First distillery in Somerset County, Spirits of Patriots, will create rum and tourism

Revitalization efforts have been brewing across the shore hoping to bring life back to downtown areas and Princess Anne is no exception.

And Spirits of Patriots is cooking up some excitement, which could potentially bring in more foot traffic to somerset county.

They are distilling rum and becoming the first distillery in Somerset County, the second on the Lower Shore. They are a Class 1 Distillery, which means they are limited to a 100,000 gallons of alcohol to produce. 

This veteran owned business was created by Tom Cropper and his wife. 

After doing IT work for 30 years, Cropper says it was time for a change. 

He's poured all of his hard work into combining craft and technology. 

We're told their rum has a unique taste. Cropper tells 47 ABC, "There’s no chemicals, it’s totally organic, it’s as close to the sugar cane juice as you can get, what it produces is a much more mellow better higher quality rum."

But it's more than just making some alcohol, their business can also make some big bucks for Somerset County. 

"One of the first things we’ll do is be able to offer a tour and a taste the tourism of having a distillery on the distillery trail here is important. It’s just something different, something people can come see and feel and taste and smell and just feel apart of it," Cropper tells us. 

And they hope Spirits of Patriots can add to the revitalization efforts happening in Princess Anne. 

They plan to open for business in about 2-3 weeks. 

The first bottle up for sale will be called the Navy Strength Rum. Other flavors they are playing with are toasted coconut and spiced rum, along with American Apple Pie.  

In 3-4 weeks they hope to get into farmers market, and eventually in stores. 

They are interested in private labeling and contract distilling as well. 

We're also told since they are a veteran owned business, they hope to have a community event called Stories Around the Still, where vets can come in and enjoy themselves.

Categories: Local News, Maryland