Fairborn-based distiller that closed bought by Cincinnati Distilling Company

Stillwrights spirits. File photo by Lisa Powell

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Stillwrights spirits. File photo by Lisa Powell

Cincinnati Distilling Company has bought Stillwrights brand after the Fairborn-based distiller announced its permanent closure in May.

Stillwrights Distillery, also known as Flat Rock Spirits, posted on Facebook that it would be closing permanently at the beginning of May. The Stillwrights/Flat Rock Spirits distillery is located at 5380 Intrastate Drive near I-675 and State Route 444. Flat Rock Spirits produced a straight bourbon whiskey, three variations of rum and a line of flavored 70-proof moonshine products, along with one “Traditional Recipe” moonshine at at more than 100 proof. The spirits are labeled under the name Stillwrights.

Now that Cincinnati Distilling has acquired the Stillwrights brand and intellectual property, production of the Stillwrights premium bourbons, rums and moonshines will resume. Cincinnati Distilling has hired James Bagford, the co-owner and head distiller of Flat Rock Spirits to ensure continuity on the processes, recipes and finished products of the Stillwrights brand.

“We, at Cincinnati Distilling, have been such huge fans of Stillwrights spirits for quite some time. We’ve found ourselves at events with each other over the years that we’ve created friendships with one another as well. The distilling industry in the state is still rather small compared to brewing, for instance. We all run into each other often. When we heard that they were shutting down we were saddened and shocked just like everyone else in the community was, said Josh Engel, Cincinnati Distilling spokesman. “We wanted to do whatever we could to step in and keep a brand with such an amazing history and loved products going hand in hand with some of the people who originally founded the company.”

Engel said Bagford will add “tremendous knowledge and experience to the operation.”

ExploreFairborn distillery closes permanently after 11 years

Production of the Stillwrights products will be consolidated into the Cincinnati Distilling facilities.

There is no plan to reopen the distillery and tasting room in Fairborn. Spinning back up production on bourbon and spiced rum is the No. 1 priority, Engel said.

The additional capacity needed will ultimately be fulfilled in the state of the art production distillery being built in Milford, which is scheduled to open later this year. The Milford location will be home to Cincinnati Whiskeys and Bourbons, Voltage Vodka, Cooper Island Rums, Red Sky Gins, Rebellion Agave and the entire Stillwrights portfolio.

“Once we’re back distilling, blending and bottling Stillwrights products along with James Bagford, their head distiller, we may look at doing a collaboration bottle,” Engel said. “James and our current head distiller, Bryan Fischer will be working hand in hand not only producing Stillwrights products, but Cincinnati Distilling products as well, so in a way every bottle that comes out of our distillery from today forward will be a collaboration technically.”

Bagford said taking a job with Cincinnati Distilling was a “no brainer,” in a media release.

“I’m really excited about joining the Cincinnati Distilling team and looking forward to continuing the Stillwrights brand as well as getting to work on all of their other fantastic products,” Bagford said.

“Stillwrights will be back on the shelves very soon and that is a great feeling.” Brad Measel, co-founder and co-owner of Stillwrights said in the media release.

The full line of Stillwrights products can be found at your favorite local Ohio liquor agency. The Cincinnati Distilling team plans to immediately resume and ramp up production to expand Stillwrights availability throughout the state.

Cincinnati Distilling is owned by March First Manufacturing, which includes March First Brewing in Sycamore Twp., FigLeaf Brewing in Middletown and Woodburn Brewing in East Walnut Hills Cincinnati. The distilling arm is Cincinnati Distilling which produces Cincinnati Bourbons and Whiskeys, Voltage Vodka, Cooper Island Rum, Red Sky Gin, Rebellion Silver Agave and will now include the line of Stillwrights products.

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