Sangfroid Distilling will have a soft opening sometime this fall, depending on how some of its first fruit harvests go.
The Hyattsville distillery at 5130 Baltimore Ave. plans to have Dutch-style gin and pear brandy at its grand opening, adding apple brandy around the holidays and whiskey later in the year, according to co-owner Nate Groenendyk.
Rye whiskey typically takes a year to age, but he said they may find ways to speed that up.
“We’re experimenting with a variety of barrel sizes and finishes,” Groenendyk told the Hyattsville Wire. “For some whiskeys, more time in the barrel can overshadow some of the character of the grains that we want to highlight.”
The distillery is buying local, bringing in used bourbon barrels from Republic Restoratives in D.C. to ferment cider and age brandies, working with farmers and maltsters in Maryland and Pennsylvania, using furniture from Community Forklift for the tasting room and hiring Hyattsville architect Michael Romero to design their interior.
They’re also looking for other ways to collaborate, either by having Streetcar 82 Brewing Co. or Franklins reuse their barrels to age beer or experimenting with barrels used by Maryland Meadworks. Groenendyk even sees a possible collaboration with Vigilante Coffee, noting that a traditional way for French farmers to start their day is with a little unaged apple brandy in their coffee.
Sangfroid has run into some minor issues with its location — “Though it’s an awesome space, it’s an old building that has old building problems,” Groenendyk says — but overall the co-owners are happy with their decision to locate here.
“Hyattsville has a ton going for it — a vibrant creative community, a growing and very walkable downtown, access to all kinds of transportation, and a very supportive and easy to work with local government,” he said.