Spirited Away with Spring House Spirits10/06/2023 12:23PM ● By Jim Coarse
The old story goes: at the ripe age of 8, Chris Demars grandmother taught him how to distill spirits right at home. They were prohibition moonshiners - and apparently very good ones!
Chris didn’t start his distillation career until he was a bit older. And yes, legally! He takes great pride in his family farm where all of the Spring House Spirits are initially crafted. With an emphasis on using as many local ingredients as possible, Spring House aims to be the real local deal. On the farm, it was only fitting to put the distillery in the milk house. Their logo, along with most of their labels feature a fox, also known as “Phineas,” because of the rich tradition of fox hunting on the farm and local area.
During the early days, Chris was making wonderful spirits and only a few knew about it. One day, an encounter with Randy & Jennifer Litwin, sparked a change. Randy & Jennifer ran a local retail shop in downtown Parkesburg and Chris needed some marketing help. A few meetings and a few bottles later, they were investing into Spring House with the opening of a tasting room on Main Street in Parkesburg.
Hand-crafted from start to finish; hand-picked local ingredients start the mash that goes into the still that is refined and carefully manicured into fine oak barrels. It is then delivered to the tasting room where it is bottled and hand labeled. Those spirits are then shaken and stirred into mystical potions using the finest ingredients they can find. Some even come from a hydroponic garden in the backroom! Ground, farm, still, barrel, bottle, shaker, glass in your hand. Rinse and repeat.
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Or at least knows your taste in cocktails! During my interview and photoshoot, I met regulars that dropped-by for everything from a single drink, to picking up a special order for an upcoming party and even some were seeing their name-plate on a newly delivered chair. Their rum, “Saint Malachi,” named after the church, even has a fund setup where 10% of the revenue goes back to the church to help support the community. On hot days, you will often see someone pop out the front door and offer a nice cold bottled water to anyone passing by. They are very much driven to be part of the community and know that anyone, with any cocktail taste, can drop-in.
If you stop by, you shouldn’t leave empty-handed. They have an ever-changing menu of cocktails to try and experiment with. Like something? Strike up the conversation and maybe they’ll just give you the recipe - or kit to make it at home! I was even texting friends their mocktail menu. Whether you are looking for a quick sip before your dinner reservations or an after-dinner (or lunch) sweet, stop-in and let them tickle your taste buds.
Find out more at their website www.springhousespirits.com, or stop in for a taste at their store front, 217 Main St. Parkesburg Pa 19365
Photos by Jim Coarse, Moonloop Photography