In 2014, a war zone political advisor and a rocket scientist teamed up to create a Virginia distillery dedicated to reviving classic, forgotten, slandered, and forbidden spirits. Marc Chretien spent seven years advising top military brass in Iraq and Afghanistan. He decided that it was time to pursue a more pastoral occupation. Peter Ahlf worked at NASA Headquarters, furthering human exploration of space on the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs. He thought it would be fun to make a different kind of rocket fuel.
With this goal in mind, and a lease on an old service station in historic Middleburg Virginia in hand, Marc and Peter set out to revive a number of classic spirits: rum, which was once the dominant spirit consumed in the colonies, but has lately been confined to frothy poolside concoctions; absinthe, once the drink of poets, writers and bon vivants in Belle Epoch Paris, but was banned from production for 80 years; cassis liqueur, widely consumed in Europe, but limited in the U.S. due to a ban on commercial cultivation of black currants; and sweet vermouth, that bottle at the back of your grandparents liquor cabinet, that is now commanding renewed respect with the revival of a quality cocktail culture in our country.
Mount Defiance brings the best of craft distilling to the process of making these spirits and more, with attention to quality ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible. They are proud to serve their products and welcome you to stop by to try them. Tastings of their ciders are always available! Their two stores — the Cider Barn and the Distillery — are both located in historic Middleburg, Virginia.