Tarpon Springs Distillery sits unassumingly along the main strip connecting a scenic downtown and historic Greek Town. It’s a place I spent much of my time when I was a child. My father was adopted by a Greek family. And, Tarpon Springs has the most authentic Greek Food you can find in the area. It’s also the only place where most of the people have last names as outrageously Greek as mine.
Meet The Owners of Tarpon Springs Distillery
Lisa and Barry moved to Tarpon Springs in 2013. They say they quickly fell in love with the area and it’s unique Greek-American charm.
They decided they wanted to leave their mark on the area by distilling spirits. But, not just any spirits, Barry said he wants to make “the best spirits he possibly can.”
He takes pride in what he bottles.
He focuses on each step of production and optimizes what he can to maximize the quality of the liquor he’s putting out. Barry said he isn’t focused on becoming “the biggest distillery around,” he is focused on doing what he loves as well as he can do it.
That’s a statement that really resonated with us.
When one takes pride in what they do to that extent, they are truly embracing the passion that builds some incredible brands. And, Barry is absolutely laser-focused on mastering each of his expressions before moving on to the next.
His wife, Lisa, is such a kind and hospitable person.
From the moment we walked-in, she was nothing but smiles and brimmed with positive energy. She spoke with patrons around the distillery, asking them about their stories and making them feel at home. She is a phenomenal partner along with Barry, and they both are great people serving a vital function in making Tarpon Springs distillery a wonderful place to visit and spend some time.
About Their Operation & Spirits
Their distillery is a quaint operation, truly diving into the essence of what it means to be a “craft” distillery. Oftentimes you’ll see large operation serving the majority of states still label themselves as such, but many of them have focused on producing as much as possible and some of the “personal touch” is lost.
That isn’t the case here. Not in the slightest.
Each step of the distillation process is done manually. It takes a lot of work to do what they do. And, as they walked us through the process, we had to stop and ask a few times if there was an “easier way” to do accomplish some of these steps.
“There are absolutely easier ways,” Barry said. “But, easier isn’t always better and we want to manually check every step of the process to make sure we’re putting out spirits exactly the way we want them.”
Barry absolutely has the heart of a tried and true distiller.
He’s also incredibly innovative. He even created a unique type of condenser purely by accident. It took a nuclear engineer to figure out he’d nearly tapped into the laws of thermodynamics while trying to implement a unique situation to a unique problem.
Why You Should Visit
At the end of the day, the question you’re asking yourself is likely “why” you should go visit Tarpon Springs Distillery. However, that’s a question with a multitude of answers.
The distillery is unique in that it’s a true “bootstrap” craft distillery where they are involved in every step of the process. The spirits they are putting out are truly unique.
I am quite partial to the moonshine. It is unique, doughy, sweet, and delicious. However, my wife fell in love with their espresso liquor, something unique that I’ve never seen before. It’s a clear liquor that is literally distilled from espresso and has a unique echo of coffee and earthiness that would go absolutely amazing in nearly any kind of coffee drink.
They have incredible gins, and also have Ouzo and are even making an Aqua Vitae!
They are also releasing a Rye Whiskey that, as far as I’m concerned, is sweet, earthy, and delicious!
Definitely go give them a try if you’re in the area, and tell them Whiskey Culture sent you!