Eight Oaks Craft Distillers opens at Broad Street Market

by: Jimi The Intern
October 13, 2017

Broad Street Market shoppers can now add Pennsylvania craft spirits to their next market shopping list.

Eight Oaks Craft Distillers recently debuted its stand at the market. Located in the brick building — right across from Evanilla — bringing its own style of craft distilling to Harrisburg.

Eight Oaks sets themselves apart by not only distilling their spirits, but growing the corn, rye, barley, and wheat used to make their line of products.

This makes them part of the nine percent of American “farm distilleries.”

“Coming into the Broad Street Market was perfect for us,” said owner Chad Butters. “I was absolutely shocked by the reception. There’s a community feel from the customers, vendors, and management.”

At the stand, Eight Oaks offers samples of their line of spirits along with bottle sales. Zeroday Øutpost also often uses Eight Oaks in their Market Cocktails.

Eight Oaks’ Story

provided by Eight Oaks Distillery

Eight Oaks Craft Distillers opened in January 2016 in New Tripoli, Pa.

Prior to that, Butters lived an Army life. He grew up in an Army household and was in the service for 25 years before his wife was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012.

“Six months into my wife’s treatment, I knew we had to make some changes,” said Butters. “I was away from home too much, and I started to think about what I truly wanted to do.”

Butters decided that he wanted to spend more time with his family, retire from the Army, and ultimately, start a family business.

After mulling a few different options, Butters and his wife decided focusing on agriculture was the way to go.

“I always loved history,” said Butters. “Agriculture has history and tradition, and the whole idea of agriculture was always something interesting to me.”

After nixing a “traditional” farm or raising livestock, they started to get creative with their options.

Butters considered a winery but realized they weren’t crazy about wine, and it had been done before.

They wanted to do something different.

Butters and his wife thought about a distillery, and they realized that the necessary ingredients to make craft spirits grew well in this area.

“A distillery checked all of our boxes,” said Butter. “It had agriculture, we could work with our friends, and it would keep me close to home.”

Eight Oaks Spirits

Image provided by Eight Oaks Distillery

Eight Oaks makes six different types of spirits ranging from gin to whiskey.

However, Applejack may be their best-known product.

If you’re not familiar with Applejack, here’s a brief introduction to one of the first true American spirits.

Originally, Applejack was the product of freezing hard apple cider in casks. Freezing separated water from the alcohol and left behind a higher-proof spirit to enjoy.

“We knew the history of Applejack,” said Butters. “There was no way it wasn’t going to be the first thing we produced.”

Eight Oaks’ Applejack is heavy on the apple in the aroma but subtle in the flavor. It has a slight burn but finishes smooth with a sweet flavor.

My favorite was the American Gin. It’s smooth with citrus and botanical flavors, and I find I would be able to enjoy it with a little bit of tonic, or all on its own on the rocks.

Cocktails

eight oaks craft distillers

If you pick up a bottle on your next run to the market, be sure to visit the Eight Oaks website for suggested cocktail recipes.

Butters said his favorite is the Haymaker. The Haymaker uses Eight Oaks American Vodka, pear nectar, ginger simple syrup and ginger ale.

Personally, I’d like to try The Stone Fence. It uses Eight Oaks Applejack with local apple cider and club soda. It sounds like a perfect drink for watching football.

In addition to the stand at Broad Street Market, Eight Oaks also has outlets at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Allentown.

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