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Bellefonte’s Big Spring Spirits Fashions Local Gift Basket For Luke Combs

A few days before Beaver Stadium transformed into the home of country music for the night, Luke Combs’ management team got to know Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, with the help of distillery Big Spring Spirits.

The distillery, located in the former Pennsylvania Match Company factory in Bellefonte’s Talleyrand Park, got a call from Combs’ team, which was seeking to create a local gift basket for the country artist and his family ahead of playing his largest venue to date.

The concert, which sold over 80,000 tickets, broke the stadium’s concert crowd record and Combs’ personal venue capacity.

“[We’re] so thankful to be able to step out here every night in front of you guys,” Combs said Saturday. “We never take it for granted. I just thought y’all would like to know, this is the biggest show I’ve ever played in my whole life. This is something that I’ll never forget.”

Because of the magnitude of the show, Combs’ management team turned to Big Spring Spirits to help commemorate the concert. Big Spring Spirits Tasting Room Manager Lucy Rogers compiled a diverse but local peek of its offerings, specifically curated to Combs, and his team alluded to etching one of the bottles to remember the “Hurricane” singer’s special performance.

Combs, a bourbon drinker, was gifted a bottle of Big Spring Spirits’ American whiskey, wheat whiskey, rye whiskey, Talleyrand Cream Bourbon, and an assortment of local swag from Happy Valley staples like Cafe Lemont and Grandville Hollow Pottery.

Each selection to the basket was an intentional tie to Pennsylvania or Combs.

The wheat whiskey is unique to Big Spring Spirits and within Pennsylvania because of its 100% wheat composition, the rye whiskey was a call to Pennsylvania’s role in the Whiskey Rebellion and the grain that essentially began the whiskey business in the state, and the American whiskey and Talleyrand Cream Bourbon were nods to Combs’ taste and flavors special to Big Spring Spirits.

“Our Talleyrand Cream Bourbon is probably our biggest seller. It’s a real crowd-pleaser. It’s a lot like Bailey’s, but it’s much softer, much smoother, and a little bit more chocolatey than Bailey’s with some toffee notes, so I wanted him to have that, knowing [Combs] is a whiskey drinker,” Rogers said.

Since Big Spring Spirits’ inception in 2014, the distillery has expanded from just vodka production to 15 total spirits including gin, rum, aged whiskies, and more.

Nearing its 10th anniversary in July, the mission of Big Spring Spirits remains the same: create a quality product by way of Bellefonte water. Bellefonte’s Big Spring in Talleyrand Park is the distillery’s water source and namesake and has been repeatedly named the “Best Tasting Water” in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association.

Its high-proof alcohols require first-rate water to bring the proof down, and low-quality water undermines the Big Spring Spirit standard, so Bellefonte’s Big Spring provided the perfect starting point.

Now, it has 15 spirits, over 50 cocktails on its menu, 12 ready-to-drink packaged cocktails, and a small food menu facilitated by Belle City Bites.

Additionally, Big Spring Spirits launched its first tequila in March, though the production requires a few more steps and collaborators than any of its other spirits.

Courtesy of Big Spring Spirits

To market and sell a spirit as tequila, the drink’s blue agave must be distilled in Jalisco, Mexico, to be considered tequila, so Big Spring Spirits partnered with a distillery in Jalisco that distills the product and sends it to Pennsylvania to blend with Big Spring water in Bellefonte.

“Technically, it’s Pennsylvania tequila because it’s made into tequila in Pennsylvania, so we can call it tequila, but it’s also a true tequila because it really does come from Jalisco,” Rogers said.

The fused product is unique to Pennsylvania, and Big Spring Spirits offers a tequila seda blanco and reposado variation along with its classic slate of spirits.

Big Spring Spirits’ role in Combs’ big day and the borough of Bellefonte continue to uplift it as a major player in the Pennsylvania booze market as it has only grown after 10 years. Folks can head to the former match factory overlooking Talleyrand Park daily for bottle sales or for cocktail and food service from Tuesday through Sunday. The distillery’s full hours and website can be found here.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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