouse LemonadeThis recipe is cross-posted (with permission) from Inspired magazine:

Nothing could be more civil than a proper hot drink by the fireplace when the wind is whipping across the meadows and a case of the sniffles is threatening tomorrow's snowy hike around Willow Lake.  Call it medicinal if you like, but there's nothing like Catoctin Creek's eco-ganic Watershed Gin warmed with lavender-infused lemonade to take off the chill while giving the promise of a good night's sleep.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 Tbsp local honey (add more or less to taste)
½ cup water
lavender sprig, fresh or dried

To make the Lavender Lemonade: combine lemon juice, water, and honey in a small saucepan, stirring over low heat. Add one 3-inch lavender sprig and bring lemonade to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, but do not bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Taste for sweetness/tartness and adjust to your preference. Remove lavender sprig before serving.

Pour 6 ounces of hot Honey-Lavender Lemonade into a large mug and add 1.5 ounces Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Watershed Gin, stirring to combine. Garnish with lemon wheel (optional).

Courtesy Kristen Hartke, photo courtesy Molly McDonald Peterson, and used with permission.

 

See this cocktail and over sixty others on our cocktails page.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

December 2011 Update

Holiday bottles

Rocks GlassHappy Holidays!

December is here, and the Holidays are approaching!

Have you gotten your Christmas or Hanukkah shopping done yet?  If you're still looking for that perfect gift, remember, local and eco-ganic spirits make a great gift for those hard-to-shop-for special people in your life.

This year, we have several new items available at the distillery store, among them, a handsome new rocks glass: heavyweight, high-quality glass, etched with our logo, the perfect glass for enjoying a dram of rye whisky.

All three of our standard spirits--Roundstone Rye, Mosby's Spirit, and Watershed Gin--are available at the distillery store, and we are very happy to announce the following:

PearousiaBatch Two of Pearousia is Here!

Yes, that's right! After a very long wait, our second batch of very limited release Pearousia pear brandy is now available at the distillery store (or by special order in the Virginia ABC or Bacchus).  Each bottle is hand numbered, and only a few hundred will be produced this year.  Pearousia bottles sold out last year in two months, so get yours while you can!

For those unfamiliar with our Pearousia, it is a seasonal brandy done in collaboration with Fabbioli Cellars.  Made from 100% Bosc pears, the brandy is distilled in an old-world style, non-sugary, and full of fruity taste and aroma, similar to a Calvados or a Cognac, but made from pears, of course.

So drop on by the distillery, and pick up a few items on your list.

And, from our family to yours, have yourself a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and an excellent and prosperous New Year!

Limited Holiday Hours

During the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, we WILL be open for tours, tastings, and item sales, but we will have LIMITED store hours:

Monday, Dec. 26
through
Saturday, Dec. 31
11 AM - 3 PM
Tastings Daily 11 AM - 12 PM
and
2PM - 3PM

Watershed Gin Wins Silver Medal in New York

2011 NYISCWe were thrilled to receive another award, a silver medal, in the 2011 New York International Spirits Competition for our eco-ganic Watershed Gin.

"Gin is a product in a very competitive market," said founder and distiller Becky Harris. "so we are very happy to do well in a major competition like the NYISC."  Watershed Gin is a formulation based on our eco-ganic rye spirits, with a maceration of ten herbs and spices, including juniper, coriander, anise, cinnamon, and orange peel.  Becky describes the gin as a "modern style" gin that realizes her expression of the greenness of Loudoun County, Virginia, where the gin is made.

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for autumn that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • December 2 - Tasting at Wagshal's Deli - Join us at Wagshal's as we pour all three of our favorite spirits!
  • December 7 - Becky on the Kojo Nnamdi Show - Listen from 1-2 pm to WAMU 88.5 FM to catch Becky speaking about Whiskey with other experts from the DC area.
  • December 9 - Tasting at Modern Liquors - And again, at Modern Liquors, we'll be pouring for free. Come by for a sample!
  • January 14 - Distilling Workshop - Perfect as a gift for the uber-whisky enthusiast, or for anyone who would love to spend the day with us learning about distilling.

For the full list of events, check our events page.

Cocktail for December - The Ghost of Vesper Lynd

The Ghost of Vesper LyndA Catoctin version of the real Bond cocktail.

3 oz Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Watershed Gin
1 oz Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Mosby's Spirit
1/2 oz Lillet blanc
twist of lemon peel

Combine all ingredients... shaken, not stirred.

Courtesy Chad Robinson, Brand Ambassador, Washington DC.

 

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

November 2011 Update

Latest News

Brandy BarrelsWelcome to November!  November?  Honestly?  We've already had our first snow, and it seems winter is pressing quickly upon us.

