In Boston, chances are good that you’ve taken a tour of a craft beer brewery such as Harpoon or Sam Adams. But a liquor distillery? Probably not.
That will all change this summer when GrandTen Distilling in South Boston opens its doors to tours. Production of the company’s three fine-tuned drinks — Wire Works American Gin, Fire Puncher Fire Vodka and Medford Rum — began last month and are sold in a handful of bars and liquor stores.
“Right now, there’s a big trend of going back toward cocktails,” said Matthew Nuernberger, 33, who opened GrandTen with his cousin, Spencer McMinn, 29. “We see cocktail bars popping up all over Boston. You try to get into one on a Friday or Saturday night, and it’s completely jammed.
“We see more and more bartenders who deserve to be called mixologists,” he added.
There’s not much to see right now inside GrandTen’s warehouse on Dorchester Avenue — other than massive, complex-looking distilling machines — but the owners say renovations will be completed by mid-summer for a store and tours.
“It lends itself to a personal touch on what we do,” McMinn said. “We didn’t want to open up in the suburbs. We wanted to be in the city so people could come visit us.”
Each drink has its own story. Fire Puncher Fire Vodka, for example, is named after Tommy Maguire, who — as legend has it — fought a fire with his fists in 1887 at the iron foundry where GrandTen is located today. A newspaper clipping of the account is featured on GrandTen’s website.
“You have to have a story. It really takes it to the next level,” McMinn said. “Every spirit deserves its own story, as opposed to just being called, ‘GrandTen Gin’ or ‘GrandTen Vodka.’ ”
And each drink needs to have flavor. The pair use a still named “Eau de vie,” which is French for “Water of life.” The machine has fewer evaporation-condensation cycles than most large-scale distilleries, which means there’s more flavor, said McMinn.
“We’re not trying to make tasteless vodka here. We’re trying to bring the flavors into (it),” he said.
The Fire Puncher vodka is infused with chipotle peppers, while the Medford Rum is aged in oak barrels and described as “dark and flavorful.” The gin is crisp.
GrandTen is working on an apple jack cider to be released in a few months after purchasing 12,000 apples from a New Hampshire orchard last fall. “What’s good about being a small distillery is you can take an opportunity when it comes,” McMinn said. “You find somebody who’s trying to get rid of their produce, and we say, ‘Yeah, we’ll take that.’ ”
For more information, go to Grandten.com
By Dan O’Brien, Re-Posted from BostonHerald.com
File under Boston area Nightlife.