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Distiller Bill Herlicka, and co-owners Alana Wentworth and Andy Day. Photo by Matt Ingersoll




In the spirit of community
Cask & Vine owners to open Doire Distilling next door

06/07/18



 By Matt Ingersoll

mingersoll@hippopress.com
 
A new business venture next door to Cask & Vine in Derry will expand on the restaurant’s concept of offering local eats by serving up locally made spirits. Derry’s first craft distillery will be called Doire Distilling and is expected to open in the coming weeks.
Cask & Vine co-owners Andy Day and Alana Wentworth are working with business partner Bill Herlicka, who founded White Birch Brewing, to create a menu of craft spirits that will include whiskey, bourbon, gin, moonshine, flavored vodkas and more. 
“We started talking about opening up a distillery … to sort of complement the community we already have here. We have a whole circuit of breweries right in Derry and on the outskirts, and a meadery and winery, so this just seemed like a fantastic fit,” Day said. “A lot of breweries are also throwing their beers in barrels, so I love the idea of having a local spirit barrel being used for a local beer and just collaborating with one another.”
Since last December, renovations have been underway in the space adjacent to Cask & Vine at 1½ East Broadway that formerly housed a salon and spa. Day said the up and coming distillery also recently received its fermentation vessels, mash tun and 125-gallon pot still that will be used for the spirits.
Day said the distillery’s name — pronounced “DWAR-ay” — comes from an old Irish word meaning “oak grove” or “oak branch,” and also features an oak branch in its official logo.
“We didn’t want to just be ‘Derry Distilling.’ We wanted to keep it local and sort of tie in to the Irish connection, but for it to have a little bit of flair to it as well,” he said.
Herlicka, who has more than 10 years of distilling experience, said the opening of Doire Distilling lends itself to all kinds of opportunities to be creative with different spirits.
“Derry has a long history going back to farming, so I think there are some ways to really bring a unique element to what we’re doing,” he said. “There’s an interesting opportunity with a seasonal rum, and some gin using some botanicals from the Derry area. … I also have a moonshine recipe I’m working on which is really tasty, I have a white whiskey and I have a bourbon recipe.”
While there won’t be any seating in the tasting room, the distillery’s close proximity to Cask & Vine gives it a unique touch, according to Herlicka, because many of the spirits will also be available at the restaurant.
“One of the awesome parts of it is if you show up and the store’s closed, you’re not going to miss out on the overall experience, because you can just come to Cask & Vine,” he said, “and so, if you want a beer or you want to try a spirit, great. I think there’s a real nice partnering of the concepts.”
For Day, he also hopes local cocktail bars and restaurants will pick up some Doire Distilling products in the future. It’s all about supporting and complementing one another in the craft beer community, he said.
“We have some other friends that own establishments similar to Cask & Vine and we’d definitely love to see them using our product and making cocktails,” he said. “There is a buzz within our little community and then outside of that, if anybody wants to pick it up, obviously that’s fantastic.” 
 





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