Appalachian Grown: Mountain State Spirits

Appalachian Grown

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Two best friends who love to drink bourbon came up with an idea a few years ago to make their own. Mountain State Spirits was established in 2019 by Kevin Cunningham and Jeff Schlosser.

They currently have two bourbon flavors out, their Hazelnut Honey and their Walnut Maple, which they make on one of their farms located in Taylor county.

In both of their flavors, they use lots of local West Virginia ingredients. Kevin and Jeff combined their love for West Virginia with their love for bourbon. 

Kevin said, “We wanted our product to be from the mountains of West Virginia. we wanted all home-grown products so to speak.”

“We love this place and we made a commitment to be here and to build a local company and so we thought, ‘Why not call it Mountain State?,’ Jeff added.

Their bourbon is sourced from a master distiller in Indiana but everything else put into the bourbon, they try to use all local ingredients, including: maple syrup, honey, hazelnuts, and some of their walnuts. 

“Jeff says we buy every West Virginia hazelnut there is in the state,” said Kevin. “But the biggest supplier in the state, we pretty much clean him out every year for our hazelnuts.” 

Jeff added they get all of their maple syrup from a guy in Preston county.

First you add the ingredients to the bourbon and then it becomes a waiting game after that. 

Kevin said, “It takes about 3 weeks for the flavored stuff. Then we have our bottling machine, then we bottle it up, have our production day, that’s always a fun day!”

 “You take this beautiful spirit and you put whole ingredients in it and you let time work,” Jeff added.

Although Mountain State Spirits only has two bourbon flavors out currently, they are working on new products that will be coming out soon, including a 15-year-old whiskey, a 5-year-old bourbon, and two new fruit flavors.

The 15-year-old whiskey’s name will be Tuscarora. Kevin said, “We based that on Seneca Rocks, cause again, we like to touch base with West Virginia things. Seneca Rocks, the quartz that makes up Seneca Rocks is called Tuscarora quartz.” 

Local honey will be used in the new fruit flavors as well. 

Jeff said he is excited about the new products coming out, “We’re always learning stuff and we’re going to have so much fun with our new line. We have a lot of fun in store for everyone around the Mountain State soon.” 

You can follow along with Mountain State Spirits on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/mountainstatespirits

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