Distillery Bottling Parties

I went to a bottling party at Copperworks Distillery on Tuesday.

I guess various distilleries and even wineries are having these parties. It provides a fun experience that most people won’t get to have, some insight into the amount of work it takes to hand-bottle, and a decent kickback for doing some of their work for them. We spent about four hours bottling ~550 bottles of vodka and ~550 bottles of gin. There were 12-13 of us and they have a decent assembly line set up. Pallets on each end, at the front with boxes full of bottles that someone takes out, wipes down and passes to the labelers. As boxes get empty they pass to the pallet on the other end. The labeler adds labels to the front and back of the bottle, and passes to the writer. The writer notes the batch and bottle number on the label and passes to the blower. The blower uses compressed air to blow out the inside of the bottle and then passes to the filler. The filler is a machine that can take four bottles at once, two people work the machine and as bottles fill they are passed to the corker. The corker inserts the cork and passes to the “topper” who adds a sticker holding the cork to the bottle. Then they are re-boxed and ready to go.

I was the first step in the vodka run, but I got to work the filling machine in the gin run, and it was a lot of fun! The first half was definitely hard work and my hands were cramping from gripping the bottles so tight, but the filling portion was way more fun.

After the bottling was complete we had a tasting of their line of products (vodka, gin, tonic-barrel gin, and single-malt whiskey). I wasn’t a huge fan of the vodka or gins, but the whiskey is amazing. It is 106 proof, but doesn’t burn at all, and it has a ton of flavor.

For our help we each received a t-shirt and a substantial discount on a single bottle (and a 10% discount on anything else). You can guess which bottle I bought with my discount.

Anyway, it was a great experience, and knowing the discount and that I really like their whiskey at least, I know that I won’t pass up the opportunity any time that it comes my way!

If you have distilleries in your area (and are partial to spirits), then I highly recommend the bottling party experience if it is offered.


That sounds like a lot of fun plus it is an experience that you will always member. I’m with you on your “pick”. :yum:


That does sound like it would be a fun experience!


Sounds like a super cool experience. I worked in a makeup factory in the summers during college. We did various things but filling the perfume bottles was one of my favorites. Always interesting to see how things are made. Makes you appreciate things better too.


In an effort to take my own advice, after posting this I went to several local distillery websites and signed up to be on their mailing lists! :smiley:


Relying on volunteers on bottling day is a somewhat common practice for a lot of smaller breweries in my part of the world. It’s definitely work and not a “party”; generally, they provide a case of beer, gratis. And if you’re lucky, lunch.


I’m still trying to wrap my head around “single malt American whiskey”!

Do you drink that straight or dilute with a bit of water? The 110 proof cask strength Glen Livet I tried tasted a lot smoother with some water.


I have only had the tasting and that was straight. It was incredibly smooth. I asked the proof once I tasted it, and remarked how surprised I was at how smooth it was. The owner said “yeah, to be honest, that is me kind of showing off that I can make it super high proof and still be drinkable without burning.”


I’ll have to see if one of our local liquor stores carries something like that.

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Oh I need a job like that, full time!