Founding Spirits WINS Gold & Bronze

Founding Spirits received two major international distilling awards at the American Distilling Institute’s 2018 Craft Spirits Conference: a GOLD medal for our Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro and a BRONZE medal for our Founding Spirits Vodka.

To our restaurant guests, our spirits have a become well-known and beloved by many on our drinks menu. Our craft vodka is a favorite in our What About Bob? and Cucumber Delight. Our amaro brings its “never bitter” interest to the Amaro Sour and Buck’s Classic, just to name two. We are all thrilled to be recognized beyond our walls for how we have taken our company’s scratch-made mission and craft cocktail wizardry into distilling some very tasty and apparently award-winning spirits. We think this is a pretty big deal for our barely-a-year-old distillery.

Known as The Voice of Craft Distilling, every year the American Distilling Institute (ADI) hosts a Judging of Craft Spirits, which includes U.S. and international entries in a range of categories. In addition to being named ADI’s Best of 2018 in the Certified Craft Blended Spirit category, our Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro won GOLD in the Certified Craft Blended Spirit category for an herbal/botanical/spice liqueur; and our Founding Spirits Vodka won BRONZE in the Certified Distilled Spirit category for vodka.

Our Founding Spirits team was excited to venture west to Portland, OR to receive these prestigious awards. They had the opportunity to meet and share distilling tales with craft distillers from across the globe. This included a lot of discussions about the latest and greatest in distilling, and of course, a bit of sipping and sampling too.

The American Distilling Institute is dedicated to running rigorous and professional spirit judging that strives to promote craft distillers and blenders that are producing the finest quality, artisan spirits and to give participating producers valuable, unbiased, third-party feedback on the quality and process of their spirits. Their annual judging program accepts entries in all classes and categories of craft spirits from small, independently owned distillers, blenders, bitters makers, and producers of aperitif and fortified wines. U.S. and international entries are tasted blind and evaluated by expert panels of judges made up of distillers, journalists, bar owners, bartenders, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers. All spirits entered receive written tasting notes and are considered for awards both for the spirit itself and the packaging.

Holidays Around the Farmers Table

This Year, Gather Around Our Table for the Holidays.

With the leaves beginning to turn and air getting brisk, we’re excited to feel the holiday season almost upon us.

Each year our Farmers Restaurant Group teams — at Founding Farmers DC, MoCo’s Founding Farmers, Founding Farmers TysonsFounding Farmers King of Prussia, Farmers & Distillers, and Farmers Fishers Bakers — look forward to the holiday season and opening up our doors to our guests with excellent food and drink, and a warm, festive atmosphere to enjoy their holiday gatherings. Even during the holidays. Perhaps you don’t celebrate. Or perhaps you just need a break from the revelry, come on over to any of our restaurants. We are open every day throughout the holiday season.

Special Holiday Hours:

Thanksgiving. Thursday, November 23rd: 11am-8pm; Founding Farmers DC & MoCo only; 12pm-8pm, all other locations.

Black Friday. Friday, November 24th: Brunch 7am-2pm, Founding Farmers DC & MoCo only; 8am-2pm, all other locations; except Founding Farmers King of Prussia, Brunch 9am-2pm. Regular dinner hours to follow.

Hanukkah. Tuesday, December 12th – Wednesday, December 20th. Open regular hours, all locations.

Christmas Eve. Sunday, December 24th: Brunch 9am-2pm, all locations. Regular dinner hours to follow.

Christmas Day. Monday, December 25th: 11am-8pm, Founding Farmers DC & MoCo only; 12pm-8pm, all other locations.

New Years Eve. Sunday, December 31st: Brunch 9am-2pm, all locations. Regular dinner hours to follow.

New Years Day. Monday, January 1st: Brunch 7am-2pm, Founding Farmers DC & MoCo only; 9am-2pm, all other locations. Regular dinner hours to follow.

Reserve your table today, at any one of our restaurants.

Or, bring Founding Farmers home to your own table with our popular To Go menus. MoCo’s Founding Farmers offered our delicous Thanksgiving To Go service and we’re happy to now offer our Christmas To Go menu, if you prefer enjoying your holiday dinner with family and friends in the comfort of your own home!

 

 

Saying “No” to Plastic Water Bottles Since Day One

Across all of our restaurants – Founding FarmersFarmers Fishers Bakers, and Farmers & Distillers – we say “no” to plastic water bottles. And we’ve been saying no since we first opened our doors back in 2008.  

At Farmers Restaurant Groupeverything matters, including how we serve our water. We have made a commitment to provide all of our guests unlimited, free filtered water, sparkling or still. Just last year alone, across all of our restaurants, we filtered about 400,000 gallons of water, the equivalent of more than three million 16-ounce bottles.  

Why do we do this?  

Watch this video with Co-Owner Dan Simons to learn more about why we don’t buy or sell bottled water. And join us in yet another one of our sustainably-minded practices to do more good and less harm… for the environment, and for your wallet.

