SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery continues growth, welcomes partner and installs Nashville’s first column still for vodka production
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 11, 2015) – SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery, an artisan distillery in the historic West Town neighborhood, has welcomed a new business partner and installed Nashville’s only column still to be used exclusively for crafting vodka.
Founded by spirits specialists Jeff and Jenny Pennington, SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery’s brands include award-winning Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream and Pennington’s Strawberry Rye Whiskey. The company added industry veteran Tommy Bernard as a business partner, which enabled the investment in a state-of-the-art column still designed explicitly to produce high quality, incredibly pure vodka. The still will soon be operational and the first batches are expected to be available in April 2015. It will be distributed by Best Brands, Inc.
“Great vodka is pure and we’ve invested in a column still designed specifically to create the purest vodka possible—there are only three other stills like it in the U.S.,” said Jeff Pennington. “In the last year, we’ve experienced tremendous growth and are excited about the opportunities to expand our capacity and products. With our vodka, we will continue our same passionate pursuit of crafting exceptional products that have a character distinctive from anything else in the marketplace.”
The 22-foot-tall, 5,000 pound still is the first dedicated vodka still in Tennessee. Metal plates within column stills condense and purify alcohol during distillation. While most stills used for vodka production contain 20 to 30 of these plates, SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery’s new still has the equivalent of 48 plates.
The investment in the column still is made possible through the addition of a new business partner, Tommy Bernard. A veteran of the spirits industry, Bernard was the long-time president of Horizon Wine & Spirits Inc., Tennessee’s largest distributor of beverage alcohol products. He sold Horizon Wine & Spirits in 2010 to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Bernard was drawn out of retirement by the innovation and quality exhibited by SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery’s products.
“Jeff and Jenny have a keen intuition for what makes a product great, which is evident with Whisper Creek,” said Bernard. "When I saw the potential to develop brands that could be synonymous with Nashville, I wanted to be involved."
SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery’s signature product, Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream, the first sipping cream of its kind, is experiencing rapid sales growth. Whisper Creek is made with premium-aged, charcoal-mellowed Tennessee whiskey and distinctly Southern flavors like pecan, fig and red apple.
“SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery is excited about the growth 2014 brought, what 2015 has in store and the products we have in the hopper for the years to come, including whiskey we’re patiently watch age,” said Jenny Pennington. “A lot of exciting details about our vodka will be available in just a few weeks.”
About SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery
SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery is a Nashville distillery that draws on its own roots. The owners of SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery share a passion for fine spirits and vast experience in the industry. Jenny and Jeff Pennington founded the distillery in 2012 to create spirits, liqueurs and cordials that are broadly enjoyed while also possessing their own character—not simply a copy of what’s already been done. The distillery’s flagship brand is Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream, which is experiencing tremendous sales growth in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. More information at: SPEAKeasySpiritsDistillery.com