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Distiller's Journal

March 1, 2014

Pottstown micro-biz hopes to ‘distill' formula for success

Pennsylvania’s fledgling craft distillery industry owes a debt of gratitude to America’s micro-brew movement and nobody knows it better than Max Pfeffer.

 

POTTSTOWN — Pennsylvania’s fledgling craft distillery industry owes a debt of gratitude to America’s micro-brew movement and nobody knows it better than Max Pfeffer.

The director of operations for the Manatawny Still Works and its chief distiller, Pfeffer didn’t have to go far to find his new job.

It was a short hop to go from craft-brewing to craft-distilling for the chemical engineer.

After being educated in brewing at a special school at the University of California at Davis, Pfeffer “went right into beer,” and spent three years at Victory Brewing, followed by three years as brew master at Sly Fox Brewing Co., located directly across the street from the Circle of Progress location of the new distillery.

He was brought in to the distilling end of things by Peter Giannopoulos, a founding partner at Sly Fox, who joined with partners Paul Zacker, a chemical engineer from Collegeville, and Jeff Vaughan to found Manatawny Still Works, said Randy McKinley, the new venture’s vice president of sales and marketing.

And that Sly Fox connection remains strong, as much of the liquid left over from the Sly Fox brewing process, called “wash,” is a primary ingredient in the spirits being distilled at Manatawny Still Works, Pfeffer explained.

“I have control over everything possible and I am very familiar with the wash from Sly Fox, so I know it’s high-quality wash,” Pfeffer explained.

The new distillery that has been erected in the Circle of Progress building is state of the art, and contains a high level of automation, which eliminates human error and provides for consistency of the outcome, he said.

This level of control, Pfeffer explained, is necessary because of the number of variables at play in making spirits.

Entire article continued below.
Originally published by The Mercury- 03/01/14. Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury

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Manatawny Still Works, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

1603 E Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
p: 267-519-2917

Passyunk Avenue Tasting Room and Craft Spirits Shop
Monday - Thursday (5pm - 11pm)
Friday & Saturday (Noon - 11pm)
Sunday (Noon - 8pm)

Find Us

320 Circle of Progress Drive
Suite 104
Pottstown, PA 19464
p: 484.624.8271

Tasting Room HoursMon - Wed (Walk-in sales only)
Thursday (5 - 9pm)
Friday (3 - 11pm)
Saturday (Noon - 11pm)
Sunday (Noon - 5pm)

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