By Seth Daniel
The Short Path Distillery is preparing to open up its large patio in its Fermentation District headquarters just off of Santilli Highway – a move that comes after expanding the facility to encompass the entire industrial-era building.
Short Path is not a brewery, but rather distills spirits such as gin and other types of liquors. The company started small in the old, vacant industrial building, but has since caught on in the state.
Originally, they occupied one-third of the building, but in August they were able to take over the rest. This past February, they were able to lease the final portion of the building – giving them access to a large and sprawling protected outdoor area behind the building.
Immediately, they knew they needed to have a patio, and this Friday, that treasured creature comfort so desperately needed by any brewery or restaurant in Boston, will open at Short Path.
“It’s kind of a very important thing to have for the summer in Boston,” said co-owner Matthew Kurtzman. “People want to be outside. If there isn’t that option, there is a cohort of people that won’t come because there are other places to enjoy an outdoor space. People want to drink and be outside. From an economic standpoint, you’re missing out on your bar if you don’t have it.”
And so Short Path will join Night Shift in having a hopping outdoor area that they hope will be a four-season area – where one can enjoy a cocktail outdoors as easily in August as they can in February.
“It’s just a great space for people to have cocktails outside,” he said. “Our goal is to have it as much as possible be a four-season area. We envision space heaters and big cozy blankets outside in the winter.”
The company has been neck deep in patio construction since February. They began working in March and have some great lighting and furniture, and have made it very portable so that they can bring in a Food Truck to park on the patio area – which they couldn’t do before having the entire building.
“We’re going to have to figure out the dynamics,” Kurtzman said. “It will be a little bit of trial by fire. We’ll see what happens and what people want. We’re not sure yet how it will flow, but we do want it to be four seasons.”
At the same time as the patio opens on Friday, Kurtzman said, they will be debuting their Spring Gin spirit. That, he said, contains notes of juniper, coriander, lemon peel, lemon balm, chamomile, jasmine, myrtle, dandelion, and for good measure, elderflower.
The patio is almost a celebration of the expansion of the business, which has been taking off in terms of physical space and distribution. Kurtzman said they have 50 accounts, distributing all the way to North Adams and all throughout Boston. He said they have more types of spirits they are making now than ever before, as well. Short Path now offers nine spirits, seven of which one can buy and take home at the Everett bar.
But perhaps the bigger news is that the team is “knee deep” in research and development of a new whiskey – the first product of which will be a single malt scotch whiskey.
“We are really, really deep in R&D (research and development) right now on whiskey,” Kurtzman said. “We began working on it in February. Our super goal is to have something available around Christmas time. We’re experimenting now. What we hope to have is a peated single malt whiskey similar to a Scotch style. It’s very exciting.”
And with the expansion, Kurtzman – as all the breweries and distilleries in Everett have said – mentioned that the City has been incredible in helping them to expand and to get the approvals for their patio.
“Everett has been amazing,” he said. “It’s been such a great symbiotic relationship we’ve had with the city. They
are really helpful in making things easier for small businesses to be successful. It makes it easier to do business. I haven’t had one negative experience working with the City.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he was excited to see Short Path expand and offer new amenities, like the patio.
“Congratulations to Short Path on their new outdoor courtyard, opening just in time for the warm weather,” he said this week. “The outdoor space along with the expansion in production and storage shows not only tremendous growth for their business, but also their commitment to the City of Everett. Thank you for investing in our community; these are truly exciting times for our community.”