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Spirits of Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge Distilling defies expectations with growing brand

We first tapped into Baton Rouge Distilling in April when the company was just getting off the ground. The months following have been busy ones for the distillery.

Since beginning production early this year, husband and wife team Ricci Hull and Natacha Krzesaj have been using their time beginning distribution, working on ideas for new products and learning more about their craft. After finding a new distributor, the team’s products are finally in select stores and bars in the Baton Rouge area and at events like Spirits of Louisiana at the Old State Capitol.

Hull and Krzesaj started the process of opening Baton Rouge Distilling in July 2014.

Hull said right now the distillery has one spirit—strawberry brandy—but plan on putting out new products in the near future. Hull and Krzesaj also plan on expanding production by getting a bigger still.

Hull said they plan on putting out a rye whiskey and possibly and chardonnay brandy.

Krzesaj and Hull have also been expanding their knowledge of spirit production, and they recently attended a distiller’s conference in the UK. Krzesaj said they learned a lot and meet fellow distillers and vendors from all over the world, even running into someone from New Orleans.

“We got to learn techniques on blending, proofing and products,” Krzesaj said. “We realized some things that we could be doing even better for next time. We definitely learned so much.”

With their new knowledge and experience, Hull and Krzesaj hope to make Baton Rouge Distilling even more successful by getting into more store and restaurants after expanding production.

Baton Rouge Distilling aims to put out creative products, and Hull said he’s glad that people seem to be receptive to what they’re doing. The idea of a strawberry brandy was met with a bit of apprehension, but product has been moving and Hull said the response has been good.

Krzesaj said that the apprehension had a lot to do with people’s expectations. She said having a clear brandy that has a fruit flavor catches people off guard, but once people are educated on how the product is made and how they can use it, they’re more receptive.

“That’s why events are so great,” Krzesaj said. “We do these tasting events, and it’s so nice to be able to meet with people. We can tell them how we make it, why it looks the way it does. We’d love to be able to do even more.”

Being Baton Rouge’s first official distillery, Baton Rouge Distilling shows no signs of slowing down. Hull and Krzesaj started the business out of love, and have learned a lot along the way.


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