October 6, 2022

Business Distilling Success in Milford

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By MATT McDONALD, The Delaware State News

MILFORD, Del. (AP) — Stacey Fibelkorn promised the tasting room of Feebs Distilling would fill up soon after open time and sure enough, at 5 p.m., someone walked through the tasting room door.

It’s a small but inviting room, with all-wood furnishings. Its walls are covered in posters of Wild West outlaws like Jesse James and tributes to moonshine. Within 20 minutes, the room was bustling with nine people placing orders for cocktails or purchasing bottles of brandy or whiskey — a testament to how popular the business has become since opening in December 2019.

“We’re very proud of how far we’ve come, especially in so little time,” said Ms. Fibelkorn, who, with her husband Eric, owns and operates the distillery.

But at nine people, the small room was cozy. One customer gave up his seat at the bar as another arrived, a commonly needed courtesy.

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While it’s a good problem to have, the Fibelkorns are looking to solve it. They have an application to build an outdoor seating area before the City of Milford. If approved, there will be plenty of space for customers to bring their drinks outside while the indoor space will continue to be used for tasting.

Feebs Distilling — the name comes from Fibelkorn — came to be partially out of necessity. Ms. Fibelkorn said her husband would get heartburn from whiskey, so he decided to make his own in his garage. Mr. Fibelkorn said his wife knew nothing about it until one Friday she called him and asked what they were doing that night.

He responded: “Well, I’m making moonshine.”

“I responded back like, ‘Should I bring soda?’ Like, every Friday that was my thing … I would bring (a) fresh two liter of soda,” Ms. Fibelkorn said.

The Fibelkorns source ingredients from local growers whenever possible. The cocktails in particular have been a huge hit, coming in varieties such as apple pie and “hillbilly lemonade.” The Fibelkorns hadn’t planned on selling them from the beginning; they would simply make the drinks for themselves and post them on Facebook. Then customers began clamoring for them.

Now the Fibelkorns are on their third set of slushy machines. Each cocktail is set to just the right temperature to account for the different sugar content of each drink so it doesn’t freeze. The cocktails were recently voted the best downstate by readers of Delaware Today.

On Sept. 4, the distillery will host its second “Feebsfest” of the year, featuring a DJ, live music from bands and food trucks. The previous one was a “huge success,” Mr. Fibelkorn said in a previous interview over the phone. “We knocked it right out of the park.”

“We are the little distillery that could,” Ms. Fibelkorn said.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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