A. Smith Bowman Distillery | History

THE ORIGINAL PIONEERS OF DISTILLING

In 1927, before establishing Virginia’s oldest distillery, A. Smith Bowman purchased the 7,200-acre Sunset Hills farm in Fairfax County with one objective—to open up a dairy and granary. Shortly after bringing the idea to life, his fields became so abundant that he needed a use for the excess grain. This one defining moment changed the entire course of the A. Smith Bowman legacy and ultimately led to the best whiskey in the world.

In 1934, A. Smith Bowman built a groundbreaking distillery on the farm land and turned it into a family-owned business. With the help of his two sons, he produced the first ever batch of Virginia Gentleman. Up until the 1950s, A. Smith Bowman Distillery was the sole producer of legal whiskey in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since then, the focus has shifted from our classic spirit to producing premium handcrafted small batches and experimental editions that embody innovation at its core.

Today, our historic family-owned distillery has relocated to Fredericksburg, yet still continues to balance our long-lived traditions, honoring one of Virginia’s great pioneers. Most recently in 2016 and 2017, A. Smith Bowman Distillery won the “World’s Best Bourbon” at the World Whiskies Awards — solidifying us as Virginia’s Most Award-Winning Distillery.

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | History

THE ORIGINAL PIONEERS OF DISTILLING

In 1927, before establishing Virginia’s oldest distillery, A. Smith Bowman purchased the 7,200-acre Sunset Hills farm in Fairfax County with one objective—to open up a dairy and granary. Shortly after bringing the idea to life, his fields became so abundant that he needed a use for the excess grain. This one defining moment changed the entire course of the A. Smith Bowman legacy and ultimately led to the best whiskey in the world.

In 1934, A. Smith Bowman built a groundbreaking distillery on the farm land and turned it into a family-owned business. With the help of his two sons, he produced the first ever batch of Virginia Gentleman. Up until the 1950s, A. Smith Bowman Distillery was the sole producer of legal whiskey in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since then, the focus has shifted from our classic spirit to producing premium handcrafted small batches and experimental editions that embody innovation at its core.

Today, our historic family-owned distillery has relocated to Fredericksburg, yet still continues to balance our long-lived traditions, honoring one of Virginia’s great pioneers. Most recently in 2016 and 2017, A. Smith Bowman Distillery won the “World’s Best Bourbon” at the World Whiskies Awards — solidifying us as Virginia’s Most Award-Winning Distillery.

OUR TIME HONORED PROCESS

  

At A. Smith Bowman Distillery, we know a thing or two about aging well. As the oldest distillery in Virginia, we’ve learned a lot about our craft, not only from our founding fathers but from experimentation and innovation. Along our journey, we’ve always paid attention to the tiniest details in every step of the process. From fermentation of our mash to filling up our stills, nicknamed “Mary” and “George”, which pay homage to the parents of the Bowman Brothers — we stay true to our time honored traditions. As a result, we have our award-winning pioneer spirits to showcase.

OUR TIME HONORED PROCESS

  

At A. Smith Bowman Distillery, we know a thing or two about aging well. As the oldest distillery in Virginia, we’ve learned a lot about our craft, not only from our founding fathers but from experimentation and innovation. Along our journey, we’ve always paid attention to the tiniest details in every step of the process. From fermentation of our mash to filling up our stills, nicknamed “Mary” and “George”, which pay homage to the parents of the Bowman Brothers — we stay true to our time honored traditions. As a result, we have our award-winning pioneer spirits to showcase.

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Fermentation
A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Distilling
A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Maturing
A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Bottling
Meet Master Distiller Brian Prewitt | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

MEET OUR MASTER DISTILLER

Brian Prewitt | His Innovative Spirit Led to Ours

Brian Prewitt’s interest in the beverage industry was peaked when he landed a job at a brewery while attending Colorado State University obtaining his bachelor’s degree in food science.

Upon graduation, Prewitt further honed his interest for brewing and distilling by completing the Master Brewers Program at University of California, Davis. From there, he joined The Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colo., eventually becoming its brewer.

When Prewitt saw an opportunity to try his hand at distilling spirits instead of beer, he jumped at the chance to join E&J Distilleries in Modesto, Calif. and was eventually named Senior Distiller. It was at E&J that Prewitt was able to train under two Master Distillers with a combined experience of more than 70 years in the art of distillation, learning about raw material selection, fermentation, distillation, and maturation.

Brian was named Master Distiller at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery in 2013, and he is excited to carry on the Bowman family tradition of award-winning products while introducing some new offerings as well.

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David Brock | A. Smith Bowman Distiller

MEET OUR DISTILLER

David Bock | An Expert Blend of Experience and Experimentation

David Bock has combined his love of whiskey and operational skills to lead the A. Smith Bowman Distillery team, producing some of Virginia’s finest spirits enjoyed around the world.

David honed his distilling and operational experience at the Sazerac House, where he started the distilling program from the ground up, including sourcing raw material, training distillation techniques to new team members, and starting up new bottling lines.

In his role at A. Smith Bowman, David continues the tradition of distilling fine bourbons such as John J. Bowman, Bowman Brothers, and other spirits at Virginia’s oldest and most award-winning distillery, while leaning into his creative side by crafting unique mash bills, barrel finishes, and other surprises through A. Smith Bowman’s experimental series.

Prior to joining the Sazerac Company, David was the Head Distiller at NOLA Distilling, where he was one of the three founding members, and also worked as a distiller for Celebration Distillation in New Orleans. David is looking forward to producing more award-winning spirits at A. Smith Bowman Distillery.

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OUR TEAM

  

At A. Smith Bowman Distillery, we’re one big family. As you can see, there’s a plethora of folks who keep our process flowing as smooth as our spirits. We all come from different walks of life, but share a passion for excellence — both in and out of our facility. Meet our amazing team below and click the pictures to learn more about the folks helping to make us Virginia’s most award-winning distillery.

Debbie Stevens | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

DEBBIE STEVENS

Gift Shop & Operations Coordinator

Elizabeth Brummet

ELIZABETH BRUMMETT

Operations Supervisor

Michelle Begin | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

MICHELLE BEGIN

Distillery Events Associate

Jimmy Booker | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

JIMMY BOOKER

Machine Operator

Justin Davidson | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

JUSTIN DAVIDSON

Machine Operator

Neil Clark | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

NEIL CLARK

Machine Operator

Tom Cook

TOM COOK

Machine Operator

David Bock

DAVID BOCK

Distiller

Austin Early Quest

AUSTIN EARLEY-QUAST

Laborer

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Staff | Everton Biggs

EVERTON BIGGS

Laborer

Art Franzen | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

ART FRANZEN

Tour Guide

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Micah Golmant

MICAH GOLMANT

Tour Guide

David Sweet | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

DAVID SWEET

Tour Guide

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Carrie Browning

CARRIE BROWNING

Tour Guide

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Sara Palmer

SARA PALMER

Tour Guide

Kristen Brumbelow

KRISTEN BRUMBELOW

Tour Guide

Andrea Bates | A. Smith Bowman Distillery

ANDREA BATES

Tour Guide

Allison Schwartz - ASB Headshot

ALLISON SCHWARTZ

Tour Guide

SHERRY HARRISS

Tour Guide

Chantay Richardson

CHANTAY RICHARDSON

Compliance Clerk

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Kate Patel

KATE PATEL

Human Resources Manager, Mid-Atlantic

DAILY HOURS
Monday-Saturday:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday:
12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

TOURS AVAILABLE HOURLY

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COMPLIMENTARY TOURS
Monday-Saturday:
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday:
12 p.m. – 4 p.m.