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More Recent News

August 23, 2017
Manatawny Still Works Opens Craft Spirits Shop & Tasting Room on Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia
Storefront sells bottles to go and flights and cocktails at its bar.

April 6, 2017
Manatawny Medals at American Distilling Institute Awards
Keystone Whiskey and Hidden River Barrel Rested Gin bring home medals.

March 27, 2017
Manatawny Announces Third Anniversary Whiskey Release
First straight whiskey for us!

Read more in the Archive…

Distiller's Journal

April 3, 2015

About Last Night: What Do You Mean You People Have Never Seen Barfly?

No, seriously. It is a great goddamn movie–probably the single drinkiest film ever.

 

No, seriously. It is a great goddamn movie–probably the single drinkiest film ever, and features a young Mickey Rourke (before he became a poster child for plastic surgery gone wrong) playing Charles Bukowski, in a movie written by Charles Bukowski. And what’s more, it has a serious Philly connection: Bukowski spent three years living, working, drinking and getting his teeth punched out here before writing the screenplay, and used his time in our fair city as the basis for all the action that happens in the film. The L.A. bar in which most of the film takes place? Based on a place where Bukowski drank at 17th and Fairmount.

And what stunned me last night was that during the trivia portion of last night’s all-cocktails Open Stove battle at COOK, I asked for a show of hands from the crowd.

"How many of you here have seen Barfly?" I asked.

No hands went up.

"What about the bartenders. You guys have seen Barfly, right?"

No hands went up. The only two people in the entire place who'd ever seen it were me and Art.

So much for the trivia...

Last night's event was our second-ever All Cocktail Competition, which pitted two teams of the city's best bartenders against each other in a brutal test of drink-slinging, movie trivia and singing. Stepping into our alcoholic Thunderdome were Keith Raimondi from Townsend, Vince Stipo of a.bar, Sara Justice from Franklin Mortgage and Brian Kane from Abe Fisher and Zahav.

First order of business? Dividing the bartenders into teams. It went Justice/Stipo versus Raimondi/Kane.

Second order of business? Team names. Because how can you be a team without a great team name? When the teams themselves were too slow, I helped out, offering them the two awesomest team names ever: The Wolverines (Justice/Stipo) and the Thresher Sharks (Raimondi/Kane).

That settled, it was onto the drinks. Lots and lots and LOTS of drinks.

Under normal circumstances, the way these Open Stove nights work is, we have the chefs prepare an amuse bouche and a dessert in advance. Then the two middle courses--the app and the entree--are where we mess with them. We tie them together, duct tape utensils to their hands, force them to cook with Cool Ranch Doritos and gummi bears while answering final exam questions from the Drexel culinary school.

But when its bartenders on our stage? All four courses are fair game. They began with three excellent spirits in front of them--a rum, a gin and a whiskey, all provided by Manatawny Still Works. The deal was, they'd use one bottle for each of three courses (at our discretion), and then were told to expect a surprise bottle for the remaining course. And that was all the warning they got.

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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 (Closed)
Tuesday (Closed)
Wed to Sat (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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Please enjoy responsibly.