Small Batch Malt Whiskey
When we say, "hand crafted," we're not joking. When we make a whiskey, it comes out of our still into carboys. We move product from carboys to barrels. We put the barrels on the wall, and we wait. Our Small Batch Malt Whiskeys are made from wash that we buy from area craft breweries. And our production is super small. That's why it's hard to get a bottle. We are frequently sold out.
Balancing Act Gin
We worked on making gin for years. We consulted experts. We sampled every craft gin in North Carolina. We convened focus groups. We tasted. We infused. We weighed out botanicals, labeled mason jars, we waited for flavors to marry, and we failed over and over again. Gin is hard. That's what we learned.
Most of our gin work was done in Durham, North Carolina. When we closed down our Durham endeavor, we brought all kinds of dried herbs and spices and a vast number of experimental flops to our Tasting Room in Pittsboro.
At one point we made a batch out of red cedar berries. That is our native juniper, after all--and we are hyper local food freaks, so it made sense. Until we tasted it. It was like licking a pine tree.
When we finally got our ingredients right, settling on juniper, citrus, and a few other botanicals, we were able to bring it to market with the help of the folks at Sutlers in Winston Salem.
One of the reasons we are excited about Balancing Act is because it lets us expand our cocktail program into the vast world of gin drinks. Since we are only allowed to make cocktails with the spirits we produce, it's nice to have a gin.
Some of our products are available at some ABC stores in North Carolina. When we are doing the bottling it's four bottles at a time. Each label is hand applied with the help of a rolling machine. Our Tasting Room becomes a "bottling plant," and we hand build 45 to 50 cases onto a pallet, which we ship into the ABC system. When it comes to our Amber Rum, we pluck a barrel or two off the wall, proof it down, bottle it up, and ship it off.
Apple Brandy is the spirit that made us famous. We buy our apples in the mountains of North Carolina, when the apple harvest is on. Our apple brandy has outgrown our production capacity in Pittsboro.
Nowadays we buy sixty thousand pounds of apples at a time. They get squished into apple juice in Hendersonville, and the juice comes down the mountain on a six thousand gallon eighteen wheeler.
That's way more juice than we can handle in our little 100 gallon still, so our recipe is followed by our friends at Mystic Farm and Distillery in Durham. They spin the juice into our brandy, which we barrel up and store on the wall in our rickhouse.
Flying Pepper Vodka
Our Flying Pepper Vodka is another one of our spirits that have outgrown our Pittsboro production capacity. It's made by the good people at Three Stacks Distilling in Kinston, NC. They are the ones who make Social House Vodka. The pepper we use for our Flying Pepper Vodka was developed on our campus in Pittsboro when it was home to a pepper breeder. It's an aji dulce tobago pepper that has had the heat bred out of it. It has a smoky taste.
Flying Pepper makes the best Bloody Mary in town. We sell tons of it.
When the peppers are in season in the fall, about the same time as Pittsboro's Pepperfest, we buy hundreds of pounds from North Carolina growers. Each pepper is hand hand cut, inspected, and added to an intense pepper concentrate. That concentrate is then blended down to create our peppery flavored vodka.
No'Lasses Sorhgum Spirit
Years ago Fair Game bought a bunch of sorghum syrup. Some of it was grown down in Silk Hope, North Carolina (fifteen miles away). For hard core local foodies, sorghum syrup would be the closest thing we have to a local sugar source (since sugar cane doesn't grow here).
We spun the syrup into our No'Lasses spirit, and loaded it into used bourbon barrels and put it on the wall to age.
Sorghum Spirit is a little hard to describe. Some call it a rum, because it comes from a tall grass that looks like sugar cane. But it's not a rum. Some call it a whiskey. But it's not a whiskey either.
No'Lasses sells well in our Tasting Room, when people discover it.