In early October, we finished up our brandy production.  This year's brandy was made from Seyval blanc and Chambourcin grapes, along with the new addition of Norton to the mix.  We've now put away those casks, and we have returned to making rye.  Just in time for the holiday rush.

As the holidays approach, remember that local spirits make a perfect gift for those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives.  If you drop by the distillery, we're happy to sign bottles for you, and we even have gift wrap!  We also have flasks, shot glasses, and shirts, so you can put together a cool distillery package for that special someone.

So drop on by the distillery, and pick up a bottle or two.

Catoctin Creek Wins Green Innovation Award

Green Business AwardWe were very happy to be named a Silver-level certified green business and awarded the Innovation Award in the 2011 Green Business Challenge.  The Green Business Challenge affirms our commitment to sustainable practices, while producing the finest rye whisky, gin, and brandy in the area. Going green means we are simultaneously preserving our environment and saving big on energy and waste expenses.

By sending our spent-mash to local farms as a nutritious cattle feed, and by recycling waste alcohol into fuel-grade ethanol, we ensure that nothing in our production process ends up in landfill. We're really proud of that!

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for autumn that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • November 1 - WhiskyFest New York - If you've got your tickets already, you're in good shape, because this event is SOLD OUT!  We'll be pouring our spirits at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for this one of a kind whiskey festival.
  • November 26 - Tastings at Perfect Pour - We'll be offering free tastings this month, at Perfect Pour in Elkridge, Maryland.
  • December 2 - Tastings at Wagshal's - The second of our free tastings, in northwest DC, just in time for the holidays.

For the full list of events, check our events page.

Cocktail for November - The Horse's Neck

Horse's NeckThis cocktail was featured in Flavor magazine in the fall 2011 issue and is served at The Chesapeake Room on Barracks Row in southeast DC.

1½ oz Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Roundstone Rye
Splash of ginger ale
3 dashes lemon bitters
Lemon twist
1 large ice cube

Garnish ice cube with lemon twist. Drop into an old fashioned glass. Separately, stir together rye, ginger ale, and bitters with ice. Strain and pour over prepared glass.

Recipe courtesy Henry Lewis and Jay Davis at The Chesapeake Room, and used with permission.
Photograph courtesy star5112 on Flickr and used under Creative Commons license.

 

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

October 2011 Update

Latest News

Brandy Montage

This week, we are wrapping up brandy season.  This has been a really tough year for grapes; most of the wineries have really struggled with the ridiculous amounts of rain we've gotten in September.  Too much rain at this late date leaves grapes that are watery and flavorless, not very good for wine.

Pearousia1757 Virginia BrandyFortunately for us, the bulk of our grapes were picked before the big September rains started, and we've received some very nice wine for making into brandy this year.  The Seyval blanc was exceptional again this year, and the Chambourcin and Norton will make nice additions to the brandy.  Norton is a new grape for us, and distilling it has proven very interesting.  The grape is extremely floral and should offer some nice aromatic notes to the 2013 release of our 1757 brandy.

Wineries working with us this year on brandy are Tarara, Fabbioli, and Chrysalis.  Thanks to all of you wonderful winemakers (Jordan, Doug and Melanie, and Alan) for your efforts.

As mentioned last month, for those of you awaiting the next batch of Pearousia pear brandy, just as soon as we get done with all those grapes, we'll be getting back to work on the pear brandy, aiming to get that out by late this year.

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for autumn that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • October 8 - Bottling Workshop - We'll be bottling four barrels of Roundstone Rye.  It's time to catch back up from the break we took while making brOktoberfestandy!  This workshop is full, but if you have your spot reserved already, we'll see you on Saturday.
  • October 15-16 - Fall Color Tour 2011 - Please join us all weekend for tastings and free tours.  This is one of the most popular weekends for touring around Loudoun County and seeing local farms and businesses.  Please stop in to check us out!
  • October 15 - Oktoberfest - Join us for a traditional Oktoberfest in Hamilton on Saturday night.  The price of admission includes all food and drink (provided by local butcher, Lothar), and proceeds go to a good cause.  This is going to be one heck of a great evening!
  • November 1 - WhiskyFest New York - If you've got your tickets already, you're in good shape, because this event is SOLD OUT!  We'll be pouring our spirits at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for this one of a kind whiskey festival.

For the full list of events, check our events page.

Cocktail for October - Castle Hill Cider Sour

Cider SourHow about a nice apple cider cocktail for autumn?  This one is super simple to make, and really delicious!

2 oz Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Roundstone Rye
Castle Hill Celestial sparkling cider
Dash of Peychauds bitters
1 tsp superfine sugar

Fill a shaker with ice.  Add the rye, sugar and bitters, and top off with cider.  Shake well (holding tightly, since the carbonated cider will be under pressure!), and strain into a tumbler full of ice.  Serve with a slice of apple.

