Whiskey distillery could start blending in Lititz within the year

Lenay Ruhl//February 18, 2016

Whiskey distillery could start blending in Lititz within the year

Lenay Ruhl//February 18, 2016

This week, co-owner Erik Wolfe confirmed that his whiskey-making company, Heritage Spirits, has applied for a state limited distillery license and a federal distilled spirits plant license.

Once approved — a process that should take about six months — it will start making whiskey in Lititz, according to Wolfe.

“It’s been a really exciting journey,” Wolfe said. “It’s never as you plan it to be, but it’s definitely wilder than we could imagine it to be.”

Heritage had wanted to use the name Bomberger’s Whiskey but changed the brand to Stoll and Wolfe due to a potential lawsuit over rights to the Bomberger’s label.

Stoll and Wolfe is for sale in Pennsylvania and at local restaurants in the midstate.

Heritage has signed a long-term lease in downtown Lititz, and Wolfe is excited to reveal where. But out of respect for the current tenants, he is not yet disclosing the exact location.

Wolfe expects renovations to the building to start within three months, when the current tenant relocates.

What he will say is that the location is within walking distance of downtown, and will serve as a distillery and tasting room.

By opening a physical location, Wolfe will be able to order ingredients from local mills and handle the entire process from fermentation to bottling in Lancaster County.

“We’re actually going to start producing in-house from local grain, or what is referred to as ‘grain to glass,’” Wolfe said.

The whiskey — a blend of 80 percent high rye bourbon and 20 percent straight rye — is currently made with ingredients from Indiana and Wisconsin, respectively.

It is then blended and bottled at Lancaster-based Thistle Finch Distillery.

The blend is a close replica of a whiskey made in Schaefferstown starting around 1860. The distillery was known as Bomberger’s until it shut down during Prohibition.

The distillery eventually reopened as Michter’s. Wolfe’s partner, Dick Stoll, was the master distiller there.

Although changing the whiskey label cost Heritage, the new name now represents the brand’s whiskey makers.

“We decided, let’s go old school and put our names on there,” Wolfe said. “I’m honored to be on a label with Dick Stoll.”

Pending the start of a lease and approval from the state, Stoll and Wolfe whiskey can be ordered at the Foundry in Lebanon, Berkshire Country Club in Reading and the Bulls Head in Lititz.

It can also be ordered from the state and shipped to a store or preferred address.