What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
When Marcy Sunday and Maria Yeater took a vacation to Sin City five years ago, they came home with a business idea. After engaging a local bartender in a long conversation about booze, the friends decided to launch their own brand of liquor.
4Four6 Distillery will open later this year at 703 Main St. in Sharpsburg, with gin, rum and eventually, bourbon and whiskey.
Jerry Sunday, Marcy’s husband, will operate the 600-liter pot still which can churn out upwards of 2,000 750-milliliter bottles a month. The company will sell bottles and serve flights and cocktails at the tasting room — along with other Pennsylvania-made spirits and beers — and will self-distribute their products to area bars and restaurants.
There is no on-site kitchen but patrons will be encouraged to enjoy a rotating lineup of food trucks and takeout dishes from Sharpsburg’s eateries.
4Four6 is all about community, they say.
The Sundays, long-time Verona residents, recently moved to Sharpsburg and hope to collaborate with neighboring businesses such as Dancing Gnome and Hitchhiker Brewing Co. They’ve already received a lot of friendly advice from veterans of the booze business and they credit Wigle Whiskey for helping to change Pennsylvania’s antiquated liquor laws which opened doors for craft distillers.
Jerry Sunday is a former bar owner. To learn the tricks of the distilling trade, he took classes at Black Button Distilling in New York, New Holland Brewing Co. in Michigan and at the Siebel Institute of Technology, a Chicago school with a master brewer program.
He’s excited to make a variety of gins, including a traditional London dry gin and others that are barrel-aged and infused with botanicals.
While he perfects his recipes, the 4Four6 crew — including Social Media Coordinator Kristin Bowers — is busy getting the taproom up and running. They gutted the building, which includes a spacious production area in the back. The front of the house has exposed brickwork, a black tin ceiling, tables and a 15-foot bar made out of wood from a 100-year-old house that burned down on the South Side.
Yeater says the decor will give nods to Pittsburgh, without being too thematic. The name of the distillery is a subtle reference to the Steel City, but the owners won’t reveal its meaning; they want customers to try and figure it out. Doing so might result in a boozy reward.
“Pittsburghers love Pittsburgh things,” Jerry Sunday says. “If they do enough research, they’ll get it and then they’ll embrace it.”