 

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

September 2011 Update

Latest News

GrapesAs we slide out of summer and into September, we move into brandy season.  All the rye has been put away, and we're now getting the first fruit of the year.  Fresh grapes are coming in off the vine, and that wonderful Loudoun County wine is the starting point for our second vintage of brandy.

So far, our plans this year include Seyval blanc and Chambourcin (as was done for last year), and we may throw a few other varietals in there as well, like Petit Verdot and Norton.  This should make for a truly unique Virginia brandy!

1757 Virginia BrandyCatoctin Creek's brandy will be called simply, "1757", which is in honor of the founding date of Loudoun County.  And being the first grape brandy in Virginia since at least Prohibition, this will be a pretty special and truly historic expression.  We're still aging the last year's brandy in our large Bordeaux casks, so look for 1757 to arrive in 2012.

PearousiaAnd for those of you awaiting the next batch of Pearousia pear brandy, just as soon as we get done with all those grapes, we'll be getting back to work on the pear brandy, aiming to get that out by late this year.

Stay tuned here for details!

A Little Humor... A Thief in the Distillery!

We get pretty busy in the back of the distillery: meeting with people, making whisky, moving barrels, etc.  So it is easy to lose track of a pug who is our ostensible watch dog.  Luckily we have a security system to capture the details.  See the video below to see what happens when a pug is left alone in the office!

A Thief in the Distillery

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for the next few weeks that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • September 3 - Tiber Creek Cabaret - Looking for something different?  Join us for an evening of genre defying performances:  burlesque, sword-swallowing, belly dancing, original dramatic readings and live neo-Victorian electronic steampunk music, along with signature cocktails by Catoctin Creek.  This will be one funky event not to miss!
  • September 10 - Cleveland Park Tasting - Join us for FREE samples of the award winning Roundstone Rye and Watershed Gin at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits in DC.
  • September 17 - Taste History and Whiskey at Aldie Mill - Enjoy a five course dinner, paired with whiskeys from Catoctin Creek, Scotland and Kentucky, as you sit among the gears of the historic Aldie Mill.  Rich Gillespie, noted local historian, will be on hand to tell us about this history of the local area.
  • September 23 - Catoctin Creek, Cigars, and Chocolates - What's not to like?  Join us for tastings of Catoctin Creek whisky, chocolates and cigars on the patio of the Blue Duck in northwest DC.  Enjoy an evening of fine whisky and chocolates, with cigars, hand-rolled in front of your eyes by an artisan cigar maker.
  • September 24 - Distilling Workshop - Interested in how whisky is made?  Want a chance to help distill whisky legally?  Interested in the business of distilling?  Then this workshop is for you!  Join us as we discuss the art, science and business of distilling and end the day with a private tasting!

For the full list of events, check our events page.

Cocktail for September - Raspberry Vinegar Rickey

Raspberry Vinegar RickeyDid you weather hurricane Irene?  We've had a heck of a month of hurricanes and earthquakes!  This cocktail, a take on DC's official cocktail, the Rickey, might help take the edge off a stressful August, courtesy the Good Booze blog.

 

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
1 Tbsp Roaring Twenties Raspberry Vinegar (didn’t make it yet? We have an alternative here)
Club soda
Lime wheels
Sugar

To make the caramelized limes: Dredge the lime wheels in sugar. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat; when the pan is hot, cook the lime wheels on each side until just lightly golden. They will be a little sticky; set aside to cool (they can also be refrigerated at this point for a day or two).

To assemble the drink: Place the caramelized lime wheel in the bottom of in a tall glass or a large wine glass and lightly muddle the fleshy center, then remove and set aside. Add one tablespoon of Raspberry Vinegar, 1.5Catoctin Creek Mobile App ounces of gin, and stir. Add several ice cubes and top with club soda. Stir well, then top with the reserved lime wheel.

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

August 2011 Update

Latest News

First Tasting at Catoctin CreekTASTINGS NOW AVAILABLE AT THE DISTILLERY!

Hot on the heels of our recent distillery store opening--allowing bottle sales at the distillery--we are now also able to offer tastings at scheduled and pre-arranged times.  With the introduction of tastings, we have new store hours:

Monday 8 - 6 PM
Tastings at 12 PM
Tuesday thru Friday 8 - 3 PM
Tastings at 12 PM
Saturday 11 - 3 PM
Tastings at 2 PM
Sunday by appointment

If you wish to schedule a group tour, private function, or a Sunday visit to the distillery, including tastings, please contact us.  And of course, if you like what you taste, we're delighted to sell you a bottle or two!

