Sunday, April 17, 2016

Deacon Giles Distillery - Something Wickedly Good This Way Comes (MA)

So one Saturday my friend Rich Srsich and myself were in Salem, Massachusetts at The House of Seven Gables where I had an event to attend. While talking to several of the folks at the House, we asked if there were any breweries, distilleries, etc. in town that worth seeing. They told us a new distillery had just in fact opened. It was call Deacon Giles Distillery, and it was definitely worth finding. It ook a little detective work. The address says one thing, but the entrance is on the side street, just so you know!

Who Was Deacon Giles?
The story of Deacon Giles was originally written as a temperance tract, here in Salem, circa 1835. This story inspired us to revive the art of distilling in a town once rich in both trade and spirits, but sadly devoid of distilleries for the last 100 years. As the story goes...
Amos Giles was an impious man, distilling rum on the Sabbath, paying his employees with liquor and selling bibles from his counting room.
After his employees finally walked out in anger, he unknowingly hired a gang of demons to operate his distillery. The demons decided to play a trick on Old Deacon Giles, secretly branding his barrels with messages of damnation that glowed with an unholy light when tapped. This story, first published in 1835, was purported to have been a vision of George B. Cheever, a young firebrand minister in Salem who went on to be a leader in both the temperance and anti-slavery movements. The story created a great uproar, as it was apparent to most that it was a thinly veiled lambasting of a popular local businessman. Cheever was whipped in the street and convicted of libel, but his story was reprinted numerous times under the title, “The Dream, or, the True History of Deacon Giles´ Distillery.” 

Deacon Giles Distillery was founded by two men: Ian and Jesse.
Ian Hunter was born and raised in St. Louis, and moved to Salem in 2001. After getting into homebrewing, Ian started writing a business plan to open a craft brewery, which is when he first encountered the story of Deacon Giles. Years later, during a serendipitous conversation over some drinks with Jesse, the two of them realized that together they could make Deacon Giles Distillery a reality. 
A native of New Hampshire, Jesse Brenneman has a degree from UNH, an Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering diploma from The American Brewers Guild. He has made many homebrew batches. When he and Ian ultimately met and realized their shared passion for owning their own distillery.

They make a lovely gin!

Loved the rum. Made with real molasses instead of cane sugar. You can always taste the difference. Much more intense flavor. Fantastic rum Really really liked this spirit. Hugely flavorful. Hoping they might attempt a barrel aged version of this. It would instantly be my favorite!

Master Distiller Jesse is a very serious guy. He's worked at several major craft breweries on the east coast, and is very knowledgable. He and his partner are intent on making Deacon Giles a household name in the craft spirit world. He's not someone to be overlooked or under estimated in anyway. Great guy and a up-and-coming new distillery. 

Can't lie - I am expecting big things out of Deacon Giles Distilling They are off to a terrific start!