Manatawny Still Works plans to take its small batch craft spirits and cocktails into two new areas in Pennsylvania later this year.
The Pottstown craft distiller will open two new tasting rooms in Ardmore on the Main Line and in the Fishtown-area of Philadelphia.
“We identified a couple of areas we thought we would do well. The Main Line is an untapped market and Fishtown — because it’s a cool place to be in Philly right now,” Max Pfeffer, Manatawny Still Works’ distiller, said in an interview.
Max Pfeffer, Manatawny Still Works’ distiller. (PHOTO COURTESY MANATAWNY STILL WORKS)
The Ardmore location, 49 Lancaster Ave., is slated to open by fall, while the North Lee Street location in Fishtown is expected to open shortly after.
Each new tasting room will serve as both a place to purchase Manatawny Still Works’ line of spirits — including new releases — and to sit down for a cocktail made with those house spirits.
This photo shows some of the products available at Pottstown’s Manatawny Still Works. (PHOTO COURTESY MANATAWNY STILL WORKS)
“We feel the best way to educate customers about craft spirits is to talk to them directly,” Pfeffer said, adding that the company has had success with that at its locations in Pottstown and on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia.
Pfeffer said that despite the difficulty of the pandemic, the company pivoted to find ways to connect with its customers and remain poised for growth.
The biggest thing about the pandemic, he said, was that it was “so unpredictable.”
“We were doing well, we had caught our stride and then we get to the pandemic. No one knew what it was going to look like. We had to wait to see what happened,” he said.
Manatawny Still Works’ Double Peated single malt whiskey. (PHOTO COURTESY MANATAWNY STILL WORKS)
When the state liquor stores closed for six weeks, Pfeffer said Manatawny Still Works was still able to sell its products — and in fact sold a lot of its product during that six weeks. In the summer of 2020 and into the winter of 2021, Manatawny Still Works re-opened its tasting rooms with limited access and used outdoor areas when possible.
“We had to pivot to keep moving forward,” he said, adding the company is operating as usual and “hoping things get back to normal, normal.”
“We’re grateful for our loyal following who stuck by us and saw us through some tough times over the past few years. Now, we’re thrilled to be able to grow that community,” partner Derek Menaldino, said in a statement.
Pfeffer added that the expansion “allows us more touchpoints” and lets the company make it more convenient for people from different areas to come and visit Manatawny Still Works.
“They come back and they kept us alive during the pandemic. Those customers are what keep us going. It’s really important to develop the relationship with customers,” he said.
Manatawny Still Works opened at 320 Circle of Progress Drive in Pottstown in the spring of 2014. The company distills small-batch American whiskeys, as well as vodkas, gins, rums, and brandy.
This photo shows Manatawny Still Works’ eighth-anniversary whiskey made with 100% Pennsylvania grains. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MANATAWNY STILL WORKS)
In April, to celebrate the distillery’s eighth anniversary, Manatawny Still Works bottled a whiskey made with 100% Pennsylvania grains, featuring 78% malted barley, 2% roasted barley, 9% wheat, 9% oats, and 2% rye from Double Eagle Malt in Huntingdon Valley — all grown and malted locally.
“As we approach our eighth year, we’re dialing in more on what it means to be a ‘craft’ spirit, and bottling our best yet,” Pfeffer added.
Manatawny Still Works’ products are available at the Pottstown distillery on Circle of Progress Drive; at the tasting room in South Philadelphia, 1603 East Passyunk Avenue; at more than 100 Fine Wine & Good Spirits shops across the Commonwealth and through the Manatawny Still Works online shop.