Woke up today excited to check out Bottling Day at Charleston Distilling Co. Ryan and I are always looking for new experiences so when he told me we could go to Charleston and help bottle at Charleston Distilling Co., I thought, why not! They were bottling Vodka, after all, which happens to be my drink of choice. So we jumped into the Kia and off we went to Charleston.
I remember when the distillery first opened. Ryan and I were staying at Francis Marion on one of our date nights and we decided to take a stroll down King Street. We popped in and took the tour and sampled all the yummy spirits they were willing to share with us. To think that was all but 5 years ago and here we were heading in today to help them bottle a batch of vodka.
The tasting room at Charleston Distilling Co. on King Street in Charleston. Not much has changed since our first visit.
We have bottled Kombucha before but nothing on the scale that we were experiencing today. We just kind of jumped right in.
Owner Stephen and a few of his friends and employees gave us the run down and Ryan started the bottling line off with the washing of the bottles. Everyone was waiting for him to accidentally shoot water into the air inevitably spraying himself. It happens to everyone, we were told. Sure enough after a few cases we all looked over as water shot up into the air and the room filled with laughter.
After Ryan had a few cases cleaned the assembly line began. The empty bottles were filled with Vodka using this machine. I was impressed at how quick this went. I wish I would have gotten a video but once it started we were working.
The bottles were filled then passed to the next person who capped them and then to me. I had the job of sealing the caps onto the bottle with plastic.
This was my section. I had the plastic pieces to separate from one another and then I tossed them into the bucket. Waited for the bottles to be capped and handed to me. I would then place a plastic tamper evident piece on the top, set the bottle on it’s side and insert it into the heated coil section of the sealer. It took about 4-5 seconds for the heat to melt the plastic. Sealing it until the lucky person purchased one, cracked the seal and made a yummy martini. I can almost taste the olives!
I really thought this would be a breeze but man when everything is in full swing it goes really fast. I had a few “quality control” issues where I burned the plastic on a few or the tops didn’t seal correctly. Luckily if I didn’t catch them someone else did. You really get into a groove though and it all seems to flow. I was so happy no bottles were dropped during this entire process. Once I sealed a bottle I then passed it off to be hand numbered with “27” the batch number today. The bottles were then placed back into the box they came in, taped and stacked back onto the pallet.
The finished product! Filled, capped, sealed and numbered. I believe the total number of bottles were around 910 and it took us about 2 hours. The whole experience was so fun it really had me thinking I could run a distillery one day! The best part of the whole experience was getting to take home a bottle of vodka when the work was done. What do you think? Is this something you would want to experience? Would you go on Vodka bottling day or a day when they were bottling Whiskey or Gin? Let us know in the comments below. Not sure what all they offer? You can find what all spirits are available on the Charleston Distilling Company’s website.