Provided by KO Distilling
In a time-honored maritime tradition, the proud Co-Founders of KO Distilling in Manassas rang a merchant ship’s bell on Nov. 16 celebrating the completion of a $900,000 expansion, which has more than tripled their production capacity and will create more jobs.
The expansion for the producer of small batch whiskies and American-style gins was made possible in part due to a $25,000 grant from the Virginia Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund and a matching $25,000 grant from the City of Manassas.
“It’s great to see this expansion come to fruition,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II. “We look forward to the growth and future opportunities that this brings. The KO Distilling story is an inspiration to other entrepreneurs and great accomplishment for the City of Manassas.”
“This is an exciting day for the KO Distilling Family, our customers and suppliers,” said Co-Founder Bill Karlson. “Thanks to the support of the state and local governments, we will now be able to triple our production. As a grain-to-glass producer of local spirits, this also means we’ll be tripling the amount of grain we buy from neighboring Virginia farms.”
“Distilled spirits is a volume industry, and until recently, our production has been limited to a batch approach,” said Co-Founder John O’Mara. “Our new column still enables continuous distillation, and as a result, we will be able to produce more and keep up with the increasing demand for our award-winning portfolio.”
Highlights of the distillery expansion include a new Vendome Copper & Brass Works 30-foot high, 12-inch diameter continuous column still; six new 1,000-gallon fermentation tanks; a new 1,000-gallon Vendome mash tun; a new and much higher capacity boiler and chiller system; and larger grain silos.
In addition, the KO Distilling was able to make improvements to their VA ABC Distillery Store and tasting room, which boasts unique enhancements such as a stunning feature wall and overhang created from charred bourbon barrels.
KO Distilling was founded three years ago by long-time friends Bill Karlson and John O’Mara (the “K” and the “O”), who were classmates at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Ground was broken on the existing facility in late 2014 and the Distillery opened its doors nine months later. Initial annual production was 225 barrels, and as a result of the recent expansion, KO expects to produce more than 800 barrels/year.
Today, the KO Distilling portfolio includes three American-style gins and four small batch American whiskeys:
- Battle Standard 142 Gin (Navy Strength) (114 proof) (750ml $34.99)
- Battle Standard 142 Gin (Standard Strength) (90 proof) (750ml $29.99)
- Battle Standard 142 Gin (Barrel Finished) (90 proof) (750ml $36.09)
- Virginia Moon White Whiskey — unaged (90 proof) (750ml $34.99)
- Bare Knuckle American Wheat Whiskey – aged 12 mos. (90 proof) (750ml $35.99)
- Bare Knuckle American Rye Whiskey – aged 18 mos. (90 proof) (750ml $45.99)
- Bare Knuckle Straight Bourbon Whiskey – aged at least 2 years (90 proof) (750ml $41.19 down to $39.99 by Jan. 1, 2018) – Launching Nov. 24, 2017.
KO Distilling is located at 10381 Central Park Drive, Suite 105, Manassas. KO spirits are available at retail outlets in Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware, as well as package stores for the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information about the craft distillery, visit kodistilling.com.