Distillery Closed First Week of August

Please note that from Monday, August 1 to Friday, August 5, the distillery will be CLOSED while we are on a much-needed family vacation.  We will return on August 6.  During that time, of course, bottles are still available at your local stores and restaurants.

Catoctin Creek Distillery Reviewed in Washington Post

Washington Post Editors' PickThe Washington Post highlighted Catoctin Creek Distillery as an Editors' Pick for their "Going Out Guide" in Virginia:

White whiskies are often uncomplicated and quite harsh. Catoctin’s is floral and citrusy, with a smoothness and drinkability that is the greatest testament to the care and attention to detail that the Harrises put into their operation.

Read the rest of the review, here.

Now Available in iTunes and Android Marketplace

Catoctin Creek Mobile AppCheck out our new mobile app, now available for iPhone and Android!  The Catoctin Creek app will keep you up to date with all the latest cocktail recipes, events, videos and news of the distillery, right in your pocket.  The app is FREE, so download it today by using the QR code at right or by visiting our social media page.  Do let us know what you think!

A Crazy July - Roller Derby Girls, Charity Events, and Chefs on Harleys!

NOVA Roller DerbyJuly has been a crazy month!  We were thrilled to welcome the NOVA Roller Derby team out to the distillery for a private bottling workshop.  Clad in camouflage miniskirts, high heels, fishnet stockings, and tattoos, these girls were intimidating at first, but they were all business when it came to bottling whisky.  We had a super time getting to know the team, and hope you all will check out the NOVA Roller Derby web page for news and information about the team.  We can't wait to see their first bout, coming in late summer or early autumn. (Photos courtesy Ed Felker, Mayfly Design.)

NOVA Roller Derby NOVA Roller Derby

Dickson Wine BarEarlier in the month, we attended a charity tasting and cocktail party at Dickson Wine Bar on U Street NW in DC.  The event raised almost $1300 for the One Home, Many Hopes girls' school in Kenya.  It was a great cause, giving resources and hope to orphaned girls in rural Kenya.  We also had a very nice time meeting so many new people in northwest DC.  For more information about the charity, visit their web site at One Home, Many Hopes Kenya, and thanks to our hosts for the evening, Dickson Wine Bar(Photograph by DJ and copyright by Firefly Imageworks.)

Chefs Go FreshFinally, we had the great pleasure of hosting several dozen DC area chefs for a private tour and tasting, sponsored by The Georgetowner.  The "Chefs Go Fresh" event involved the chefs of several DC area restaurants donning their biking leathers, hopping on their Harleys, and cruising out to Loudoun County to see the best of our local meat, produce, wine, and yes, of course, spirits!  We were thrilled to be part of the tour and to meet so many new chefs from DC.  Here's hoping that we'll see Catoctin Creek spirits showing up in several new venues in DC and Northern Virginia soon!

Upcoming Events

As July slips into August, we turn our minds from the dog days of summer and toward the coming cooler days of autumn.  There are a variety of events planned for the next few weeks that should prove entertaining:

  • August 13 - Spectator Series Tasting at Lansdowne Resort - Come join us for tapas and cocktails at On the Potomac restaurant at Lansdowne Resort.  In collaboration with Farm to Fork, the event will feature a variety of locally-sourced food, along with featured cocktails from Catoctin Creek.
  • September 3 - Tiber Creek Cabaret - Looking for something different?  Join us for an evening of genre defying performances:  burlesque, sword-swallowing, belly dancing, original dramatic readings and live neo-Victorian electronic steampunk music, along with signature cocktails by Catoctin Creek.  This will be one funky event not to miss!
  • September 17 - Taste History and Whiskey at Aldie Mill - Enjoy a five course dinner, paired with whiskeys from Catoctin Creek, Scotland and Kentucky, as you sit among the gears of the historic Aldie Mill.  Rich Gillespie, noted local historian, will be on hand to tell us about this history of the local area.
  • September 23 - Catoctin Creek, Cigars, and Chocolates - What's not to like?  Join us for tastings of Catoctin Creek whisky, chocolates and cigars on the patio of the Blue Duck in northwest DC.  Enjoy an evening of fine whisky and chocolates, with cigars, hand-rolled in front of your eyes by an artisan cigar maker.
  • September 24 - Distilling Workshop - Interested in how whisky is made?  Want a chance to help distill whisky legally?  Interested in the business of distilling?  Then this workshop is for you!  Join us as we discuss the art, science and business of distilling and end the day with a private tasting!

For the full list of events, check our events page.

Cocktail for Summer - Cool Hand Cuke

What better way to escape the dog days of summer than with this cool refresher?

