BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Sagamore Spirit distillery is now open for business, inviting people to take a tour and sample their rye whiskey.

The whiskey is already a popular choice in Baltimore, having hit local store shelves last May, but now fans will have the chance to see how it’s made at the waterfront Port Discovery campus.

At a ribbon cutting Thursday morning, guests like Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh celebrated the dawn of a new era for Maryland-style rye whiskey and the first key piece in the revitalization of Port Covington, along with Sagamore Spirit Co-Founder Bill McDermond and president Brian Treacy.

“We love the idea of being a destination type distillery,” said Treacy. “Baltimore is a great city and there are a lot of good reasons to visit. We like to be adding to that.”

The campus is spread across five acres along the Patapsco River. Doors will open to the public on Friday.

“Meet the team, hear the story, learn about the process — triple distillation process, barrel aging, barrel filling — and get a chance to sample our products,” Treacy says.

During the tours, guests will also get to see a one-of-a-kind, handmade 40-foot mirror finished copper still, and learn more about the deep roots of rye whiskey in Maryland.

“Visitors are going to get a whole big experience here at Sagamore, not only are they going to learn about the history of rye in Maryland, but they’re going to learn about the future of rye in Maryland,” says Cynthia Torp, of the firm Solid Light that helped design the distillery’s visitor experience.

“It’s the heart and soul that went into the thinking behind it and a real true passion for the mission of what they’re trying to accomplish here, and that made our job easy.”

“Give people a reason to extend their stay, maybe one more night in a hotel, maybe one more meal in a restaurant,” Treacy says.

Tours at Sagamore Spirit will be free this weekend starting Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tours will cost $15 starting Monday.

“Maryland has a great history of making rye whiskey and we plan to deliver,” said Brian Treacy, who is the is the president of Sagamore Spirit
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