Tim Russell, the owner of Allegheny Distilling, has run out of room.
Since 2013, his distillery at 3212A Smallman St. in the Strip District has been making award-winning booze, including Maggie’s Farm Single Barrel Rum, which earned a double gold medal in the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The popularity of his products meant the distillery needed to expand.
Russell has had to turn down wholesale accounts because Allegheny Distilling doesn’t have enough space to keep up with demand. He distributes to 14 states, with the biggest sellers being spiced rum and falernum liqueur.
So he started looking for a place for his new custom-built, 850-gallon still — which is three times the size of the current system and is sitting in storage, along with a larger canning line for packaging Personal Day Hard Seltzer.
After a series of property setbacks, Russell now has a space under contract in Upper St. Clair. The modern, 22,000-square-foot warehouse will serve as a production facility, while the 3,000-square-foot Strip District spot will continue as a retail center and bar.
You can buy a bottle in the Strip District during takeout hours from noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Stay for a cocktail from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Russell, who received his distilling certification from Chicago’s Siebel Institute, says the company is working on bringing its brand of shelf-stable, canned cocktails to the market, but wants to do it right. Unlike many rum distilleries that use artificial additives, Maggie’s Farm rums are made with 100 % natural ingredients. So far, the ready-to-drink Rum & Ginger is faring well during in-house testing.
What does this growth mean for Maggie’s Farm?
“It solidifies us as a national brand,” Russell says. “Right now, we’ve kind of plateaued in the local market. Our bar is full every weekend.”
Western Pennsylvania Spirits Fest
Get a taste of Maggie Farm rums at the Western Pennsylvania Spirits Fest on Sunday, May 22. Maggie’s Farm and 21 other regional distilleries will be pouring at Threadbare Cider House (1291 Spring Garden Ave.) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The $45 tickets are available online.