10 Dec An Evening to Unveil Stateside Urbancraft Vodka
Turning an old, refuse-filled warehouse into the home where we would produce Stateside Urbancraft Vodka was as daunting a task as we had ever faced. Starting with removing stagnant trash piles, power-washing caked floors and sweeping off dust-layered ceilings, it all started to sound like a bad twist on a “Mary Poppins” song. Finally at the end of the long and daunting haul of rehabilitation and construction, the distillery and the tasting room, Federal Distilling Room (F.D.R.) were ready to go. So without hesitation, being gluttons for punishment, we decided there was no better way to celebrate the achievement than by planning a launch party for our friends and family. Goodbye pH levels and mineral composition; hello charcuterie boards and tablecloth colors.
Being it was the first time that most of our friends and family were going to see the facility, we wanted to make sure that it looked and felt the way we had always envisioned. Planning began several months before even a single drop of vodka had made its way into a bottle. There was a lot more that went into planning an event like this than we had ever considered. We had to make accommodations for parking, find a staff that we knew would provide exceptional service, find a DJ, find a photographer, and agree on what the e-vite should look like, along with a million other things. Despite all of these things being necessary and time consuming, we knew we were only going to get one chance at a first impression, so we rolled up our sleeves, buckled down, and got to it.
Knowing a majority of the party was going to be spent in the Federal Distilling Room, we made sure the most of our prep time was spent making F.D.R. look immaculate. Amongst many other additions, we installed shelves behind the bar and lined them with Stateside bottles. We made sure that all of the equipment was working and in place, and that everything the bartenders could possibly need was there and easily accessible. After all the tables were set, the glasses polished, and the centerpieces assembled, a couple last minute adjustments were made. The lighting was wired, our projector installed, and just before show time, showers were taken and nice clothes adorned.
Everything leading up to the guests arriving seemed like a whirlwind. No matter how early you begin planning an event like this, it is almost inevitable that running around like crazy in the eleventh hour is guaranteed. We were no exception. It still felt like we could have used another hour or two just to make sure everything was perfect.
And then our first guest arrived.
Planning and Prep was now behind us. There wasn’t another picture to straighten, glass to polish, or surface to clean. With the arrival of every subsequent guest, the party began to take shape. Everything was out of our hands now.
Perhaps one of the most special parts of the evening was when it came time for our fearless leaders to step up in front of all our friends, family, and well wishers, to say thank you for all of the support that has allowed Stateside to grow. After debuting Stateside’s very first branding video, the men behind the bottle, Clem and Zach Pappas and Bryan and Matt Quigley gave some brief remarks before giving a tour of the distillery to an enthusiastic and attentive audience.
And just as quickly as it had started, the party was over. Hands were shook, pictures were taken, hugs were given, and the lights came up on one of the most rewarding and meaningful events Stateside has ever been a part of. We were very grateful to have had the opportunity to show our friends and loved ones what we have been working on over the last three years. After all the tables had been dismantled and all the glasses were washed, we turned out the lights and called it a day. After all, tomorrow is only Thursday and Thursday is a great day for distilling vodka.
We would like to thank the great people at Feast Your Eyes Catering.. and the three award-winning bartenders who were serving cocktails with expertise beyond their years.. as well as the exceptional floor staff.. DJ Royale who kept the atmosphere light and fun.. and our husband and wife photography team who captured this amazing experience on camera.