Nice to get a shout-out in Wine Enthusiast magazine this month! There's a nice feature on what to do for a day or more in Washington, DC. Here's our bit:
Escape the city for an afternoon in the Virginia countryside. Start with esoteric, barrel-aged beers like Ortolan Bunting (aged in Armagnac casks) or G/I/A/A IPA (matured in mezcal barrels) at Adroit Theory Brewery. For lunch nosh on local Angus beef burgers and hand-cut fries at Market Burger Fries & Shakes. Afterward, head to Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (above), where affable owners Scott and Becky Harris will give you a tour and tasting of their award-winning Roundstone Rye, Watershed Gin and pear brandy.
Architectural Digest did an article on the 12 coolest craft distilleries and we were included!
The first craft distillery built in Virginia’s Loudoun County since the pre-Prohibition era sits in the historic Case Building space (a onetime Buick dealership) on Main Street in the town of Purcellville, an hour west of Washington, D.C. Its industrial-chic tasting room, designed by W. A. Brown & Associates, is lit by 56 Edison bulbs and lots of natural light from the original 1920s windows. It’s the perfect place to taste the brand’s handcrafted rye whiskey, which is faithful to the ingredients and methods commonly used in the region during Prohibition.
Inc magazine does a feature on craft distillers, and Catoctin Creek featured in the #3 spot of the 26 distilleries profiled. Coeli Carr writes:
Making distilled spirits is an ancient process, and for 21st-century craft distillers--currently there are about 1,000 of them in the U.S., according to the American Distilling Institute--everything old is new again. And profitable. ADI's annual survey estimates that craft sales moved about 2.4 million cases in 2015, about 40 percent more than the previous year. From 2011 through 2015, segment revenue grew more than 40 percent annually.
Becky enjoyed more press coverage this week, getting featured in The Spirits Business infographic on top female distillers:
Becky Harris founded the first distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia, since Prohibition with her husband Scott in 2009. Becky’s experience in manufacturing control, as well as her Chemical Engineering degree, made her a natural fit for the role of chief distiller, while Scott, a computer engineer, manages the business. Previously, Becky worked at companies such as Amoco, YDK America, and CIBA, specialising in industrial processes and production systems. At Catocin, a certified kosher distillery, the couple creates a range of whiskeys, ryes, gins and brandies.
Nothing makes a Monday quite so fine as being named by Southern Living as one of the 50 people changing the South in 2015! Booyah! (Question is, do Becky and I count as one or two people?!)
This is a magazine that my mother has read since I was a baby, and now, what an honor to be included in it!
We surveyed the region to find the movers-and-shakers who are shaping the South with community-minded ideas and projects. From groundbreaking chefs to designers with a voice, these are the people you’ll want to keep an eye on this year.
In the middle of Virginia’s wine country, Becky and Scott Harris are making what may be the most Southern of spirits. While many craft spirits claim the title of “handmade,” Catoctin walks the walk with its line of whiskeys, gins, and brandies that are made start-to-finish in [Loudoun] County using locally sourced fruits and rye. Other materials, such as boxes and services, also come from the area, and the team gives back to the land by donating its spent rye mash for cattle farmers to use as livestock feed. Expanding its regional reach, Catoctin creates specialty products for top bartenders and hotels in the Virginia and D.C. area.
We were overjoyed (over the moon, in fact) at Lavanya Ramanathan's very in depth story on visiting Catoctin Creek. She really went into depth in her story, covering not only how the spirits are made, but the whole vibe of coming out to Purcellville for a day trip, including even a stop at Market Burger for lunch. Such a wonderful story! Here is an excerpt:
Here we see how rye is made: not in giant, impersonal vats somewhere in Indiana, but a few dozen miles from home. Scott explains that the first step to rye, in fact, is making something not unlike a hefeweizen — a primordial stew teeming with grains that must ferment to become alcohol. The distillation happens later, in a fancy copper still, which separates the alcohol from the grainy pulp, known as mash, with heat that turns it to gas. Upon cooling, the gas is returned to its liquid form, which is now that brash stuff known as white whiskey. To become the Roundstone rye that has won the company kudos, it goes into oak barrels to age for at least two years.
Market Watch did an interesting piece on a number of women who work at several distilleries across the world, including our own beloved Becky Harris. Amber Drea writes:
After staying home with her kids for 10 years, the former chemical engineer decided to take on distilling duties, while Scott managed the marketing and sales side. “I’ve always been interested in making things,” Harris explains. It also helped that she had a science background. “This business was Scott’s dream job, so he chose well when we got married 20 years ago,” she jokes.
Garden and Gun is a really cool magazine. Think Southern Living for the hipster generation. Honestly, when I first heard of it, I was intrigued by the name/ Upon closer inspection, I found more and more cool articles within its pages. I couldn't put it down.
In the December 2010/January 2011 issue, Catoctin Creek was named as a winner in their Made in the South awards. As the cover states, "20 craftsmen, entrepreneurs, and artists who are making things right"! Heck, yeah!
Thanks to Donovan Webster and Haskell Harris (no relation), who wrote the article and supervised the competition.
We were elated to see the Washington Post write a story on our Art of the Cocktail classes! More than just being an instructional drink-making class, Scott's purpose is more to build a sense of community and social gathering. Fritz...
Julia Moskin does a pretty darn comprehensive review on the state of applejack (aka apple brandy) in the New York Times. Check it out: As most small-scale applejack makers do, Catoctin Creek starts the process not with fresh apples but with...
2020 was a difficult year; nobody will argue that point. For us at Catoctin Creek, we had several restaurants return their barrel select rye whisky because they didn't know if they would be able to continue business in the face...
MAR/APR Fri. Art of the Cocktail Class – 3rd time's a charm, ONLINE! 7:00pm—9:00pm AS FEATURED IN THE WASHINGTON POST! In this series, I will be focusing on various cocktails from books I'm enjoying. ...
MAR 27 I'm Every Woman Virtual Tasting 7:30pm—10:00pm Come celebrate Women's History Month by making history with an extraordinary tasting of women owned spirits by Moe Peacock. This is not a women only...