Red Pump Spirits
While Washington County’s rebels helped incite the historic Whiskey Rebellion, no distilleries had actually crafted their own spirits there since prohibition. So Ed and his wife Judy decided to make a nod to their region’s roots: real rye whiskey. Rye spirits are uncommon, because they’re more of a challenge to craft. Good thing Ed is a retired chemist. “I’ve been distilling my whole career— just not for consumption!”
People loved the bold and spicy-but-smooth taste of Red Pump’s ryes. The couple wanted to grow their business to meet the demand, but more importantly, they wanted to maintain their top-notch artisan quality as they grew. The Progress Fund helped them finance the equipment they needed to do both.
Judy says their local supplier community feels like a family. “It’s as close to a closed-loop system as you can get,” Ed said. The couple gets organic grains from a local farm. Once that grain is spent, he shares it with a sheep farmer, whose rare heritage flock traces its ancestry to historic Mount Vernon. That sheep farmer gives Ed and Judy wool to spin into the yarn they use to hand-tag their bottles. Their care and detail produces some Rebellion-worthy spirits, which you can taste in their rustic downtown taproom.
Our Craft Beverage Fund helps tastemakers like Ed and Judy grow their businesses.
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