As with every good distillery story, Townshend's Distillery starts with Lindsay Lohan. Wait, what? You see Townshend's Distillery was originally only Townshend's Tea Company. In 2011, Lindsay Lohan famously blamed her probation violation on Kombucha consumption. For the unfamiliar, Kombucha is a fermented tea. The story received national attention. Kombucha brewers were left to figure out a solution. Some decided to ignore the alcohol content of their tea. Others tried to reduce the ABV by adding fruit juice.
Necessity is the mother of innovation. Townshend looked to distillation as an option to remove the alcohol. The problem is distillation happens around 175ºF and Kombucha is a living drink. Townshend found the perfect solution in a Spinning Cone Column (SCC). The vacuum still allows them to distill the Kombucha at 95ºF. Townshend removes alcohol without killing the healthy bacteria and yeast from the Kombucha. Townshend's still makes Kombucha. Thankfully, they make great spirits too!
Townshend's was happy to have the alcohol removed from their kombucha. They were thrilled once they tasted the "waste"! The distillate carried over a lot of the flavor from the tea. They not only had a great product, they had plenty of it. Each different tea flavor leads to a spirit off-shoot. Here's a cheat sheet so you can keep the products straight:
We're in a market of corny prohibition or bootlegging stories. At Seelbach's, we love a refreshing story like Townshend's. They're methodical in their approach to each product. Their spirits are unique and tasty. They use their experience with botanical blending and tea to create fanatstic herbal spirits.