Philadelphia craft spirits make regional debut tonight

Two Philadelphia distilleries debut new spirits tonight at Lancaster’s Hunger-N-Thirst: Philadelphia Distilling’s barrel-aged Bluecoat American Dry Gin and Dock Street Spirits Vicio Mezcal


Lancaster beer- and craft cocktail-focused gastropub Hunger-N-Thirst is introducing local craft cocktail enthusiasts to some Philadelphia spirit – and spirits. Tonight, the bar hosts Philadelphia Distilling and Dock Street Brewing for a Beer Cocktail Party from 6-10 p.m. (Not familiar with beer cocktails? Here’s a refreshing refresher course).

Hunger-N-Thirst’s craft beverage manager, award–winning mixologist and hero to local hoptail heads, Steve Wood, creates beer cocktails from the Philly-based spirit manufacturers (click here to see tonight’s featured hoptails). Steve Olintz of Philadelphia Distilling and Marilyn Candeloro of Dock Street Brewing join the party to spread the love from the City of Brotherly Love.

Hunger-N-Thirst gets a national exclusive (don’t be mad Philly) as Philadelphia Distilling unveils its brand-new barrel-aged Bluecoat American Dry Gin – the Double Gold medal winner for “Best Gin” at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits competition. Different than its flagship gin, the barrel-aged Bluecoat Gin has a spicy botanical quality with distinct notes of citrus and juniper and, because it’s aged in charred American oak barrels for three months, has smoky undertones of vanilla that give the spirit an added depth.

bluecoatvicioOther Philadelphia Distilling offerings available at the event include XXX Shine Corn Whiskey, Penn 1681 Rye Vodka, and in a nod to New Orleans, the distillery’s Vieux Carré Absinthe – the first legal absinthe made and sold on the east coast of the U.S. in almost a century.

Also featured is a unique selection of award-winning brews from Dock Street Brewery (the OG of the Philadelphia craft brewing scene) that don’t typically make its way to these parts. And while the allure of featuring exclusive brews is enough to make any bartender excited, Wood is particularly focused on the flavors that each beer offers. Tonight’s event features Dock Street’s Caliente Golden Ale (a spicy chile beer), Whiter Shade of Pale Peach Berliner, Summer in Berlin (a sour weisse brewed with lemongrass and ginger spice), a spicy Rye IPA and Little Prince Oatmeal Stout.

Additionally, this evening’s event will showcase Dock Street’s new Vicio Mezcal, the first liquor to be released by the brewery’s newly established offshoot, Dock Street Spirits. The brewery is working closely with a family of Mexican Mezcal makers in the Oaxaca (pronounced oh-HA-ka) region of southwestern Mexico – the only region where Mezcal is made.

Mezcal – tequila’s bolder older brother – is the latest trend in craft cocktails. Mezcal differs from tequila in that it can be made from many varieties of agave, not just blue agave. The agave heart is smoked in underground pits, which gives the spirit its smokier, earthier character. “Mezcal is going through a rebirth right now,” says Wood. Like fine single malt scotch, Mezcal is a spirit to sip not shoot.

“We strive to be on top of the curve,” says Wood of Hunger-N-Thirst’s cocktail menu. “This event is the epitome of what we’re trying to do. Supporting a local brewery and a local distillery in one shot is awesome.”

Wood’s visually-appealing hoptails take the flavors of the spirits and beers to the next level, enhancing their natural tones creating a playful balanced juxtaposition of flavors and feels.


Five hoptails are featured at the event. If you want to try them make sure you get out to the event because these hoptails will not be available every day.

  • The Dock Street Jet-Ski: Bluecoat Gin and Dock Street Whiter Shade of Pale Peach Berliner, fresh watermelon and lime juices and jalepeno and champagne. Available on tap.
  • The Rogue Negroni: Wood puts a hoptail twist on the classic Negroni. Made with Bluecoat Gin, Little Prince Oatmeal Stout, Campari and Vieux Carré Absinthe. Hallucinations of green fairies not included.
  • What’s the Worst That Could Happen: Penn 1681 Rye Vodka, Dock Street’s Rye IPA, fresh lime and grapefruit juice, bitters and ginger beer foam
  • Hot Damn!!!: A spicy mix of Bluecoat Gin, XXX Shine Corn Whiskey, Dock Street Caliente Golden Ale, pineapple and lemon juice, honey and egg whites.
  • The Oaxacan Mule: Wood takes the Moscow Mule for a Mexican vacation with this variation of traditional cocktail. A shot of Dock Street’s Vicio Mezcal and a splash of the brewery’s sour Summer in Berlin weisse and 6752 miles later this cocktail’s vibe goes from snowy Mother Russia to tropical Mamacita.



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Posted in Articles, Craft Corner, Drink – Lancaster, Lancaster, The Mix

Mike Andrelczyk is a features editor for Fly Magazine. He is a graduate of Penn State University and currently lives with his wife Stacey in Strasburg. Interests include tennis, playing bad guitar, poetry (poems have appeared in Modern Haiku, The Inquisitive Eater and other journals) and oneirology – the study of dreams – mostly in the form of afternoon naps. His name appears in the title screen of Major League 2.

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