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Strivers’ Row, Philly’s First Latino-Owned Distillery, Is Making Small-Batch Whiskey in Kensington

The distillery will sell a weekly run of spiced whiskey inspired by owner Francisco Garcia’s Dominican heritage

two bottles of whiskey, one aged and one clear, on a table with a lamp and chair in the background Strivers’ Row Distillery

Philly has long been a city of makers and craftspeople, and Kensington in particular has seen an uptick in craft brewers, distillers, winemakers, and cheesemakers coming to the area. This week, Strivers’ Row Distillery — the so-called “smallest commercial distillery in America” — will join businesses like Perrystead Dairy, Mural City Cellars, Fermentery Form, and Punch Buggy Brewing — in bringing another craft product to the neighborhood: small-batch whiskey.

Strivers’ Row was founded by Francisco Garcia, a former civic employee for the city of Philadelphia and staffer for the Biden-Harris campaign, after he read a book on urban moonshining. The space in which Garcia operates is only 200 square feet, thus the smallest distillery in America distinction. But Garcia’s Strivers’ Row is also the first Latino-owned whiskey distillery in Philadelphia, with two whiskey variations inspired by Garcia’s Dominican heritage.

The first is an unaged corn whiskey and the second is a Papa Juan, a spiced single malt inspired by the traditional Dominican drink Mamajuana. Mamajuana is typically made by infusing rum and wine with bark and spices, while Francisco’s Papa Juan is made by infusing Strivers’ unaged single malt whiskey with a family recipe of spices and all-natural barks. The whiskeys are made with mashes of Pennsylvania-grown non-GMO corn and malted barley.

The two bottles are available to preorder starting today, April 29 at for pickup on Fridays and Saturdays, and will continue to be released every week on Thursdays for preorder on Strivers’ Row’s website.

Perrystead Dairy

1639 Hancock Street, Unit 103, Philadelphia, PA 19122 Visit Website

Mural City Cellars

2146 East Susquehanna Avenue, , PA 19125 (215) 240-1318 Visit Website