Short Path Distillery Introduces ‘Community Supported Alcohol’
Short Path Distillery launched in Everett this year with, in part, a mission of being firmly rooted in its community. Today, the company announces the most clear plan yet for achieving that goal: A booze CSA.
“The ‘community supported alcohol’ program is our play on community supported agriculture,” cofounder Jackson Hewlett said.
Like the know-your-farmer philosophy, Hewlett and partners Zachary Robinson and Matt Kurtzman want to bring their customers closer to the source of their products. Short Path opened this spring with smooth, floral gin and an un-oaked white rum, but there have been many, many other boozes that haven’t made it onto their tasting room shelves, Hewlett said. The CSA program will introduce at least one of new these ideas per quarter, giving members an exclusive first chance to buy it, as well as a platform to give feedback.
“We’re trying to involve people in the spirit development process,” he said. Based on members’ responses, Short Path will gradually introduce new products into their regular line, tweaking recipes as necessary.
Today’s announcement reveals the first of two, limited-edition, small-batch spirits, to be released December 11: A rosemary gin called No. 14, and a triple sec liqueur.
Short Path will produce between 100-200 bottles of each CSA offering, Hewlett surmised. A membership comes with the exclusive opportunity to pre-order at least one bottle of each new product at a 15 percent discount, plus other perks. Short Path will also reserve some bottles to beef up its in-house cocktail list. Any remaining bottles will then go on sale to the general public, but Hewlett anticipates demand exceeding supply.
No. 14—named as the 14th gin recipe the trio tested during their initial development process—uses juniper and coriander, like the American Dry-style that became Short Path’s flagship. But, it also adds ample rosemary, angelica root, cardamom, orris root, lavender, eucalyptus, myrtle, and licorice root.
“We all really liked it, but we thought it was maybe too different, so we kept it in our back pocket. We’re excited to let the light of day shine on that recipe,” Hewlett said. “If this turns out to be a popular thing and it comes back on the product line, it will probably a winter seasonal.”
Short Path’s triple sec uses the same neutral spirit that is the base for its gin, redistilled with dried orange peels, using the same vapor-distillation process the company employs with its gin.
The liqueur is a go-to for all three distillers when they’re making cocktails at home, Hewlett said, but Short Path has a tasting room license, not a full liquor license. The caveat is they can’t pour spirits not made in-house. Creating their own triple sec “unlocks so many doors to take our cocktails to the next level,” he said. When it’s released next month, expect to see a rum-based margarita-inspired drink on Short Path’s cocktail list. “The rum has earthy, smoky qualities to it that are reminiscent of a tequila, or really a mezcal,” Hewlett said.
A CSA membership is $65 annually, and while no alcohol is included, participants will get a T-shirt, a rocks glass, and an invite to members-only events, plus the guaranteed opportunity to buy each prototype at a 15 percent discount. Visit Short Path’s website for more information.
Short Path Distillery, 71 Kelvin St., Everett; 857-417-2396 or shortpathdistillery.com.