BOSTON (CBS) – Dorchester’s newest business hasn’t even been open for 24 hours and it’s already creating a buzz beyond New England. Boston Harbor Distillery wants to make its mark with small-batch local spirits and a great story.

It’s a twist on “farm to table” they call “grain-to-glass.”

Forty foot ceilings. Brick and beam. Even when it was empty, Rhonda Kallman knew this old Dorchester building was perfect space for a distillery.

“You could see the tanks, you could see the stills, you could see all the copper,” Kallman says.

Three years later, that shiny vision is real.

Boston Harbor Distillery in Dorchester (WBZ-TV)

Boston Harbor Distillery in Dorchester (WBZ-TV)

Boston Harbor Distillery produces boutique spirits: a whiskey, their “riff on rum” both light and dark and a coffee liqueur with more than a dash of history and place.

“We’re making Lawley’s New England Spirits,” Kallman says. “This is really the next big trend in drinks. People love sustainability and local. And that’s what we’re all about is community and bringing it together here.”

In the same space where distiller John Couchot now perfects Putnam New England Whiskey, Silas Putnam made horseshoe nails for the Civil War. George Lawley made America’s Cup racing boats. And the Seymour Ice Cream company made the Nutty Buddy. The distillery has big shoes to fill. And big plans.

“What I see in this space is really something of a community hub,” Co-founder Corey Bunnewith says. “The more faces we can see here sipping, learning, talking, engaging and the more stories we that we can tell, for me, that’s the most important thing.”

Kallman wants to demystify spirits the same way she and fellow Boston Brewing Company co-founder Jim Koch made craft beer approachable 30 years ago with Sam Adams.

“Bostonians are tough and it takes them a while,” Kallman says. “Luckily, I’m born and raised here. People test you at every turn around here. But it makes you better.”

Boston Harbor Distillery is open seven days a week for tastings and tours.


Leave a Reply