Monday, June 18, 2018
Located on a former horse farm an hour west of St. Louis just outside of Marthasville, Missouri Lynn DeLean-Weber, her husband Martin Weber and daughter Tess Delean are running a nano distillery producing award-winning European-styled fruit brandies in the Swiss tradition.
The Weber’s manage every aspect of the distillery operation and the business, from fruit selection and mash preparation to applying the label and cap strip on each bottle. Their operation consists of single-batch runs in small copper pot stills that are handcrafted from start to finish which limits production to only the most quality product possible.
This defines what Edelbrand does, drawing upon the very traditions of Martin's Swiss-Romanisch heritage and the distilling methods still in use in the mountain villages of Switzerland today. The result is an exceptional spirit that holds a touch of Switzerland in each bottle.
For the unfamiliar, the vinars that they are crafting are unaged spirits made from 100% fruit selected at the apex of flavor and ripeness. Its closest relatives are eaux de vie, grappa, and European schnaps. The unique flavor found in Edelbrand vinars comes from the careful preparation of and tending to the fruit mashes over many months.
Each bottle contains its very own tasting experience, beginning with hand-picked fruit sourced as locally as possible. Every year’s harvest reflects the influence of terroir, the environment in which the fruit was carefully nurtured and cultivated, and these seasonal variations in flavor and character are reflected in their vinars. The apples come from Rasa Orchards in Lexington, Missouri. Grapes are sourced from Lost Creek Vineyards in Hermann, Missouri. The couple works with Roger and Tricia Hotop of the Hotop Family Stand at the Soulard Farmers Market to source pears, apricots, plums, and cherries.
The entire distilling process takes 10 hours from beginning to end. Martin gets the day started by crushing the fruit. He then adds water and a proprietary yeast, which gets fermentation going. The mashes ferment in temperature controlled tanks.
Most of Edelbrand’s fruit mashes sit for three months, but apple mashes can sit for eight to 10 months, even up to an entire year.
After the mash resting period is complete, the dynamic duo husband and wife team wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekends to start the distilling process. Edelbrand has expanded from its original 7-gallon still and now has three larger capacity copper stills. The Webers load the mash into the stills and heat the water surrounding the pot stills. The heating step takes roughly two hours.
The distilling process consists of two total runs. After filtering the final product through a filter Martin lets the vinars sit for a period of time in glass carboys, before diluting the spirit down to drinking strength with fresh well water.
After that, they bottle it in 375 ml Flint Glass Liquor/Spirits Bottles and cap it. The final spirit is 80-proof, compared to 160-proof when it comes out of the final run.
We always like to know how our customers initially find us. Lynn explained, “Extensive online research resulted in a number of bottle suppliers but none that would sell to us in small quantities until we found Packaging Options Direct. Our production for the first three years was slated at 1200 bottles total. We bought by the case and still do. The customer service team is always responsive, friendly, and willing to solve problems at any point during the purchasing process.”
Packaging Options Direct helps Edelbrand Pure Distilling by selling the product they need at an affordable price point in the quantities that work for their high quality, small-batch runs.
Since the Webers live so close to our largest warehouse, they opt to pick up locally which also helps keep their costs down. “There is always excellent customer service by the warehouse staff in St. Louis,” says Lynn.
We have had the pleasure of working with Lynn for over 4 years. She and her husband’s attention to detail and pride in her product do not go unnoticed. Edelbrand’s plum brandy took gold and best spirit in the Mid-America competition. Their apple and plum brandy won the gold at The Washington Cup, the national competition for American-made spiritous liquors.
When asked what the future holds for Eldebrand Pure Distilling Lynn responded, “Our vinars will continue to be a limited production product. This year we will produce roughly 1,000 bottles. It will always be small-batch, highest of quality. We are poised to expand within Missouri this year and next and have our sights set on beyond MO beginning in 2019.”
We are proud to be the packaging supplier of this award-winning product and look forward to consistently helping Eldebrand Pure Distilling achieve its business goals. You can find more information along with where to purchase on the Eldebrand Pure Distilling website. Be sure to follow them on social media on Facebook and Instagram.