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About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

How we started

Crafting Spirits, Building Community

Founded on the principles of tradition and innovation, St. Petersburg Distillery is a beacon of artisanal spirit-making in Florida. Our story began with a vision: to blend traditional distilling methods with forward-thinking craftsmanship. Using locally sourced ingredients, we create a range of spirits that are as rich in flavor as they are in character.
We're not just distillers; we're storytellers, industry leaders, and advocates of the craft. Join us in our journey, discover our process, and share in our passion for quality spirits made with care.

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Our Innovative Distillery

Selecting the Foundation

The journey begins with the selection of the grains. Each type of grain contributes distinct flavors and characteristics to the final spirit. At our distillery, we meticulously choose the grains that will form the foundation of our spirits. Whether it's the sweetness of corn, the spiciness of rye, or the complexity of barley, the grains are the canvas upon which we create.

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Unlocking the Potential

Once the grains are chosen, they are carefully milled to expose the starches within. Milling is a crucial step that prepares the grains for the mashing process. The type of mill used can vary depending on the grain, but the goal remains the same: unlock the potential for those starches to become fermentable sugars.

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The Alchemy of Conversion

Mashing is where the magic happens. The milled grains are mixed with water and subjected to controlled temperature rests. This process dissolves the starch and allows enzymes to work their alchemical wonders, converting starches into fermentable sugars. The choice of temperature rests and enzyme activity play a pivotal role in shaping the spirit's flavor profile.

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Yeast's Dance

In the fermenter, the sugary mash meets yeast, which diligently converts those sugars into alcohol. The yeast's dance is a delicate balance, influenced by factors like sugar concentration, temperature, and yeast health. A successful fermentation is key to a flavorful distillate.

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Separating the Art

Distillation is where the Grains to Glass process truly shines. The fermented mash is heated in stills, separating the alcohol from the other components based on their boiling points. Different types of stills and distillation methods can produce vastly different spirits, and at St. Petersburg Distillery, we employ techniques that capture the essence of our carefully chosen grains.

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Time's Influence

After distillation, the spirit is carefully aged in barrels. This aging process allows the spirit to interact with the wood, gaining complexity, character, and depth. The choice of barrels and the duration of aging are art forms in themselves, and they greatly influence the final flavor profile.

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meet

Our Team

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Experienced Leader with a demonstrated history of working in the architecture & planning industry. Skilled in Land Use Planning, Sustainable Design, Comprehensive Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, and Community Engagement. Strong professional with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, and a Bachelors in Architecture. Vice President of The Florida Craft Spirits Association (FCSA), was established to serve as the voice for the Florida handcrafted distilled spirits industry. The goals of the FCSA are to grow our community, represent our views and interests before policymakers and promote awareness of our industry across the State of Florida.

Matt Armstrong

President

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Chef David Reyes, with a rich two-decade career centered around his passions for food and hospitality, has left an indelible mark on the culinary landscape. His commitment to creativity and excellence has been evident in every restaurant he's been a part of, resulting in unique, fine dining-inspired cuisine that reflects his international experience and classical training in France, Mexico, and across the United States. His dedication and skill were recognized when he won the top prize in the inaugural Tampa Bay Wine and Food Festival: Battle Sushi in 2023, a feat he repeated in 2024. In April 2024, Chef Reyes embarked on a new culinary adventure, joining the dynamic team at St. Petersburg Distillery. He is shaping the menu experience at the Trail Garden at The St. Petersburg Distillery, aiming to establish it as one of the most distinctive food and beverage destinations in the city. With his expertise and passion, Chef Reyes continues to push boundaries and delight palates wherever he goes.

David Reyes

Executive Chef

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Born in Savannah La Mar, Jamaica, and raised across various Jamaican locales, Warren Gardner is not just a master distiller but a connoisseur of life. By blending his diverse background with a passion for innovation, Warren has quickly become a leader in Florida’s small batch craft growth. Outside work, Warren enjoys time with his family, many different physical activities, and spiritual growth, embodying the belief in living fully and inspiring others. Humble yet visionary, Warren sees distilling as a reflection of life's rich flavors and an opportunity to inspire change and unity in people from all walks of life.

Warren Gardner

Master Distiller

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A distinguished figure in the hospitality industry with 12 years of experience. Renowned for his exceptional work ethic and commitment to creating memorable experiences, Matt stands out as a leader in his field. He is not only an accomplished mixologist but also an esteemed Executive Whiskey Steward. His expertise in crafting unique cocktails and his deep understanding of whiskey nuances have made him a revered name in hospitality, setting new standards in service and guest satisfaction.

Matt Nichols

Mixologist

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Born in New York and starting her bartending career in Washington D.C., Reese has spent 16 years in the industry, with the last 8 specializing in craft cocktails. After helping establish a cocktail program in NYC, she moved to Florida in 2020 making the transition from bartending to a brand ambassador role, focusing on local brands. Additionally, Reese has won many cocktail competitions and is developing a bar consulting program, which includes creating menus, incentives, and training, leveraging her extensive experience in the art of mixology.

Lauren Reese

Mixologist

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Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Aaron brings a love for his faith, a passion for sneakers, and a fondness for Star Wars to St. Petersburg. As an entrepreneur, he dedicates his time to creating new opportunities for the St. Petersburg Distillery and his CRA community. If you see him out, he will always have a smile and a kind word to share.

Aaron Ward

Sales Manager

Take a walk

Around Our Neighborhood