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March 28, 2011

Blackwater Distilling's Sloop Betty Vodka hitting stores, restaurants Friday

sloop bettyWoodberry Kitchen, Kooper's Tavern are some of the first local restaurants selling Sloop Betty, features writer Jill Rosen reports.

Maryland's first distillery in nearly 40 years has begun to bottle its flagship spirit.

Blackwater Distilling, the company of Eastern Shore natives Christopher and Jonathan Cook, reports that its Sloop Betty vodka is available in the area.

Though widespread distribution is set to start on Friday, the premium wheat vodka can now be found at some Baltimore-area restaurants and retailers.

For instance, they're pouring it at Woodberry Kitchen and Kooper's Tavern.

It's retailing for about $32. It will be available throughout Maryland, DC and Delaware.

The distillers will be donating a portion of proceeds to the scenic Eastern Shore preserve that inspired its name -- the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

The Cooks have been working on their distilling plan for more than seven years. Though Maryland was once one of the country's top spirits producers, the state has been dry since local producers folded, as rye, the region's signature spirit, fell out of favor.

Photo: Sloop Betty bottles (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:57 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, News


Any idea whether the Cooks are actually distilling anything on Kent Island, whether they're just blending/repackaging their product in Stevensville, having it contract-distilled, or what? In spite of my research, I can't find any mention of their actually having set up a still, and I would have thought they'd be proudly showing it off if they had one. The articles and releases seemingly neatly side-step this question.

@Alexander: They're contracting out the distilling for now, but I believe they have plans to do it on site if things take off and they introduce a gin, flavored vodkas, etc.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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