I had the opportunity to meet with co-founders and friends Alex Laufer and Sandy Wood of One Eight Distilling (1135 Okie St. NE) last week, a new D.C. distillery that will produce vodka, gin, and whiskey. It was great meeting with them to discuss how they left their full-time jobs to focus on their new business and passion to become a force in the craft market, both nationally and internationally.
About the Owners
Alex and Sandy met at Vassar College. Sandy left a position as an immigration attorney, while Alex worked in biotechnology and neuroscience, which is proving quite helpful in their new endeavor. They began this journey over a year ago; finding a space, applying for licenses, buying equipment, amongst a host of other tasks. In order to prepare themselves for their new business venture, Lauder and Wood apprenticed at Smooth Amber Spirits in West Virginia.
About One Eight Distilling
The name One Eight Distilling comes from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which established the District of Columbia as the U.S. capital. Laufer and Wood want their spirits to represent The District because they love the city and hope that One Eight Distilling’s products will tie consumers back to Washington, D.C.
One Eight Distilling has recently released the bottles for their Ivy City Gin, District Made Vodka and Rock Creek Whiskey. Because the distillery is still under construction, they haven’t finalized their recipes yet. But they plan on producing a smooth, hearty vodka that stays true to vodka’s roots, unlike many vodka products currently saturating the market. Laufer and Wood are also excited about their gin and whiskey and plan on releasing products that will make D.C. proud.
Renovations on the distillery are still underway, but they hope to have operations up and running by the Fall. The distillery will be open for tours and tastings, and will also be available to host outside events. They’ve already had someone reserve the space for a wedding reception in the Fall. How fab!
Both Sandy and Alex are fans of most spirits and make it a priority to try native spirits whether they are traveling in the U.S. or abroad. They visit other distilleries and breweries to learn as much as possible before they begin creating their own.
The Future of One Eight Distilling
Wood and Laufer hope to create infused vodkas as well as develop bourbon and other speciality whiskey lines. They plan on experimenting with various types of barrels and finishes for new products. Laufer and Wood have their eyes on international expansion within the next three to five years, with One Eight’s products across the United States as well as in European and Asian markets. The future looks very bright for One Eight Distilling. I look forward to returning for a tour and tasting once they’re open in the Fall.
Photo Credit: popville.com