Cool Hand Cuke

1 1/2 oz Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit
Sliced cucumber, diced
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
Thin slice of cucumber, for garnish

Muddle the diced cucumber in a rocks glass and add ice. Mix the Mosby's Spirit, lime juice and simple syrup in a tumbler and pour over ice and cucumber. Stir well and garnish with a slice of cucumber.

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

July 2011 Update

Latest News

First SalesTHE DISTILLERY STORE IS OPEN! HUZZAH!

Yes, this morning, we opened the doors to the distillery as a newly licensed retail store. Officially operating as a Virginia ABC store, we can now sell bottles of our spirits to the general public.

Can't find your Catoctin Creek spirits at the local ABC store? Come on by! Want a tour and maybe pick up a bottle or two? Come on by! Last minute gift needed for a friend? Come on by! (You get the idea...)

We're celebrating the new store opening with a Fourth of July weekend grand opening party. From opening until 4pm each day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), we'll be doing tours. We'll also be highlighting some of our very favorite local bands with live music. Oh, and there might be a large German man in Lederhosen selling bratwursts.

Seriously, it's going to be a heck of a good weekend. So stop by!

Scott and Becky Selected as 2011 Northern Virginia Innovators

NOVA InnovatorsIt was our great honor last Wednesday to be selected as one of the three finalists in the NOVAEXEC Magazine 2011 Northern Virginia Innovators. The awards ceremony was held by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Loudoun Time Mirror and NOVAEXEC Magazine.

We felt pretty humbled to be selected along with Volkswagen and Guernsey Office Products, two companies that have been around much longer than we have!

"NOVAEXEC sees innovation as creation," says the magazine article highlighting the award, "Scott and Becky Harris followed in the footsteps of one of Northern Virginia's most famous innovators, George Washington, when they took up his past-time of producing spirits."

Honestly, we're just following our dream, and so happy to be doing it in Northern Virginia!

Events in July

We have several really neat events this month. Be sure to pick one or two and join us!

  • July 1-3 - Grand Opening Weekend - Come join us with tours, bottle sales, a book signing, live music and bratwursts! (Note, we will be closed on the 4th of July to be with family and friends.)
  • July 3 - Pig Roast and Catoctin Creek Cocktails at the Passenger - The Passenger is THE spot for DC cocktails. For the 4th of July weekend, they're roasting a whole pig and serving up some of our cocktails, pie, and beer from DC Brau!
  • July 9 - Tasting at The Perfect Pour - Come join us in Elkridge, Maryland for a tasting of all of our spirits.

For the full list of events, check our events page.  Stay tuned as we add more events throughout the month (like a tasting at Dickson Wine Bar in DC, and the ever popular bottling workshops).

Cocktail for Summer - The Summer Bliss

Summer BlissWhat says summer better than watermelon, pineapple, and cool refreshing punch? This one comes from Huppahs.com, and highlights our Watershed Gin. Deeeee-lish!

4-5 lb seedless watermelon
1 bottle Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Watershed Gin
18 oz pineapple juice
18 oz lemon juice
18 oz simple syrup
18 oz lemon/lime seltzer

Cut the watermelon in half and scoop out the fruit into very large bowl. Use an immersion blender to liquidate the fruit. Strain through a cheese cloth. You will end up with about 42 oz of watermelon juice. Combine all the ingredients. Add the seltzer and ice to the punch bowl just before serving.

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

Courtesy of Huppahs.com. Garland courtesy of FiftyFlowers.com. Photo courtesy Jason Weil and used with permission.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

June 2011 Update

"This certified eco-ganic and kosher bottling is out of [Loudoun] County, Va., where the locals know something about white spirits. Left to mature in a barrel, this alcohol becomes the brand’s Roundstone Rye, but without the oak, we get a vibrant flavor, fresh on the palate. There’s some juicy banana on the finish and a nice velvety mouthfeel."

-- Max Watman, author of Chasing the White Dog and Liquor.com contributor

Latest News

Catoctin Creek LineupWe are now only one month away from selling bottles at the distillery. Virginia Senate Bill 1249 goes into effect on July 1, 2011, and on that day, at six o'clock AM, we will open the doors to selling bottles directly from our supply at the distillery!

This is a big step for us, of course, and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd become a liquor store owner! (Basically, that is what we will be, a state-licensed ABC store in the front office, selling only Catoctin Creek products, of course.)

If you want to be one of the first few people to get a signed bottle at the distillery, show up bright and early on Friday, July 1. See you soon!

Mosby's SpiritMosby's Available in Virginia ABC

Mosby's Spirit, our multiple award winning white whisky, is now widely available on the shelves of your local Virginia ABC stores. ABC has picked it up as a "listed item", and bottles began arriving in local stores in May.  Look for it in the whisky section, probably near the Roundstone Rye.  But if you don't see it, you can ask for it by product number #27488. No more special ordering required!

