We moved to Tarpon Springs in 2013 and fell in love with our unique Greek-American community. We decided to open a craft distillery to produce artisanal spirits, made traditionally, but accented with a Florida flair. On our premises we produce our spirits from scratch, with premium malted grains. Tarpon Springs Distillery is family-owned by Barry and Lisa Butler.
Tarpon Springs, known as the “Sponge Capitol of the World”, has the largest percentage of Greek-American residents anywhere in the United States. It also has a working waterfront, the Sponge Docks, that has maintained its historic character through the years. It is still home to sponging boats and a fishing fleet.
Stephen Katzaras came to Tarpon Springs at age 17 from Symi, Greece. He served his new country with honor, established the Stephen Katzaras Sponge Company and ran it for 6 decades, and lovingly gave back to the community that had given him a home.
BEHIND OUR BRANDS
The Gramling Wood® line of spirits was named after two family members: Barry’s father, Jack Gramling Butler (We couldn’t name them “Jack” for obvious reasons!), and grandmother Beatrice Wood Butler.
Papou’s Ouzo® was named after Stephen Katzaras (known as Papou or “grandfather” to his family and the community). He used to make ouzo for himself and friends behind a burlap curtain in the warehouse where our still, Amazing Grace, distills our craft ouzo today.
The Anclote® line of spirits was named for the Anclote River, home harbor to the sponging industry in Tarpon Springs. Anclote Conch Shell Rum was named for the first spongers, African Americans from Key West and the Bahamas. When they passed away their graves were marked with conch shells.
Claresso®, a unique spirit distilled from a grain mash with sugar and espresso, comes from the Spanish word "claro" which means clear, and espresso. Unlike all the other coffee spirits on the market, the flavor is distilled in, not infused!