Do Your Waggle Dance. It’s Honey Bee Day. 

Every year at Farmers & Distillers we celebrate Honey Bee Day, a worldwide holiday started by a group of beekeepers in 2009 to build awareness of the importance of honey bees for the future of the planet and everyone in it.  

Honey bees have been around for millions of years. Not only are they the only insect that produces food for humans – delicious honey – they are also vital pollinators. Honey bees travel to approximately 50-100 flowers during one collection trip, happily pollinating them as they go. This work is necessary to maintain the biodiversity of our food. Without honey bees, we wouldn’t have the variety of food we all know and love. 

At Farmers Restaurant Group, we are always looking for new ways to protect our bees, our food sources, and our planet. This includes supporting research on honey bees at our urban apiary at George Washington University.  And supporting education efforts, such as our partnership with Sweet Virginia, which works to inspire and educate children about honey bees.  

We also love learning about these amazing insects. Did you know that honey bees communicate with each other by dancing? They actually have several different dances. For example, when a worker bee returns to the hive, she (worker bees are all female) dances to tell the other members of the hive she has discovered a food source, and she has another dance to tell where it is. The honey bee dances are called the honey bee waggle.  

This year, to celebrate Honey Bee Day, let’s all do something to honor the magic of the honey bee. Whether that means we buzz around to learn more information about how these amazing insects protect the earth. Or do the honey bee waggle to tell other members of our hives about how the pollination work of bees is essential to our robust food sources. Or support the efforts of other honey bee wagglers, such as groups like Sweet Virginia.  

And, of course, waggle dance yourself on over to one of our restaurants to learn more about what we are doing to support honey bees, and taste some of the delicious fruits of their labor in our food and in our drinks. We have a new honey source we are pretty excited about, Bubba’s Sweet Nectar, and it’s finger-licking, waggle-inspiring good.

With a Name Like Bubba’s Sweet Nectar, They Had Us at Hello

When we first learned about Bubba’s Sweet Nectar and the story behind their honey, we were all individually saying, “show me the honey.” Obviously we are excited about our recent partnership with this central Virginia-based honey company started by two friends who call each other “Bubba.” 

The Bubba crew wowed us with their honey, and we are happy to say we are now using Bubba’s Sweet Nectar in our food and drink. Their clover honey can be found in everything from our Founding Farmers house favorite, Skillet Cornbread, to our Honey Thyme Roasted Spatchcock Chicken to the whipped honey butter we serve with our biscuits to the multigrain bread we bake every day. Clover honey is also used in some of our dressings, sauces, and many of our scratch-made cocktails. For example, clover honey is a crucial ingredient to the tasty Farmers & Distillers Clementine Cooler, which uses Founding Spirits Vodka infused with clementine, Founding Spirits clementine bitters, lime, honey, and maraschino. Even some of our proprietary spirits use honey. We are currently using Bubba’s wildflower honey to sweeten our Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro.

Bubba’s Sweet Nectar is 100% pure, raw honey that is not pasteurized, not ultra-filtrated, and doesn’t contain additives or artificial preservatives. They have two varieties: Clover is traditionally the honey most people use and has a light, mild flavor. Sweet clover plants come in a variety of types, are the highest nectar producing plants, and are the most important plants for honey production. Wildflower is a mixed floral honey derived from a wide range of flowers. It is usually a bit richer and tangier than clover honey, depending on the mix of seasonal wildflowers. 

The honey masters at Bubba’s Sweet Nectar are also devoted to the future of honey bees, and our planet, which aligns well with everyone across Farmers Restaurant Group. We are all big fans of honey and the hardworking producers of honey, honey bees. Our urban apiary at George Washington University is one of our most beloved partnerships. We are delighted to expand our hive and bring our guests Bubba’s Sweet Nectar. We hope you will join us in the honey love. 

A Magic Giant Night: Farmers & Distillers Joins Citi Open Kick Off

Last Thursday night, July 27th, Farmers & Distillers joined the Citi Open kick off party at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown DC. The annual tennis tournament opened this year with a celebratory event featuring national recording artist, Magic Giant, recently named as one of the “10 Artists to Know” by Rolling Stone magazine.

Our Chef Jenny Lynch and team members Na Lee and Amy Robinson greeted guests and served Farmers & Distillers menu favorite, Crunchy Ahi Tuna Bites. It was a fun and festive evening. Chef Jenny even got to play groupie with two of the Magic Giant men themselves.

Farmers & Distillers joined other local restaurants, working in partnership with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, to launch the historic DC tournament.

Since 1969, the Citi Open, formerly known as the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, has been part of summertime in DC. This year, tennis balls will be flying at the Rock Creek Tennis Center through August 6th. Proceeds from the Citi Open benefit the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which works to improve the lives of DC area youth, particularly those from lower-income communities, through educational and community-based activities including tennis.

Everything Matters

At Farmers Restaurant Group, every day we are working to build and run green, sustainable restaurants.

