Distilling Process

Process Gallery


Maintaining a unique and symbiotic relationship with the Edgefield Brewery, our master distiller uses unhopped Hammerhead Ale to produce what will eventually become Hogshead Whiskey. The malted barley "wash" -- or distiller's beer -- is fermented with McMenamins' proprietary ale yeast strain before being double distilled and aged in new, American white oak barrels for a minimum of three years.

Syrah grapes from Edgefield's own vineyard are used to produce Longshot Brandy. The grapes are pressed and fermented under careful watch by our winemaker to ensure the finalized spirit will maintain the flavor and aroma of the wine.

Only the freshest botanicals are used to craft our two gins. Natural grain spirits are infused with juniper and a myriad of herbs, spices and citrus peels prior to distillation.


Once a clean and complete fermentation is achieved, our master distiller loads the fermented product into our 250-liter Arnold Holstein pot still. The pot is steam-fired and the alcohols begin to separate from the rest of the liquid because alcohol boils (vaporizes) at a lower temperature than water.

The alcohols vaporize from the boiling pot up the column, passing a series of plates that cause rectification, or refinement of the spirit. This way, only the cleanest alcohols will wind up in the finalized spirit.

The refined, vaporized spirit travels from the rectification column to the condenser where it is cooled and returned to a liquid state. It is the job of the master distiller to determine which alcohols will be discarded and which will be kept to make one of McMenamins fine spirits.


If no maturation is required, then the clear (or "white") cleanly-distilled spirit can be cut with purified water and handbottled as with our Penney's Gin, Professor's Gin, Pear Brandy and Longshot Brandy.

Our Hogshead Whiskey and Edgefield Brandy are matured in oak barrels for many years. The "white" spirit is transferred to the barrels after distillation. Out of site in the quiet of the rack house, the clear spirit begins its transformation absorbing the desired characteristics of the barrel.


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Joint > Edgefield Distillery Property > Edgefield