A Spirited, Award-Winning Year in Review

It’s been quite an amazing year for our in-house, micro-batchdistillery.

Custom-built inside Farmers & Distillers, Founding Spirits is the brainchild of our dynamic distilling duo, Distillery Director Jon Arroyo and Distillery Manager Bob VanLancker. In our first year, Founding Spirits has received some of the most acclaimed international awards, been recognized by spirit connoisseurs across the world as a new distillery to follow, and has been featured at events in our nation’s capital and beyond. If that isn’t enough, we have also transitioned to selling our spirits online so you don’t have to live near one of our restaurants to get a taste of our award-winning spirits.

We know that part of what makes our spirits so special is that our farmer-owned, scratch-made, source-matters mission runs through all we do, even our craft spirits. Our family-farmed wheat is trucked to us from our co-owners, the North Dakota Farmers Union, for our award-winning Founding Spirits Vodka. The corn, wheat, barley, and oats come direct from our good friend and farmer, the late Billy Dawson, for our Founding Spirits American Whiskey. The honey for our limited-edition Amaro is harvested right here in downtown DC with our apiary partnership with The George Washington University.

This year’s awards & recognition have really put us on the craft spirits map. To date, Founding Spirits has won FIVE major industry awards. With Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro winning four prestigious awards:

… and our Founding Spirits Vodka notably awarded BRONZE by the American Distilling Institute.

We were featured guests at the world-famous Tales of the Cocktail participating in two conference-sponsored tastings. We joined bartenders and spirit specialists from across the globe at the fourth annual Tiki by the Sea, teaching and training how to craft the best tiki cocktails. And we have enjoyed meeting, greeting, and serving our fans at events across the DC metropolitan area. Our Founding Spirits Vodka was the sponsored spirit for one of the nation’s biggest tennis events, DC’s Citi Open. We’ve served our famous Cucumber Delight to the delight of guests at DC’s biggest industry award gala, The RAMMY’s; hosted our very own Kentucky Derby celebration complete with our Founding Spirits Derby-inspired cocktails and a tasting with our award-winning team; and we served handcrafted cocktails and joined forces to support DC Central Kitchen, St. Jude, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, and more.

We’ve been delighted to be able to offer our spirits for sale online this year too.

We couldn’t be more excited about the past year at Founding Spirits.

Come in and see (and taste) for yourself. Book a tour with us. Founding Spirits distillery tours and tastings are available Saturdays by reservations; walk-ins are also accepted pending availability. Or join us at Farmers & Distillers and have one of our expert cocktail specialists make you a Founding Spirits craft cocktail.

Founding Spirits can also be purchased at Farmers & Distillers, through multiple local retailers, and ordered online.

Never Bitter Indeed, Our Amaro Wins AGAIN

Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro won its fourth award earlier this month, a SILVER medal from the 2018 International Review of Spirits by Tastings, an affiliate of the Beverage Testing Institute.

Earning 86 points and highly recommended, Tastings gave a full description of our amaro with the award win: “Hazy mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of soft black licorice, chocolate sauce, proofing dough, cinnamon, and ginger powder on raisins, and cola syrup with a round, crisp, bittersweet medium body, and a peppery, interesting, medium-length oregano finish. A funky amaro to pair with a chocolate croissant.”

This latest award follows on the heels of a winning year for our less than two-year-old spirit. Our Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro won GOLD and Best in 2018 from the American Distilling Institute and SILVER from the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Featured in several of our bar favorites, including the Negroni Swizzle at Farmers & Distillers and the Amaro Daiquiri at Founding Farmers, our amaro is also quite delicious on its own. It recently became available for purchase online, so even if you can’t get to one of our restaurants, you can enjoy its award-winning “never bitter” taste in the comfort of your own home.

Founded in 1981 with the goal of producing fair, impartial wine reviews for consumers, Tastings has since expanded their scope to include beer and spirits. Over the years, their reviews have appeared in publications and online industry sites such as, Wine Enthusiast, Restaurant Hospitality, The New Yorker, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Epicurious.comand many others. As an independent product rating and review company, Tastings provides beverage buying guides and education for consumers and the trade. Their mission is to help people discover and understand drinks they will love.