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More Recent News

November 25, 2017
Manatawny Still Works Debuts Two Small Batch Spirits on Small Business Saturday
Small Batch Spirits for Small Business Saturday.

November 19, 2017
Manatawny Still Works Opens Bottle Shop in Suburban Station
Just in time for the holidays, a bottle shop convenient to the commute home.

October 12, 2017
Catch the Buzz of Honey Whiskey
Manatawny Still Works collaborates with Chester County's Swarmbustin' Honey to create a delicious new spirit.

Read more in the Archive…

Distiller's Journal

April 1, 2015

Manatawny Still Works brews up Batch01

The Distillery of the Month for April 2015 is Manatawny Still Works


A rising star shines brightly just outside of Bethlehem; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that is! In fact, many stars are aligning as the once industrial town of Pottstown continues to experience momentum in its newfound revitalization. Gone are the days of heavy industrial manufacturing; savvy small businesses, boutique shops, trendy restaurants and eclectic entertainment venues have replaced antiquity with vibrance! One such enterprise committed to Pottstown’s reinvigoration is Manatawny Still Works, a dazzling distillery dedicated to the craft of producing artisanal spirits!

In 1752, English Quaker, John Potts (c. 1710 – 6 June 1768) purchased nearly 1,000 acres of land at the confluence of the Schuykill River and Manatawny Creek in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and established the town of Pottsgrove. The land was originally deeded to William Penn and an iron forge was established in 1714 ushering in an era of industrial growth. Potts would eventually become the most successful iron master of his time operating mines, forges and furnaces in both Pennsylvania and Virginia. Ultimately, the town of Pottsgrove became incorporated as Pottstown in 1815. Manatawny Still Works takes its moniker from the Manatawny Creek, a name designated by the Lenape (Delaware) Indians meaning “the place we meet to drink.” How apropos!

IMG_0252With a chemical engineering degree from Penn State and having completed the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis, Max Pfeffer is no stranger to the science and mechanics of brewing beer. For six years, Pfeffer honed his brewing skills at Victory Brewing Co. and Sly Fox Brewing Co. before tackling the art of distillation. Pfeffer acknowledges the nexus between brewing beer and distilling spirits; fine spirits cannot be crafted without exceptional distiller’s beer! Two Italian-made Barison stills are utilized to fashion vodka, gin, rum and whiskey. Dubbed, “Lucrezia,” a continuous column still strips 1,300 gallons of fermented 8% ABV beer to 55% ABV low wines in a fraction of the time it takes many smaller craft distilleries to produce the same volume of spirits. The low wines are then distilled in a hybrid pot still affectionately named “Apollonia” where judicious cuts of the heads, hearts and tails culminate as finished booze.

Pfeffer’s whiskey preferences are anything but conventional, eschewing high-rye and corn-forward mash bills. A fan of malt, Pfeffer originally planned on producing all-malt whiskies but changed course when tasked with formulating a white whiskey during the distillery’s early months. A prudent combination of malt, wheat, oats and rye would satiate his desire to bottle an un-aged whiskey that could not only be integrated into cocktails, but one enjoyed equally neat! J. Potts Whiskey is not your conventional white dog hooch! Malt and wheat comprise nearly 80% of the grain makeup with oats and a small amount of rye providing for the remainder. Charming notes of custard, apple, warm spice, wheat cereal grain and white pepper showcase all the wonderment of a malt-forward spirit in its youthful state! At 94 proof, J. Potts Whiskey could easily stand proud when mixed in any cocktail requiring a clear whiskey base.

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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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Please enjoy responsibly.