Franklin Hill Vineyards, located in Lower Mount Bethel Township, recently applied for a limited distillery license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB).
Limited distillery licenses allow the holder to produce no more than 100,000 gallons of hard liquor per year, serve food and sell from two satellite locations, in addition to being featured in PA wine and spirit stores.
Referred to as craft distilling, the limited license cost only $1,500 as compared to $5,000 for full-time distilling. This option has only been available since February of 2012 and Pennsylvania has approved 12 applications since its inception.
Franklin Hills, the "Slate Belt" vineyard, will team with a local orchard to produce a hard cider. The two local farms represent a growing "Keystone State" trend; micro-distillers. While not as successful as their counterparts, craft brew pubs, most have found their own niche while operating with little financing.
In fact, Grundy Mill Distillery, which produces Dad's Hat rye whiskey in Bristol, PA under a limited license, is now offered in 12 states