It required all of 15 months for five spirits enthusiasts to take Manatawny Still Works from concept to bottle. Opened in March by along the banks of Manatawny Creek in Pottstown, the repurposed 7,500-square-foot facility is the first of its kind in Montgomery County since 1969.
It’s no mere coincidence that MSW is located so close to Sly Fox Brewing Company’s headquarters. Sly Fox backer John Giannopoulos is a founder of the distillery, and lead distiller Max Pfeffer was the former head brewer at SFB.
The first step in the whiskey’s production—the wash—is actually done at Sly Fox. Once complete, it’s carted back over to MSW, where the remainder of the process occurs in a 1,200-liter, Italian-made still. “We’re not looking for whiskey snobs,” says Pfeffer. “We’re looking for everyday people.”
You’ll have to wait two years for MSW’s signature Pennsylvania Whiskey, but its un-aged J. Potts Whiskey is quite refined. Additional varieties include Three Bitches Wheat Vodka, launched as a fundraising vehicle for rescues like the distillery’s pup, Piper. The sensuously smooth, double-distilled Sedition rum is slated to hit MSW shelves in the near future, as are batches of gin and a limited-edition series of whiskeys.
For samples and more, visit the tasting room, where mixologist Raija Madsen crafts impeccable creations. 320 Circle of Progress, Suite 104, Pottstown, (484) 624-8271, www.manatawnystillworks.com.