If you have not yet tried Mosby's Spirit, this is a really neat new type of whisky.  Mosby's is the truest expression of the spirit that comes off the still; it sees no aging at all, and shows you how clean and nice an eco-ganic rye spirit can be when crafted with care by hand in small batches.

Taste History

Mosby's Spirit is very representative of the historical Virginia whisky.  Since George Washington first fired up his stills at Mount Vernon, and on through the Civil War, and up until Prohibition, if you lived in Virginia, and you were drinking whisky, you were almost certainly drinking an unaged rye whisky like Mosby's Spirit.

For a fun evening, grab some friends and a bottle each of Mosby's and Roundstone.  Sample between the two.  Notice the differences in the taste and aromas.  The only difference between the two is the aging that Roundstone receives in the barrel.  You'll be amazed what wood does to the spirit!

Events

In June, look for a few very cool events on the calendar:

  • June 4 - Barrel Tasting at Park Hyatt, DC - Gather at the entranceway of Blue Duck Tavern, surrounded by barrels, and sample the true flavors of American wine and spirits.
  • June 10 - Homegrown Spirits at Homewood Museum - Join Dr. Dennis Pogue (historian at Mount Vernon Distillery) and several local distillers as we sample spirits from around the area and learn about the history of distilling in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • June 18 - Catoctin Creek Distilling Workshop - Interested in distilling? Want to make whiskey yourself legally? Ever wonder what it takes to start and run a distillery?  This is the course for you! Only a few seats are left, so order today!
  • June 23- DC Whiskey Cruise - Join Catoctin Creek for an evening on the Potomac as we cruise with over 200 whiskeys, all available for tasting!

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

May 2011 Update

"Just bought some of your Roundstone Rye. Seriously, one of the best whiskeys I've had. Well done, you. Delish! Can't wait to try more."

-- Caroline Jane Kenney

Latest News

Barrel PrepBig news! Virginia Senate Bill 1249 was signed by Governor Bob McDonnell, allowing us to sell bottles at our distillery! The law, in effect, allows us to operate as an ABC store, selling all of our products in our retail store starting on July 1. Barrel FillLook for a "store grand opening" on that date. Perhaps you can be the first to buy a bottle at the distillery when we open on Friday morning, July 1st!

Because of the expected increase in sales, we've ramped up production of our spirits. This means more rye grain, more yeast, more water, and yes, more barrels. We're filling barrels like crazy, working to get enough Roundstone Rye into inventory so that we're ready when people can start buying directly from us. Becky has been filling barrels at a rate of about two per week, which should put us in good shape come July.

Two More Awards from American Distilling Institute

Mosby's takes Bronze Medal at ADI Roundstone takes Silver Medal at ADI

We were very pleased to obtain two more medals from the American Distilling Institute. Mosby's Spirit received another bronze medal and was named "Best In Category" for un-aged rye whiskey. Roundstone Rye picked up a silver medal at the competition and was also named "Best In Category" for aged rye whiskey. These medals are great, and we certainly welcome the recognition, but most of all, we're really glad that people are enjoying our spirits.

Mosby's SpiritMosby's Available in Virginia ABC

In May, Mosby's Spirit will start to appear on the shelves of your local Virginia ABC stores. ABC decided to pick it up as a "listed item" earlier this quarter, and now almost one thousand bottles sit poised in Richmond for delivery to the stores early this month. And in case the store clerks are unfamiliar with Mosby's Spirit, you can ask for it by product number #27488. No more special ordering required!

Events

In May and early June, look for a few very cool events on the calendar:

  • May 11 - Kennedy Center Wine & Cultural Celebration - A wonderful event at the Rooftop Terrace Restaurant.  We'll be pouring drinks and there will be lots of local foods provided.
  • May 14 - Bottling Day Workshop - Our popular, and free event.  A hands on bottling workshop.
  • May 21 & 22 - Loudoun County Farm Tours - Come and see free tours of production at the distillery.  We'll be mashing and distilling all day with nonstop tours through the day.
  • June 4 - Barrel Tasting at Park Hyatt, DC - Gather at the entranceway of Blue Duck Tavern, surrounded by barrels, and sample the true flavors of American wine and spirits.

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

April 2011 Update

Bottling DayLatest News

I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry
If the hard times don't kill me, I'll lay down and die
I'll tune up my fiddle and I 'll rosin my bow
I'll make myself welcome, wherever I go

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

-- Tex Ritter, "Rye Whiskey"

March was a whirlwind month for us at Catoctin Creek. Early in the month, our Mosby's Spirit was featured in a story on rye whiskey in DRAFT Magazine. The very next day, in Imbibe, they featured our Watershed Gin, along with a nice spot for our friends at Mokomandy! (including a recipe for their Hibiscus 75, which is an amazing gin cocktail!)

