As part of the “Greens + Grains” theme, PA Eats delves into the intricacies of local distilleries, serving up informative details as to what these local libations vendors offer to the spirits-sipping public. Next up is Lansdale’s own Boardroom Spirits, a local distillery featuring an enticing array of libations, weekly events, food truck festivities and more.
We had the opportunity to talk with Boardroom Spirits co-founder, Marat Mamedov, and we grabbed all of the finer details regarding this Greater Philadelphia area distillery. Read on to learn more about Boardroom’s product offerings and exciting events, and take a look into what lies ahead for the future!
PA Eats: When was Boardroom Spirits founded and who started the company?
Marat Mamedov: Boardroom Spirits was founded in 2016 by myself, my brother, Vlad Mamedov and my wife, Zsuzsa Palotas.
What prompted you to open Boardroom Spirits and to start creating the wide array of products which are available today?
We all worked in management consulting firms. After years on the road and inside of countless boardrooms, we wanted to launch a local, tangible project that tied into our past and was relatable to consumers. The vision was to bring the brandy culture from our home countries to an American audience, starting with our take on Hungary’s palinka. Palinka is a highly regulated, traditional fruit brandy controlled by European Union law in Hungary and invented in the Middle Ages. First, Boardroom distilled red beets and made B. [Our carrot spirit] C was the second expression in this style. We’ve also distilled apples and two pear varietals and continue to experiment with un-traditional fruits and vegetables. The “periodic table of spirits” knows no end.
Who is the distiller at Boardroom Spirits and what is his/her background in the spirits industry?
Having zero experience in distilling, we knew that we needed to establish credibility through recipe development to understand the process and the style of spirits we wanted to distill. Using Zsuzsa’s Hungarian connections, we partnered with Corvinus University in Hungary which specializes in Master’s and Ph.D.-level programs in fermentation and distillation sciences. You can literally become a “Doctor of Alcohol” in Hungary!
Then, we conducted about a year and a half of recipe development and collected focus group feedback. Since the testing in Europe, the team hired a former baker and brewer, Tim Mokes, to become our current distiller. He runs full-time production using production-scaled recipes, while creating new ones to meet consumer demand and continue to innovate.
Where do you source ingredients from? Are all Boardroom products created onsite in Lansdale?
There are two stills at Boardroom Spirits, a gin-only still and the “everything else” still. All products are distilled at the Lansdale distillery, not simply bought and repackaged. Pennsylvania is a great agricultural state, so Boardroom works local as much as we can.
For example, some grains used, such as corn and wheat, are grown in Upper Bucks County and sourced from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown. The apples used in our 100% apple spirit, A, were all sourced from Frecon Farms in Boyertown. We also have cider from Solebury Orchards for a product that is aging in barrels.
Boardroom continues to look to work with local providers because our farmers are not only great at providing, but also taking Boardroom’s waste away. The spent grain, apple scraps, etc. all go back to a farmer who then repurposes that material as livestock feed or compost. It allows Boardroom to minimize waste and run a more sustainable operation.
What do guests experience when they visit the tasting room in Lansdale?
Tours are offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They’re free and easy to sign up for online. We have a large menu of seasonal cocktails to try, and beer from local brewers is available, too.
Is there a kitchen onsite?
There’s no kitchen on site, but Boardroom has great relationships with local food trucks and caterers. Every Friday the tasting room hosts “Foodie Friday,” and fellow Lansdale foodies, Fry’s Catering, prepare something special. Past themes include a slider bar, ramen bar and taco trio. As Boardroom Spirits expands into a new tasting room, we will be serving food options on Saturdays and Sundays as well, so be sure to stay up to date on Boardroom’s additions via social media.
Tell us about some of your events!
There are events every week. The Boardroom Facebook page is always up to date with the latest offerings, but there is generally a cocktail workshop every other Thursday, yoga every other Saturday, Foodie Fridays every week, dog adoption drives with Dog Town Rescue, and other events as they come up.
What are some of your favorite seasonal cocktails?
For the warmer months, we love anything made with our FRESH line of vodkas. They’re made from all real ingredients for a cocktail that is much lower in calories with no sugar, no carbs, no juices, dyes, etc. They’re great simply over ice, and shine in a guilt-free cocktail. Summer is perfect for a Boardroom Mule. We make it with our FRESH Ginger Vodka, an all-natural, gluten-free product infused with 100% real ginger root. Adding a splash of crisp club soda makes this the new standard for mules, with no sugars or carbs. A dash of simple syrup and lime juice gives it a full mule flavor with a much lower sugar and carb count than using ginger beer.
What’s ahead for Boardroom Spirits?
Boardroom recently made our relationship with celebrity chef and fitness guru, Robert Irvine, official. Now that Chef Irvine is an official co-owner, Boardroom Spirits will be promoting their FRESH & FIT products and recipes here and in Robert’s Las Vegas restaurant. New products are always in the works. Whisky has been aging since Boardroom opened two years ago and the periodic table of spirits will be growing by a few elements, too!
Hours of operation are 4–9 p.m. on Thursday, 4–10 p.m. on Friday, noon–10 p.m. on Saturday and noon–5 p.m. on Sunday. Boardroom Spirits is closed Monday through Wednesday.