In the spirit of covering alcohol – Pittsburgh’s Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka deserves attention. Boyd & Blair, like Bluecoat Gin, is one of two craft distillery “start-ups” that have filled a long void in Pennsylvania’s history. It has been decades since alcohol has been distilled in Pennsylvania…its conservative roots are still felt throughout the state. You may recall that the Quakers didn’t believe alcohol should be consumed and were heavy backers of the temperance movement. Pennsylvania’s LCB hasn’t helped the process – but, times are changing and the state is even encouraging such ventures.
Boyd & Blair is a product of Pennsylvania Pure, a company formed in 2008 by Prentiss Orr and Barry Young. Mr. Orr was a former VP at the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and Young a CEO at several companies. They could have coasted until retirement, but they wanted to do something a little more hands-on…perhaps, even agrarian in a way. One of the cornerstones of Boyd & Blair is that it’s made from locally grown potatoes (which seems logical given Pennsylvania’s agricultural prowess) and they can produce their vodka themselves (which, they do). The fact that the make their vodka from potatoes doesn’t feel unusual, but apparently – there are only 3 potato-based vodka’s on shelves in Pennsylvania. Boyd & Blair claims 1 of the 3 spots, the other two are distilled Poland. I suppose it’s probably coincidence that Pittsburgh was largely built on the backs of immigrant Poles working in steel mills.
Boyd & Blair can be purchased at many locations throughout the state for under $30. It is largely a Pennsylvania vodka, but you can find it in major cities such as New York, Chicago and others. It makes an exceptional gift because of its uniqueness, price point – and alcohol is a perfect gift for colleagues, friends and fathers.
You can follow the day-to-day at Pennsylvania pure on Twitter as they distill Boyd & Blair…link
Also visit their website