Deacon Giles Distillery Opens Today in Salem

Visit Witch City for boos and booze this weekend.

Deacon Giles Distillery

Deacon Giles Distillery logo, Photo via Official Site

A new distillery is opening its doors at noon today for tastings, tours, and bottles to go. Deacon Giles Distillery is producing the malt-forward Original Gin, which finishes with floral and citrus notes, and a balanced molasses rum called Liquid Damnation.

The Salem-based distillery took its name from a creepy story set in Massachusetts’ official Halloweentown. Deacon Amos Giles was a fictional character created in 1835 by a pro-temperance firebrand pastor named George Barrell Cheever. Believed to be a hit piece against a prominent Salem businessman and Unitarian minister, the allegory describes an impious pastor and distiller who boozed on the Sabbath, paid his employees in liquor, and unlawfully sold Bibles. The distillery’s employees walked out, and the fictional moonshiner unwittingly hired demons in their stead, who branded “his barrels with messages of damnation that glowed with unholy light when tapped,” according to Deacon Giles Distillery’s website.

Residents Ian Hunter and Jesse Brenneman have resurrected distilling in Salem. Veterans of the craft brewing industry, the duo is producing “damn righteous spirits,” including the first hand-crafted rum distilled in Salem in 100 years.

The distillery is part of a burgeoning craft beverage scene in the North Shore tourist town, along with Far From the Tree Cider and the future permanent home of contract brewery Notch. A law OK’d by the Salem City Council in July paved the way for these new businesses in the bustling downtown area, the Salem News reported.

Deacon Giles Distillery will be open Fridays and Saturdays from noon-5 p.m.

75 Canal St., Salem; 978-306-6675 or