As a farmer-owned company, we care about the future of the planet, and we recognize the importance of preserving the land for future generations. This work has always been a priority in all of our restaurants, Founding FarmersFarmers Fishers Bakers, and our latest Farmers & Distillers, as well as our distillery, Founding Spirits. We know living sustainably is also a priority for many of our guests.

For us, whether it is our filtered drinking water, our composting programs, our LEED certifications, or paying close attention to the source of our food, we are always working to do more good and less harm. And still serve our delicious scratch-made food and drink.

As Co-Owner Dan Simons says in the accompanying video, “everything matters.”

From Farmers to Furniture Makers, Family Matters

At Farmers Restaurant Group, we are proud of our American heritage and the generations of workers that continue to provide the backbone of our country. From our owners, who are family farmers, to the people who help us create our restaurants, we do our best to honor and support hard-working American families however we can.

At Founding Farmers Tysons, Fishers Farmers Bakers, and Farmers & Distillers we partnered with Beachley Furniture in Hagerstown, MD to custom build some of our furniture. Beginning with professional architectural designs, and even working with some sketches on the back of a napkin, their expert craftsmen were able to cultivate our ideas into reality. Each piece combines comfort, style, and durability into unique and unconventional designs.

Beachley has been in the furniture making business since 1887, that is four generations of dedication to their craft. As you will see in the video below, they are adept at working closely with their clients to design and build custom furniture and millwork. We love the work they do and hope to be able to collaborate with them again in the future.

A Sneak Peek at Farmers & Distillers Cocktail Menu

One sip of the Suffering Candidate and our guests can easily learn what the highly anticipated Farmers & Distillers cocktail menu is all about. Featuring two of our Farm to Still® proprietary spirits, the Suffering Candidate elevates the beautiful, smoky flavors of our Founding Farmers Rye Whisky mingled with the refreshing, botanical notes of our Founding Farmers Gin. This third generation play on the Suffering Bastard (check out the Suffering Georgetowner at our sister restaurant, Farmers Fishers Bakers) highlights how our ingenious Beverage Director, Jon Arroyo, offers a nod to the rich history of cocktails while maintaining the true character of our Farm to Still spirits in a fun, relevant way.

What’s the next big thing if you ask Jon? “Large format, communal cocktails.” The Suffering Candidate is served communal-style (four guests or more), sparking curiosity and inspiring conversation. Sharing food and drink around a table is rapidly becoming one of Farmers Restaurant Group’s most revered traditions.

Jon and his team have created the whole menu in this imaginative, whimsical manner as an approachable introduction to our spirits. The menu is organized by our proprietary spirits, offering guests three options: Stirred, Sour, or Whimsy. At Farmers & Distillers, you can find evolved iterations of classic cocktails and forward-thinking originals.

Our wine list features our propriety wines and for the first time in the history of our restaurant collection, we will be offering the Director’s List, a carefully curated bottle-only list, including a special home for Champagne. Our beer offerings will be a constantly evolving list of delicious drafts, local to the DMV area and a larger domestic only, beer bottle collection.

Learn more and keep up to date on the goings on at Farmers & Distillers by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Huffington Post Explores What It Means To Be “Farmer-owned”

For years, almost everyone who has stepped into one of our restaurants has fallen in love with something on the menu, whether it’s the Chicken & Waffles, the awesome square doughnuts, or one of our tasty cocktails with scratch-made mixers and proprietary spirits.

What Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG) – the team behind Founding Farmers, Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Farmers & Distillers – is also trying to offer its customers is an education on what it takes to make such good food and drink, and how they can participate in changing industry standards.

A critical element to our farmer-owned restaurants is our partnership with North Dakota Farmers Union. We are working to find ways for family farmers to participate in a larger share of the food dollar and increase overall demand for family-farmed products. Through our restaurants and outreach efforts, we are also trying to educate customers on the importance of family farming for the future.

AJ Agrawal with The Huffington Post sat down with Dan Simons, to discuss what it means to be farmer-owned, and what FRG is doing to change industry standards and upgrade customer expectations about what makes a delicious, wholesome meal.

“American family farmers live on their land and eat what they grow and raise, so they inherently care about the quality of food and the long term impact it has on their land and their farming methods,” says Simons. “We’re increasing demand for product from producers who are individuals instead of public corporations. The farmers love knowing what we do with the food and because they’re investors in the restaurants, they know exactly what’s going on at all times, and they share in the profits.”

And as for growth plans? Well, the future is definitely bright thanks to the ongoing success and overall mission of our team. “Our goal is not to be a rapidly growing restaurant chain, nor to be a huge company,” says Simons. “We hope to grow at a sensible pace, nurturing the talent needed to run this level of complex, from-scratch, restaurant.”

With the exciting opening of Farmers & Distillers, FRG will continue to have a lot of tasty fare and food wisdom to share, and even more opportunities to pave the way for others within the industry.

Read the rest of Dan Simons interview with The Huffington Post here.