"Big Spring Spirits" Closer to Opening

By Mallory Lane

Published 03/17 2014 05:51PM

Updated 03/17 2014 06:07PM

BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY - It's called "Big Spring Spirits" and its owners and officials in Bellefonte hope it will be the answer they're looking for to help boost the local economy.

The goal for Big Spring Spirits is to open June 1, but that all depends on construction. Right now, they're working on the sewer system. Owners have big plans and are moving quickly to make their business dream a reality.

It's a work in progress.

"We have 5,200 square feet," Owner Kevin Lloyd said. "1/3 of that will be bar, 2/3 will be production."

Lloyd wants to turn the building at the Match Factory in Bellefonte into a tourist's paradise.

"We hope to employ a lot of people, we hope to be an economic success," he said.

Big Spring Spirits is a microdistillery. It's the only one of its kind in Central PA and they've got a lot to offer.

"We have a pretty wide range. Two different types of grains, rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey," Lloyd said. "We also have rum, vodka and gin."

They'll make their own seltzer and soda, too.

Borough Manger Ralph Stewart can't wait.

"We think it's going to be great for tourism, people coming in to see what's there and how products are made," Stewart said. "We are very excited about the boost of economic vitality it will bring to our community."

Besides bringing visitors to the area, the distillery could bring a boost to the local economy in another way, too.

"All of our grains will come from local farms," Lloyd said. "We use corn, barley, wheat, rye, those all come locally. We'll use local water from the big spring. Also, local ingredients beyond the grains, like fruits."

Buying, selling and promoting local Lloyd's biggest goal.

"We would like to give back to the community, participate with the community," he said. "The community has a lot of things to offer. They have artists and they have farmers and all different things that can help us with our process, so we would like to engage all of those people to help us."

They'll also provide educational tours of their building to explain how the distilling process works.

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