The City of Brotherly Love is sharing its award-winning booze with the ‘burgh.
Philadelphia-based Federal Distilling recently opened the Stateside Vodka Showroom on Butler St. in Lawrenceville. Located in the former Teddy Bear Hospital of Pittsburgh, the store sells Stateside Urbancraft Vodka bottles and other branded merchandise.
The showroom is open on Friday and Saturday nights, offering samples of the corn-based product — which is distilled seven times, certified Kosher and gluten-free.
Within the next six months or so, the showroom will expand into more of a bar and event space serving the company’s signature cocktails and vodkas infused with ingredients such as coffee, jalapeno and pineapple.
Visitors can also learn about the company’s history. It’s a pretty good story: In 2013, brothers Matt and Bryan Quigley started the business in their parents’ basement, researching different methods and working tirelessly to perfect their recipe. When the elder Quigleys found out about the hooch-making operation, they shut it down and kicked their sons to the curb.
Then they tasted the stuff and realized it was really good.
Matt Quigley, the mad scientist of the pair, served as an apprentice at Michigan State University’s Artisan Distilling Program. The experience taught him the art of alcohol, the difference between top- and bottom-shelf liquors and how to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
“There are tons of really, really good products out there, but there can always be something different and better,” he says. “Like music, like fashion, it’s an evolutionary process that’s never going to end.”
What started as a hobby mushroomed into a booming business that now occupies a 6,000-square-foot facility in Philly. Stateside Urbancraft Vodka is sold in liquor stores across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and will soon enter the New York market. Federal Distilling will produce about 25,000 cases of vodka this year and is expected to double that number in 2019.
The bottles already line bar and restaurant shelves throughout Pittsburgh, everywhere from Vallozzi’s, Sienna Mercato and The Capital Grille to BRGR and Arsenal Bowl.
For the Quigleys, opening a showroom across the Commonwealth was a no-brainer.
“Pittsburgh is such a cool metropolitan area and the market, in our opinion, was kind of going untouched,” says Matt Quigley, whose sibling helms the sales force. “We started building our sales team there and promised them that if they did a good job, we’d build them a kick-ass office space.”
The brothers invite everyone — including vodka-haters — to try Stateside.
“We go to great lengths to make sure the taste component of the product is as compelling as it can be,” Matt Quigley says. “You’re never going to change your brand because you saw an ad on the back of a bus. Without any obligation, you can come in, sample it and decide for yourself.”