DRAFT Magazine Imbibe March/April 2011

USC 2011Later in the month, we picked up news that we received two silver medals at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, both for our Mosby's Spirit and our Roundstone Rye. And finally, after that, we received word that our Mosby's Spirit was rated a "Strong Recommendation" from F. Paul Pacult's Ultimate Spirits Challenge In fact, Mosby's Spirit was the third highest rated spirit in the category of American Whiskey.

Wow! What a great month!

Events

Church and StateIn March, we kicked off with a great cocktail party, courtesy smörgie and Church & State in DC. Thanks to Shakti from smörgie and Erik from C&S for hosting the event. We had a great time pouring our whiskies and telling the story about starting the distillery. Plus, there was a cool cocktail contest, with some very creative and unusual new cocktails.

Coming in April, we have the EarthDay@Loudoun family festival at Clyde's of Willow Creek in the Broadlands. Catoctin Creek is the proud sponsor this year of the Wine, Beer and Spirits Garden. That means we'll be pouring! Come by for a tasting, and sample great local wines and beers while you're there as well. (Grown-ups only, of course.)

We've also set the date for our next Distilling Workshop. The last workshop was a complete success, and the folks really enjoy learning the details behind the distillation process. The June workshop includes a full tasting at Magnolia's restaurant included in the price of the seminar. So be sure to reserve your spot if you're interested, because these do sell out.

Mosby's SpiritMosby's Spirit "Listed" in Virginia ABC

Our beloved Mosby's Spirit has finally been graduated from the "special order" status to a full "listed" product in Virginia ABC. That means you should find it on the Virginia shelves starting no later than May. Look for it next to the Roundstone Rye, but if you don't see it, be sure to ask your ABC store clerk for product number #27488. This should make Mosby's much easier to obtain going forward!

So, head on out to your ABC stores and get a bottle of a true Virginia historical spirit, and our most award winning product!

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

March 2011 Update

Latest News

Photo credit Shannon Sollinger, Leesburg Patch.February was another busy month for us at Catoctin Creek. During the month, we hosted two private bottling workshops (one for a volunteer food kitchen in DC, and one for a wedding party), got ourselves into a lot of new restaurants, and hosted a table at the first ever Loudoun Food Expo in Purcellville.

The Loudoun Expo was incredibly well attended, and quite surprising. We visited with over 1,000 people, mostly locals, interested in our spirits, plus the fine array of local wines, meats, and produce available from producers in Western Loudoun. Many people don't realize, we have quite an agricultural area in the county, and it's been growing in recent years. We always encourage people to support their local businesses, or they won't exist anymore!

Photo credit Shannon Sollinger, Leesburg Patch. Read more about the Leesburg Patch story on the Loudoun Expo, here.

Major Win in Richmond!

Although it hasn't gotten as much attention as the Governor's ABC privatization bill, we have a bill working its way quietly through Richmond. Senate Bill 1249, designating an eco-ganic distillery as an agent of the ABC board, has passed both the Senate and the House of Delegates! (Hooray!) It remains to be signed by the Governor before becoming law. SB1249 will allow us to now sell bottles at our distillery. That means, if you cannot find the bottles at your local store, you can always come by and pick up a bottle or two from us.

And at the federal level, if you'd like to support smaller excise taxes for small producers like us, please support HR#777.  Supporting the bill is easy using the PopVox web site.  They do all the work in contacting your local representatives!  Click here for more details.

March Events

Looking forward to March, we have several great events planned:

More great events are scheduled in April and May, so check our web site for full details.

Roundstone RyeIncreasing Capacity

We've been so busy keeping up with demand, we've decided to double our production and mash twice per week now. That should allow us to ready ourselves for in-distillery sales, and provide better product availability in Virginia. We know it's frustrating not to find our stuff on the shelves when you go to your store, and we're working very hard to try to address that situation. Hopefully, the increased production means more product available when you want it, where you want it.

So for now, I better get back to the distillery floor! There's rye to be mashed!

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

February 2011 Update

Latest News

Catoctin Creek Mosby's SpiritWhew! We're still trying to catch our breath after a very busy 2010 holiday season. With all the mundane year-end tasks (like closing the accounting year), we're still focusing a ton of effort on keeping the stores stocked with Roundstone Rye, Mosby's Spirit, Watershed Gin and Pearousia. We're working like crazy, but this is a good thing!

