Baltimore Spirits Company branches out, now distributing to West Coast

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The Baltimaro herbal liqueur line from Baltimore Spirits Company. Photo courtesy of BSC/Merchant Professional Services.

Union Collective-based booze maker Baltimore Spirits Company has headed west—or, at least, sent some of its products that way.

The company, which is still very much based in Medfield and proudly claims the honor of distilling the first rye whiskey in the city limits in 50 years, has inked a distribution deal with Pacific Edge Wine and Spirits. The agreement will allow the firm to sell its products in Arizona, California and Nevada.

The official launch and big marketing push will begin July 1, but products are already arriving this week and should be on stores shelves within days, co-founder and CEO Max Lents said.

Baltimore Spirits Company signed distribution deals to expand to Illinois and Louisiana earlier this year.

Lents said the West Coast states will start off carrying the company’s two varieties of smoked apple brandy, as well as its Baltimaro line of herbal liqueurs. For now, though, they’ll be without its flagship Epoch Rye and Shot Tower Gin. (The gin is available for sale in Illinois and Louisiana, he said, but they also aren’t yet selling the rye.)

Lents attributed that to a “supply and demand thing. [The rye] continues to simply sell out in the distillery,” where the company also has a tasting room and draws crowds for its batch rye releases.

He predicts Epoch Rye will make its out west “in a couple of years, when our current production has matured.”

But he’s pleased to see their firm, which locals may recall started off as Baltimore Whiskey Company before it rebranded last year, turning out other “core products” with standalone appeal.

“Outside markets, including California, are incredibly interested in them,” he said. “Some distilleries use their other spirits to kind of just push whiskey or create cash flow. We only try to create the things that we’re passionate about.”

And expanding to those new markets fulfills a vision Lents and friends Ian Newton (also chief financial officer) and Eli Breitburg-Smith (head distiller) had when they founded their venture in Remington’s Broom Factory in 2015.

“We always wanted to kind of have our spirits travel.”

And in doing so, he says they can share some of the “high-level creative work that’s being done in this city”—including with craft booze—in other parts of the country.

“We’re out there, and hopefully spreading the good word.”

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
Ethan McLeod
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