Tours and Tastings
- What are your hours for tours and tastings?
We are open for tours on most Fridays and Saturdays. Our Friday hours are 5 – 9 PM and our Saturday hours are 2 – 7 PM. At this time, we do not have tours available during the week as we focus those days on manufacturing.
During our open hours, there are quick tours available for $10 and scheduled behind the scene tours for $15. Behind the Scene tours are bookable online. For more information, see our Tour descriptions.
- Why aren’t you open on Sundays? Holidays?
Distilleries in North Carolina are only allowed to be open for tours on those days and hours when our state ABC stores are open. ABC stores are closed Sundays and most holidays, so we must be as well.
We are also closed the entire weekends of July 4th, and Easter weekend.
- Can I buy a bottle without taking a tour?
Due to state law, we are allowed to sell five (5) bottles per person after a tour. If you have taken a tour with us before, you are allowed to purchase at any time and do not need to re-take a tour.
If you're looking for a faster option than our Behind-the-Scene tours, we recommend a quick tour. These do not require reservations so please stop in during open hours!
- I’m not interested in a tour, only a tasting. Is that possible?
We must have you take a Quick Tour or Behind the Scene Tour in order to taste our products. This is NC State law.
However, our Quick Tours are drop-in and do not require a reservation. These include a tasting flight of your choice of three (3) of our products.
- Can I buy a cocktail at your distillery?
Unfortunately, no. North Carolina state law prohibits distilleries from serving or selling cocktails. We do sell tonic and bitters at the distillery and have recipe cards available so we hope you will enjoy making cocktails at home!
- How many bottles can I buy at your distillery?
NC State law limits distilleries to selling five (5) bottle per person per year. So although we make eight products at Durham Distillery, we are limited to selling you five bottles total (not per type of product). We wish it were otherwise.
However, our products are sold in most ABC stores throughout the Triangle and in many other counties in North Carolina.
- Do you offer private tours for groups or companies?
Yes! We enjoy having groups in the distillery for private tours. Our private tours are usually bookable when the distillery is not open to the public. Please email us at email@example.com for more information on our private tours and booking options.
- Is the distillery pet-friendly?
While we love our four-legged friends and all of us are dog or cat owners here, it's just not possible for them to be in the distillery. During warm weekends, the garage door is usually open and we'll keep out a bowl of water outside near the benches for them!
- Do you have a gift shop?
Yes, we do! Stop by any time during our open hours to buy specialty cocktail items and gifts. We sell tonic, bitters, cocktail shakers, glasses, shirts, hats, mixing glasses and so much more!
- Why gin?
We LOVE gin and it’s our passion here.
- What is gin?
Gin is the original naturally flavored vodka. The only thing that makes a gin a gin (vs. a vodka) is the juniper berry. The balancing act of juniper in relation to other botanicals is where gin distillers play.
Most of us think about the gins that our grandparents enjoyed but the gin renaissance of the last few years have brought about a resurgence of the spirit. Gin is a staple in cocktails with estimates being that it is the foundation of 80%+ in classic cocktail recipes.
- Are Conniption American Dry and Conniption Navy Strength gins the same flavor, just different strength?
Not at all! These are two very different gins. Both gins have ~10 or so botanicals in each but they share only 3.
Conniption American Dry gin is a contemporary gin which means it is not Juniper forward (no licking pine trees!). It is our workhorse gin – fantastic in martinis, Tom Collins, gin flips, gin fizzes and even a Moscow Mule with gin instead of vodka.
The Conniption Navy Strength gin is the savory gin. It’s for those of you who love gin and want to enjoy classic cocktails such as the Negroni, Martinez, Gimlet and gin & tonics. A Navy Strength gin is a category of gin started for the British Navy and it must be 57% ABV or 114 proof to qualify. Conniption Navy Strength gin is a beautiful example of the versatility and botanical diversity of a Navy Strength gin.
- Is Durham Distillery a grain to glass distillery?
No. We do not ferment grain at Durham Distillery. Because we are focused on gin, cold distilled vodka and liqueurs, we leverage corn based ethanol. It is a clean base that we use for the re-distillation into Conniption gins. Most gins on the market today are re-distilled products which means that it is a multi-step distillation from grain to gin.
The art of gin is in the flavoring and transformation from base alcohol into gin. For us, we prefer corn based gins rather than wheat or other grains as corn based ethanol is flavorless. The botanicals now have a stage to shine from.
- What is the difference between the liqueurs made by Durham Distillery and others I can find in the store?
Our Damn Fine liqueurs are unique in that they are made with only natural ingredients. We do not use artificial ingredients or colors. Additionally, Damn Fine liqueurs are gluten free and do not contain high fructose corn syrup.
- Where do you source your chocolate, coffee and cream for the Damn Fine liqueurs?
We are proud to use fantastic local companies, Videri Chocolate and Slingshot Coffee in the Damn Fine liqueurs. The quality of their chocolate and cold brewed coffee, respectively, is phenomenal and we think transforming these ingredients into liqueurs highlights their art and craft.
The cream base for the chocolate and mocha liqueurs is sourced from a company in Wisconsin. The cream base has already been mixed with 12% corn based ethanol when it arrives at the distillery and is homogenized and pasteurized for safety.
- My bottle of Damn Fine Chocolate or Mocha liqueur will not pour.
This can happen! Because the Damn Fine Chocolate and Mocha liqueurs are only natural, the cocoa butter from the melted chocolate (we melt over 10 lbs of 70% Videri chocolate for each batch!) rises to the surface in the bottle. It forms a natural truffle.
To enjoy this treat, we recommend using a knife or a fondue fork to scoop it out. Then – just decide who gets to enjoy this. That’s the tough part! Might we suggest a coin flip?
- I got most of the truffle out but there are still some pieces. Is it bad?
Not at all! There is nothing to “go bad” in this product. It is shelf stable for a year once opened and does not need to be refrigerated. Most likely, part of the truffle just got pushed back in the bottle.