LAKE TOWNSHIP – Patrons who enjoy Lynchwoods Spirits liquor are imbibing a secret family recipe that has its roots in bootlegging.
“It’s an acquired sport,” Paul Reiser joked about making moonshine.
Reiser and his wife Sue opened the distillery in late 2019 right next to their other business – Reiser Automotive and Collision Repair.
They have a son, Robbie, 18, and Reiser has been doing auto body work for nearly 40 years.
Mrs. Reiser has experience with vinyl vehicle wrapping, and she created the logo for the distillery.
Lynchwoods Spirits, 1905 Mercer Road, Lake Township, gets its name from that area, which is just outside of Jackson Center; it’s known as “Lynch Woods.”
The tasting room has a rustic vibe with shelving and counters that came from a nearby hemlock mill.
Everything is made on-site using copper stills that the Reisers built themselves. The copper gives corn liquor a smooth taste, Mrs. Reiser said.
They offer free tastings, though some visitors have a hard time deciding what to take home.
There are 39 flavors of moonshine like salted caramel, orange creamsicle, cinnamon roll, mango habanero, apple pie and black licorice.
Other offerings include whiskey, bourbon, frozen drinks, wine, and dill pickles in jars of 50-proof liquor.
Sitting on the counter of the tasting room was a large jug of 180-proof liquor, which Reiser said most people buy to make their own flavored drinks.
Chrissy Singer and her fiancé Joe Wood of Meadville tried the Purgatory bourbon, which is described as “barrel-aged corn whiskey with a lighter, sweeter finish.”
“It’s warm and fuzzy,” Singer said.
It was their first visit to the distillery, and they made sure to sign the large metal rooster placed in the middle of the tasting room.
“They’re from all over,” Reiser said of the signatures.
Mrs. Reiser poured a few adult slushies; the flavors of the week were cotton candy and blue raspberry.
“Everybody gets to be a kid this week,” Mrs. Reiser said, referring to the start of the Great Stoneboro Fair just a few miles up the road.
Rick Mills of Stoneboro stopped by to get a cotton candy drink for his wife. They love the selection at Lynchwoods Spirits, he said.
The Reisers go through a lot of trial and error with mixing different flavors, often using local ingredients and ideas inspired by customer requests.
Reiser’s favorite is cinnamon roll, and his wife likes the mango habanero. The Honey Sting whiskey is popular and is made with honey from Loves Me Some Honey Homestead in Polk.
They noted that they kept going strong through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lynchwoods Spirits continued to sell products through curbside pickup, and the Reisers made hand sanitizer and donated thousands of dollars worth to area businesses.
They can ship through Pennsylvania, and folks will soon be able to buy their liquor in Pennsylvania state stores.
Lynchwoods Spirits, 1905 Mercer Road, Jackson Center, is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Online: www.lynchwoodsspirits.com or “Lynchwoods Spirits” on Facebook.