Midnight Sun Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene

Baltimore Whiskey Co. announces distillery September opening date, new name

With a new name, the Baltimore Whiskey Co. — now known as Baltimore Spirits Co. — will open its new distillery inside Union Collective on Sept. 15.

Founded in Remington in 2015 by friends Max Lents, Eli Breitburg-Smith and Ian Newton, the brand announced plans to move in June 2017 to the new manufacturing and retail complex in Medfield. After months of construction and moving, the company — known for its Epoch Rye whiskey, Shot Tower Gin and other spirits — is in the final steps of opening its doors, said Lents.

“We’re just champing at the bit,” Lents said. “We’re so, so ready to get people in here.”

The grand opening party, which will feature food and spirits samples, will take place from noon to 8 p.m. at the new, 10,000-square-foot distillery inside 1700 W. 41st St. Hours moving forward will be noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday (closed Monday-Tuesday), Lents said.

Free tours, led by the co-founders, will be given every half hour on Saturdays between noon and 6 p.m., he said.

The opening party will also celebrate the release of the third batch of Epoch Rye, priced at $39.99. Earlier this year, the whiskey won the highest honor — Double Gold — at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Visitors to the distillery will see a “fully functional pot-still distillery,” along with a rickhouse (where whiskey in barrels is stored to age) and a bar serving samples of Baltimore Spirits Co. products, according to Lents. The space will also feature a barware store, where customers can purchase cocktail equipment for their home bars.

“We like to encourage people to make great cocktails at home,” Lents said.

As for the name change, Lents said it’s to clear up confusion they often see potential customers have when introduced to the brand. They are proud of all of their spirits — the Epoch Rye, but also the Baltamaro liqueur series, the smoked apple brandy Fumus Pumila and others. Lents said the company doesn’t want non-whiskey spirits to come off as “side projects.”

“We are really committed to these other spirits,” Lents said. “Anything we put out with our name on it is something we’ve tried to take to the highest level.”

A 138,000-square-foot, $14 million project, Union Collective’s first tenants — Earth Treks climbing gym and Union Craft Brewing Co., the Baltimore brewery responsible for the ambitious concept — opened to the public in June. Since then, the ice cream shop the Charmery and Vent Coffee Roasters have opened. Other companies planning to open at Union Collective in the future include Huckle’s hot sauce brand and pizza-makers Well Crafted Kitchen.

wesley.case@baltsun.com

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