In January, we celebrated our first full year in production. Yep, we're a year old! Still in diapers, but also still here and making whisky! We enjoyed a few nice pieces of press in January, including a story in The Loudoun Times, a four page feature in Flavor magazine, a mention on the very popular WTOP radio station, and a front page cover story in The Indie. We're blessed for all the press we're getting. I guess it shows Northern Virginia's interest in its first (legal) distillery since Prohibition!

The Indie Flavor Mag

CocktailsWe have lots of great new cocktails on our web site, so be sure to check out the cocktails page for many cool ideas. Experiment a little, and if you come up with something good (or great), give it a name and send it to us. We'll gladly stick the best ones on the web page and give you credit. Be sure to include a photo so we can see what the cocktail looks like!

In January, we kept busy with two bottling workshops and our quarterly distilling workshop. Our distilling workshop overflowed at well over 30 people, but I think everybody had a great time learning about making whisky. And we always have a super time with our bottling volunteers. It is always a great way to meet new people, and folks enjoy the experience of working the bottling line for an hour or two on a Saturday. If you're ever interested in joining us, drop us a line!

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

January 2011 Update

Happy New Year!!

Hogmanay in Edinburgh

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
— Robert Burns, 1788

Happy New Year!! ... Or as they say in Scotland, "Happy Hogmanay!"

What a year we had in 2010. January marks our first anniversary in full-scale production, and looking back, it has been quite a first year! I won't bore you with a 2010 "Year-End Review"; there's always our web site for that.

Instead, let us raise a glass and toast "Cheers!" to a prosperous and healthy 2011! Sláinte!

News for December

December was one of our busiest months ever.  Naturally, with all the seasonal giving for Hanukkah and Christmas, our sales were the strongest ever.  (And we thank you for that!)  What a great way to end the year!

As the year ended, we were very lucky to get featured in the Washington Business Journal and KosherEye, a leading national kosher food review site.  We always enjoy the press, and it helps us get the word out there and tell our story.

As for events, we have a few in store for January:

  • Jan. 8 - Our bottling workshop, where we'll be bottling 120 cases of Roundstone Rye.  The demand for this eco-ganic rye whisky has been strong, and we're now bottling double per month what we were bottling only a few months ago!  If you are one of the folks who responded to our invitation, you'll have a great time and get to see some pretty neat behind-the-scenes operations at the distillery.
  • Jan. 15 - Our artisan distilling workshop, where the uber-whiskey-geeks get to learn about the craft, science, and business of distilling, and get to be a distiller for a day.  This day-long session goes deep into the operations at the distillery from mashing, to fermentation, to distillation, to aging, filtering, and finally bottling.  We conclude the day with a tasting at Magnolia's, which is a great way to end the day!
  • Jan. 21 - Tasting and cocktails at Food Matters in Alexandria.  Food Matters is one of the coolest new restaurants in the DC area, focusing on eco-ganic, sustainable and (shall I say?) DELICIOUS food!  We're overjoyed to be bringing our spirits in to sample some of their awesome cocktails.

PearousiaFinally, the last of the Pearousia pear brandy is in the ABC system.  If you haven't yet had a chance to purchase any, there are about 100 bottles left.  You'll need to special order it through your local ABC store.  Just tell the clerk you want a bottle of Catoctin Creek Pearousia, and give them the order code #952556.  When it's gone, IT'S GONE!  These limited edition, hand numbered bottles won't last.  So get yours today.

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

Latest News

Rabble Rouser featured in Maxim

Maxim did a story on some of the best Bottled In Bond whiskies available, and our Rabble Rouser was selected (among some very fine company, if we do say so)! Previous whiskey...

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Becky Harris in American Whiskey Magazin…

American Whiskey magazine does an interview with Becky Harris, our president and chief distiller, about starting up a distillery and what's on the horizon. Focusing more now on the spirit itself...

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Becky in Rachel Ray's magazine

Kelsie Schrader, writing for Rachel Ray Every Day magazine, covers 10 female pioneers in the spirits industry and gets Becky in her article: When Becky and Scott Harris founded Catoctin Creek...

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


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Latest Events

Autumn Dinner at the Distillery

  SEP 20   Autumn Dinner at the Distillery 7:00pm—9:00pm Join us September 20th for our autumn-themed dinner. We will feature a four course menu plus an amuse boushe from Justin Thyme Culinary. The theme for the night...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  OCT 12   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct one of our famous Bottling Workshops!  Here's your chance to volunteer and learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get...

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Battle of the Bartenders!

  NOV 4   Battle of the Bartenders!  Northern Virginia's Ultimate Cocktail Competition! 6:00pm—9:00pm Back for it's second year!!  One night only!  Local bartenders will compete for the title of Northern Virginia's BEST bartender.  This a...

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