If you were hoping to be among the first drinkers in line for the state's first legally produced bourbon, you're too late.
Four drinkers started the line at Dry Fly Distilling yesterday morning, a full 48 hours before the official release event is set to begin.
"We fed them all lunch," master distiller and co-owner Kent Fleischmann says. "We take good care of these crazy people."
The fervor over the release recalls the excitement that surrounded the distillery's first whiskey release in 2010. When Fleischmann and his partner Don Poffenroth showed up at 5 a.m. to greet early birds for the 8 a.m. event, they found 120 anxious whiskey buyers already waiting.
Dry Fly marked its first eight whiskey batches with release events, suspending the practice when the distillery produced enough whiskey to keep it on liquor-store shelves. Fleischmann worried drinkers would eventually stop showing up at release events, but says Dry Fly fans are nostalgic for the days when they got first dibs.
"The fun part is being in line," Fleischmann says. "We throw T-shirts, we give away glassware."
The bourbon party begins tonight with a 6 p.m. barbecue, and peaks tomorrow at 8 a.m. when sales start. Dry Fly is selling 240 bottles at the distillery; another 240 bottles will be sold at Interbay Liquor Store next Saturday. "We got rid of it in case we were tempted to sell more," Fleischmann says with a laugh.
Distillery customers will be limited to one bottle per person.
In addition to the two purchasing events, Dry Fly is putting its first six bottles of its first bourbon on eBay; the auctions will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities and Casting 4 A Cure. The distillery is also hosting a fund-raiser at Mayflower Park Hotel next Friday. A $75 ticket includes a guaranteed taste of bourbon and the chance to buy a raffle ticket; 10 winners will receive a bottle of bourbon. Dry Fly is now giving away two event tickets on its Facebook page.
"There are plenty of ways to get this bourbon," Fleischmann says. "You just have to be creative."