Welcome to Founding spirits

Our Founding Farmers scratch-made, source-matters mission has expanded. Growing our love of handcrafted food and drink, we started crafting our own spirits in 2009, slowly and sustainably creating a line of award-winning spirits meticulously crafted and quickly beloved.

In 2016, we custom-built our very own small-batch distillery, Founding Spirits, in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. inside our restaurant, Founding Farmers & Distillers.

A Farmer-Owned Distillery

Founding Spirits is majority owned by American family farmers and their values are at the heart of our distilled spirits. Every step of the process, from grain to glass, shows our commitment to farmers, hiqh-quality ingredients, and handcrafting premium products. Our distilling team cultivates unique and tasty spirits from American wheat, barley, corn, rye, and many botanicals.

We invite you to get a taste of our award-winning spirits on site at our distillery in Founding Farmers & Distillers and at any Founding Farmers location. Founding Spirits is also available for purchase by the bottle in person and to go from our DC & MD restaurants, and online for nationwide shipping.

Drink extra responsibly by spending your dollars mindfully and supporting American family farmers.

Team

Founding Spirits was born of our passion for exceptional craft cocktails and more than a decade of experience running the award-winning bar & beverage programs for Founding Farmers Restaurants. Our Distiller, Bob VanLancker, has spent years bartending and managing our bar programs and knows the difference that great spirits make. After ensuring each spirit is just right, he and his team bottle and hand label our Vodka, Dry Gin, Bourbon, and American Amaro. It’s a labor of love fueled by a love of good spirits.

Learn more about Bob

Our spirits

Vodka

Ingredients matter. We only use 100% high-quality corn harvested in the heartland by American farmers. We’re certain you can taste the difference. We look forward to becoming your new go-to favorite, the bottle you give to friends & family you actually like.

Founding Spirits Vodka makes a great gift and is available for purchase online or in our DC & MD restaurants. We invite you to stop by any of our restaurants for a taste of our Vodka and other spirits. Our small-batch spirits are also available wholesale.

Founding Spirits Vodka is featured in our restaurant cocktail menus. Stop by for a drink!

Dry Gin

Our award-winning Dry Gin pours easily across our fair city and beyond, offering a rich bouquet of juniper & citrus with our proprietary botanical blend that combines complexity and unexpected comfort. This is the bottle you bring when you want to get invited back.

Handcrafted in the heart of our nation’s capital, our Dry Gin is distilled in small batches using grains from farmers we know and trust. We wanted to create a dry gin perfect for a martini with a twist and a gin & tonic. And we have done it, winning SILVER at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

If you are searching for the perfect premium Dry Gin, look no further than our Founding Spirits.

Stop by one of our restaurants for a taste of our DC-made Dry Gin. You can order Founding Spirits Dry Gin online or in person at our DC and MD restaurants. Our small-batch spirits are also available wholesale.

Founding Spirits Dry Gin is featured in many of our restaurant cocktails. Stop by for a drink!

American Amaro

Crafted with our secret blend of 21 botanicals and sweetened with wildflower honey, our award-winning, barrel aged Amaro is drinkable on its own, in cocktails, and yes, delicious over ice cream. We love the European concept of drinking something before and after a meal, and in true American fashion, we’ve evolved it, creating an approachable, delicious Amaro.

Founding Spirits American Amaro makes a great gift for any spirit connoisseur and is available for purchase online or in our DC & MD restaurants. We invite you to stop by any of our restaurants for a taste of our Amaro and other spirits. Our small-batch spirits are also available wholesale.

  

Find Founding Spirits American Amaro is our cocktails across our restaurants.

Bourbon

Bourbon is America’s spirit and ours is made with 100% American corn, rye, and barley from the heartland. Aged in new oak barrels for a minimum of two years, this harmonious spirit is sophisticated and comforting, delivering rich and confident notes of vanilla, molasses, toffee, and spice with a lush, lingering finish. Our Bourbon sips equally well in a Manhattan at the bar and a flask around the campfire. How do you prefer your Bourbon?

Stop by one of our restaurants for a cocktail featuring Founding Spirits Bourbon.

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Rye

Supremely drinkable with a distinctive character and strong American heritage, our Founding Spirits Rye delivers rich, robust tastes of vanilla and butterscotch commingling with strong notes of orange and spice … ending in a smooth, dry finish.

Distilled with American rye and just-the-right amount of barley, rye whiskey lovers – as well as those who ask “Why Rye?” – are sure to enjoy a newfound favorite in Founding Spirits Rye. 

Are your ready to try our Rye?

Enjoy Founding Spirits Rye in our restaurant cocktails too. Join us for a drink!

Navy Strength Rum

Distilled from American Gulf Coast molasses and aged for at least two years in virgin American white oak barrels, this complex high-proof spirit provides a warm, buttery finish. Like our Dark Rum but higher proof, our Navy Strength Rum has notes of oak, honey, roasted cherries, and toffee to create a unique combination of bold flavors. It’s versatile, enjoyable, and can create a dynamic cocktail. 

Stop by one of our restaurants for a cocktail featuring Founding Spirits Navy Strength Rum.

Dark Rum

Distilled from American Gulf Coast molasses and aged for at least two years in virgin American white oak barrels, our Dark Rum is nothing short of pure perfection. It is supremely mixable and sippable with a long herbaceous finish. Hints of vanilla, spice, and caramel make Founding Spirits Dark Rum perfect neat, on the rocks, or in Dark & Stormy or Mai Tai. 

Founding Spirits Dark Rum is featured in many of our restaurant cocktails. Stop by for a drink!

Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Maple Syrup Barrels

The story of our Founding Spirits Bourbon Finished in Maple Syrup Barrels started with our partnership with Cornell University’s Maple Program. We aged our Bourbon in new oak barrels for 2 years. Once we extracted the Bourbon, those barrels were filled with Grade A maple syrup, aged for 6 months, and then we bottled our guest-favorite Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup. We then refilled those maple syrup-infused barrels with our Bourbon again, aged it for another 6 months, and created this delicious, limited-edition Bourbon. 

The story of our Founding Spirits Bourbon Finished in Maple Syrup Barrels started with our partnership with Cornell University’s Maple Program. We aged our Bourbon in new oak barrels for 2 years. Once we extracted the Bourbon, those barrels were filled with Grade A maple syrup, aged for 6 months, and then we bottled our guest-favorite Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup. We then refilled those maple syrup-infused barrels with our Bourbon again, aged it for another 6 months, and created this delicious, limited-edition Bourbon. 

Find Founding Spirits Maple Bourbon Whiskey is in our cocktails across our restaurants.

White Rum

Distilled from American Gulf Coast molasses and made with American sugar cane, our White Rum is both smooth and versatile. Soft notes of fruit, light pepper, ocean air, vanilla, and butterscotch make this light & refreshing spirit one-of-a-kindThis spirit is perfect for cocktail mixing – incorporate it into your next Mojito or Piña Colada and transport yourself to a tropical paradise

Founding Spirits White Rum is featured in our restaurant cocktail menus. Stop by for a drink!

Founding Farmers spirit project

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Our Journey to Founding Spirits