As you may, or may not, know – September is Bourbon Heritage month. And there’s still time to celebrate!
When it comes to Bourbon whiskey many folks don’t know that the Sunshine State offers you a lot of options. We have had the opportunity to visit some of these locations and they are fun as well as producing a great product.
St Augustine Distillery
For example, the St. Augustine Distillery Company is a great little business collaborative. A group of locals who shared a dream. They have worked diligently to distill super premium, small batch spirit. Their goal – to be better than anyone in the world. They are succeeding on a number of levels.
They started by bringing some of the world’s best distilling experts to St Augustine — the oldest and coolest small city in America. Then, they combine it with locally grown sugar cane, wheat, corn, and citrus. The notion was to develop a ﬁner quality spirit than just about any other place in the world.
While the business fairly is new, the location is not. They operate out of St Augustine’s Historic FP&L Ice Plant. Built as part of St. Augustine’s ﬁrst power and ice complex in 1907, owners have restored and brought it back to serve the community for the next century.
The Ice Plant is a contributing building to the Lincolnville Neighborhood. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places and was the ﬁrst of it’s kind to make commercial block ice in Florida over 100 years ago. Today, it is helping us make Florida’s ﬁrst bourbon and other ﬁne craft spirits.
When you visit St. Augustine, you need to budget some time to go through the St. Augustine Distillery tour. It is fun, informative and you get enough of a sample to stock up on their product before you leave.
On a family farm located just north of Destin, Florida is the Timber Creek Distillery. These folks are so far out into the woods they have to come back toward town to go hunting.
Their vision is to take the best local fruits and grains from the Florida Panhandle and turn them into the finest Craft Spirits. They take great pride in hand making every batch and hand bottling every bottle.
The Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast are blessed with some fantastic local crops. For their Whiskeys, they use local Red Soft Winter Wheat, local Yellow #2 Dent Corn, and local Florida 401 Black Rye.
The Timber Creek Distillery is unique inasmuch as they use a custom designed pot still, “thumper”, and copper worm condenser to allow the bold favors of the raw ingredients to shine through.
The Winter Park Distilling Company
The Winter Park Distilling Company was founded in 2010 by Paul Twyford and Andrew Asher. Both were raised in Winter Park. They were later joined by Andrew’s wife, Francesca, a transplant from Palm Beach County.
Starting with just a handmade 50-gallon still and a few old recipes for whiskey, they established the Winter Park Distilling Company as the first and finest craft distillery in Orange County, Florida.
Their Bear Gully Classic Reserve Bourbon is the very first craft bourbon made in Florida. A single barrel bourbon, it is crafted with a rich local corn mash and aged in a naturally heated rackhouse to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In this thick, humid, summertime air our award-winning Florida bourbon gets its smooth and rich finish imbued with a proud Central Florida pedigree.
Those are just a few of the Sunshine State distilleries and definitely Florida Fun Travel locations. In addition to their stock, each also offers tours of their facilities.
Time to Celebrate
And finally, no Florida Fun Travel report would be complete without a festival – and this is no exception. The Bacon & Bourbon Festival now has been moved to Wellington.
The two-day event will feature great live music, artist & crafters, an eclectic menu of bacon-infused culinary delights. They also will have a collection of over 60 bourbons and whiskeys for your tasting pleasure. The Fest also offers participants exclusive bacon and bourbon pairing seminars including exclusive Pappy Van Winkle tastings.
South Florida’s foremost Bourbon experts share the distiller’s art and patient techniques in the seminars and tastings. All intended to enhance your knowledge and pleasure of American made Bourbon and whiskey. Additionally, an Irish whiskey or rye will be thrown into the mix for historical purposes.
For those who cannot be convinced to partake in Bourbon, we will have a few fine wines and ice-cold beer too.
Our plan is to blend our own custom bourbon thanks to the fine folks at Timber Creek. Visit our Florida Fun Travel Facebook page or drop us a line at email@example.com.