Plans for the first distillery in the state of NH since prohibition were underway long before the first batch of product was ever made. As early as 2000 Frank Reinhold was laying the groundwork that would allow Flag Hill to expand into the art of distilling.
Leading up to 2004, Frank and Graham began honing their distillation skills as part of the process of making our North River Port. During these same years, Frank began the groundwork for the legal ability to manufacture spirits in the state of NH. His work with the NH state legislature as well as the support and guidance from the NH Liquor Commission was key in establishing laws, administrative rules and guidelines that would allow his vision to become a legal entity in the state of NH. At the same time the documents and permits necessary from the federal government were being obtained meetings with architectural designers, contractors, energy engineers and artisan distillery manufacturers were underway.
Throughout the entire process a secondary, yet related project was underfoot: the establishment of the Flag Hill Conservation Easement. This was a long time dream of Frank and his father’s that would protect the land against future housing or commercial development. Through the Land and Community Heritage Program (LCHIP) and with the partnership of the Lamprey River Advisory Committee and the Southeast Land Trust of NH, 114 acres of Flag Hill property was secured in 2004 for the beauty of all to enjoy forever. The investment for most of the equipment associated with the creation of Flag Hill Distillery was obtained from the sale of the property rights purchased through the LCHIP program that would create the Flag Hill Easement and protect the land.
In January of 2004 Flag Hill purchased a handcrafted still from Christian Carl Inc. By September of 2004 the new addition, including radiant heat floors and a solar thermal roof, was ready to house the still arriving from Germany. Flag Hill staff were personally taught and trained by the Christian Carl brothers about the process and nuances of the new equipment. After quality control batches were run and tested a final product was established and bottled in Ocotber of 2004. General John Stark Vodka entered the NH market in December of 2004. It was an immediate success and achieved a sales record in the NH books as the fastest new spirits product to achieve full distribution listing. The story of our distillery is still in the making as we look to increase the distribution of our spirits and liqueurs as well as look towards the future at other viable products.
Our history continues with the building of a brand new greenhouse in 2012. More to come on this endeavor when we harvest our first tomatoes, squashes, peppers and more.
We invite you to stop by our tasting room and gift shop, Wed-Sun 11am-5pm to take a taste of NH and learn more about grape growing, wine making and the craft of distilled spirits..