The gorgeous weather this week afforded ample opportunity to get out and about, so a reader stopped by New Columbia Distillers, the new neighborhood start-up that’s distilling gin. Here are some photos from his visit/tour, including descriptions of the process. The distillery is open for public visits from 1-4pm on Saturdays on Fenwick St NE in Ivy City. From their website:
In 2011 John and Michael were the first to bring craft distilling to DC. After a brief apprenticeship with Dry Fly Distillery, they located a home for their distillery in a 90-year-old warehouse near the Art Deco landmark Hecht Co. warehouse on New York Ave.
“The gin starts with wheat, sourced from a farmer in the Northern Neck area of Virginia.”
“To start the process, wheat is ground in this machine, then pumped to the fermenter, where it’s combined with yeast and water.”
“After fermentation, the mixture is moved to the distiller, where it is heated to about 100 degrees. Alcohol evaporates before water, and the alcohol vapor passes through bags containing herbs that give the gin its signature flavor.”
“Green Hat gin gets its flavor from these 12 herbs and spices that are infused in the alcohol during distillation.”
“After a couple of distillation passes, the product is almost ready. It’s cooled and stored for a week, then bottled. Something cool they offer is the opporunity to help them bottle the gin.”
“And then the bottles are boxed and ready for distribution! The distillery has bottles for sale on-site (during the day Mon-Fri, and 1-4pm on Saturday), and it’s also available at a few stores locally (including Schneider’s).”