St. Petersburg Distillery is St. Pete’s own homegrown distillery that produces award winning craft spirits using locally sourced ingredients. They are a small family-owned business with no obligation to outside investors which allows them more freedom to pursue unique recipes, ingredients and uncompromising quality. The team was kind enough to give a tour of their state of the art facility.
When Jesse and I arrived at the distillery we were greeted by Frank the Production Manager, who briefed us on what our tour would entail. He also supplied us with some hair nets for us to wear for sanitation purposes. They keep the distillery sparkling clean!
We started the tour in the bottling facility where the bottles are washed & dried before being filled with their craft spirits. The crew greeted us with smiles and curiosity as we setup our cameras for the first shot. Frank informed us that the bottles must be dried completely because even the smallest trace of water could offset the alcohols proof. Therefore, the bottles are dried using a state-of-the-art drying machine. Once dry, the bottles continue down the line to be filled with the spirit of their choice, which was Old St. Pete Vodka for that days run.
After the bottles are filled they are sent further down the line to the label mechanism. It quickly wraps the label around each bottle within a seconds & pushes the bottle further down the production line to quality control. Here the bottles are hand inspected for consistency and any bottle with minor flaws are removed before being packaged and shipped.
After checking out the bottling facility we made our way over to meet the Master Distiller and his apprentice. They were busy filling 15-gallon white American oak barrels with their first batch of fresh whiskey. They were nice enough to let Jesse and I try some of the un-aged whiskey before being barreled and aged for the next 7 years. I was really surprised by how smooth and sweet the un-aged whiskey was even though it was a higher proof than what you can get at a store!
Master Distiller & Apprentice filling American oak barres with fresh whiskey
We also learned that they use copper pot stills that were handmade in the early 1930’s! How cool is that?
We ended our tour in their tasting room that overlooks the distillery. We sampled their full lineup of spirits including their Old St Pete line & Royal Honey Mead.