Hunter Ford, owner of Burnt Mill Creek Billiards & Wine Bar and Momentum Surf and Skate, announced earlier this year that he has embarked on a new project, Momentum Spirits.
Ford said the initial distilling process is now in the works, thanks to a partnership with Broadslab Distillery in Benson. While Ford plans to eventually change his downtown Momentum Surf and Skate shop into a distillery and tasting room, for now distillation will take place at Broadslab.
“Broadslab specializes in farm-to-table style distillation,” Hunter Ford said. “The owners grow everything they need to make the spirits they produce. Our partnership differs slightly, in that we will be bringing in a corn-based spirit from the same distributor that serves Tito’s Vodka, and re-distilling it at Broadslab in an old North Carolina moonshine still.”
Ford said that re-distilling the neutral grain spirit further purifies it, brings it to a lower proof and adds to the flavor profile. Getting the spirits from a distributor will also allow him to make larger quantities of the company’s first product, Momentum vodka, bottled in a clear, North Carolina-shaped bottle (pictured at right).
Ford said that since opening Burnt Mill Creek in 2014, he has worked closely with beer, wine and liquor distributors to learn more about production and distribution.
“Although I’ve been involved in restaurants and bars for many years, it’s been an incredible learning opportunity,” Ford said.
Ford believes that his background in retail and the food and beverage industry have set him up for success in this new venture. He said that changes in the retail market, most notably the increase in online shopping, have greatly impacted the bottom line for small shops such as Momentum.
But that has pushed him to change with the times, taking on new challenges and learning from the market, from distributors and from customers.
“Vodka is one of the biggest sellers in the liquor market,” Ford said. “So I’m taking what I know from the past two decades in business and moving forward. I’m ready to take the next step forward into something bigger than I’ve ever done.”
Ford is expecting a spring 2019 launch of Momentum Spirits.