ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After a year of record growth in 2017, 4 Hands Brewing Co. will celebrate its 6th anniversary by launching 1220 Artisan Spirits this spring. Led by owner Kevin Lemp, the team will expand the company’s portfolio with the release of Origin, a year-round New American Gin as well as a 1220 tonic.
The St. Louis-based craft brewery first began in 2011, producing 1,600 barrels of beer. By 2016, 16,300 barrels were produced to meet demand- propelling the craft brewery to a regional brewery as defined by the Brewers Association. In 2017, the 4 Hands Brewing team focused on expanding within their current distribution markets and grew an impressive 31%; nearly 83% of their beer sold was within the state of Missouri.
Later this year, the 4 Hands team will expand to include 1220 Artisan Spirits. “It’s been an exhilarating ride,” says Lemp. “Our team has constructed a very strong foundation over the last 6 years. We can build off of that foundation and create a new brand that doesn’t compete with 4 Hands Brewing Company, but rather complements. This gives us the opportunity to collaborate between the brewery and distillery. It’s a calculated risk.”
1220 Artisan Spirits is inspired by secret societies, free masons, speak easies and sophistication. The brand will launch in April with the release of their year-round gin as well as a house tonic to pair perfectly with their gin. In the months following, they plan to release a line of seasonal gins that highlight locally-sourced ingredients that play nicely with seasonal weather and fare; a barrel-aged gin; an apple brandy aged in used Madagascar barrels; and an amaro. Plans to add a whiskey are forthcoming.
Rob Vossmeyer, certified specialist of spirits, has been appointed as the head distiller for the brand. Vossmeyer earned a General Certificate in Distilling through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in the UK and has spent time in Scotland, exploring the world of Scotch Whisky. In 2014, he began his time at Tom’s Town Distilling in Kansas City, where he created 3 flagship spirits, as well as a number of one-off distillery only selections. Vossmeyer is currently working toward his diploma in distilling from The Institute of Brewing and Distilling.