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Townshend’s Distillery, Portland

Tea spirit.

Thomas & Sons Distillery, Of Note, Winter 2017

Portland fine tea retailer Townshend’s Tea Company opened in 2003, branched into producing Brew Dr. Kombucha in 2008, and now isolates the alcohol created when kombucha ferments, distilling it into a base for its new Townshend’s Distillery line of tea spirits. “We opened a craft distillery that uses the kombucha ethanol as the base,” says brewer Seth O’Malley. After a polish, the distillate loses its kombucha-ish vinegar tang, yet retains hints of the flavour—for instance, the jasmine and lavender notes from Brew Dr.’s Love kombucha become the base for a floral gin. For purists, Thomas & Sons’ first spirit is imbued with Ceylon black tea and—at 70 proof—strong enough to really get the tea party started.


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