Philly's artisan spirit scene continues to steam along with another worthy new player.
Red Brick Craft Distillery opened to the public in January in a rehabbed former widget factory in Kensington.
But its more creative and aged spirits are only just debuting this fall. Among them is an impressive (albeit still young) small-barrel malt whiskey made from Pennsylvania grain (plus a dash of Massachusetts chocolate malt for dark intrigue).
I'm also looking forward to the October release of From the Woods, a unique spirit distilled from mead that's vividly steeped with local birch wood.
The bottle that most surprised me, though, was Simple Shine Pineapple, a basic white rum that is turned golden with an infusion of fresh pineapples - nearly five for every gallon. The result is a naturally juicy spirit that's not overly sweet, and that offers a nice alternative to the artificial taste of other popular tropical spirits.
Logically, Fishtown's tiki bar, the Yachtsman, has been working out the possibilities, including a piña colada that raises the pineapple quotient to a high degree.
Aside from a dose of Simple Shine, fresh coconut cream, ice, and more fresh pineapple, this frozen drink for two comes inside the hollow of the fruit.
- Craig LaBan
Simple Shine Pineapple, $28.99 750 ml bottle, Red Brick Craft Distillery, 2628 Martha St., 267-603-3790; redbrickcraftdistillery.com; the Red Brick Piña Colada is $10 (or $18 for two in a pineapple) at the Yachtsman, 1444 Frankford Ave.