Sunday, December 23, 2018

Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery - A Free State First

On our many trips home from Catoctin Breeze Vineyards, we've always noticed Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery as we traveled south on Route 15 passed Thurmont and Cunningham Falls State Park. Perched on a small hill overlooking the highway and farmland, this multi-purpose 1775 era farmhouse has a few firsts in the Free State. It was the first post-prohibition legal distillery in Maryland holding license #001. There were a couple spirits that were bottled previously, but Springfield Manor was the first to distill in Maryland. Their corn and grain spirits (Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Corn Whiskey, & Caramel Corn Whiskey) consist all or partly from corn grown on their 130 acre farm. The fruit brandies are produced from locally sourced fruit and the Grappa from Merlot and Cabernet Franc pomace (the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes).

Springfield Manor initially started operating as a winery to augment their event venue with the Ironmaster as a signature blend of the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The later is also bottled as a single varietal which join the Ironmaster, Ironmaster Reserve, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Blanc De Rosa (rose) as dry offerings. They also utilize the hybrids Chambourcin and Traminette as well as offer two Farmhouse house wines and a Frizante sparkling wine.

Finally, Springfield Manor became the first establishment in the state to not only produce their own spirits and wine, but also beer as they incorporated a 7bbl brewhaus. With this small brewing system, expect a range of rotating drafts using the Manor's signature spring water.

On our visit, we skipped the wines in order to enjoy a beer flight while listening to the live music of Nick Andrew Staver. This flight consisted of the Citrus IPA, Toasted Nut Job Stout, Summer-Set Blonde and Sunshine Station Pale Ale. A solid lineup. We then moved downstairs for a spirits tasting and Springfield Manor accentuates the fact that their Lavender Gin was awarded a Double Gold & Best Of Class from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  And it is a complex gin. We also enjoyed their Patriot Rum distilled from pure molasses and the Grappa. We will have to return in mid-January 2019 when they re-open for the season in order to sample their remaining spirits.

As always local wineries, breweries, and distilleries  can be visited while using theCompass Craft Beverage Finder. Sorry iPhone 11 iOS and iPhones 5S and greater users. Cheers.

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