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Our Story

Boston Harbor Distillery was founded by Rhonda Kallman in 2012 to make whole-grain whiskey and other inventive spirits. She is considered one of America’s craft beverage industry thought leaders and as the pioneering woman in the beer industry, was able to lead the way for other women to earn the respect and credibility they deserve. After a decades-long career at the forefront of the U.S. craft beer movement, she founded Boston Harbor Distillery to produce her first love, whiskey in her beloved city of Boston. 

After searching for nearly two years for a suitable location, we found it at The Port on Boston Harbor on Boston’s southernmost waterfront in the Neponset section of Dorchester. Built in 1859 with Douglas Fir post and beam construction, 40 ft high ceilings and over 100 windows, today it is one of the last remaining mill buildings in the Boston area. Run down and neglected, it took over a year for Rhonda's husband, Matt Shanley of Beach Island Construction, to renovate and bring it to life. It’s now the proud home of the Boston Harbor Distillery.

We feel fortunate to follow in the footsteps of the entrepreneurs that preceded us in this historic building: Silas Putnam, whose inventions included automating the manufacture of the hot-forged horse nail and supplying them to both sides of the Civil War, to the George Lawley & Son Shipyard, builders of America’s Cup winning yachts and mine sweepers for WWII and lastly, Seymour’s Ice Cream factory, a local favorite. They’ve inspired us to carry on their legacy with our re-definition of American spirits.

Our first hire was Dr. James Swan (1941-2017), the world-renowned expert on whiskey production and maturation. He educated us on all the nuances associated with making great whiskey. Today, John Stark leads our distilling and blending program. John is committed to using only the best ingredients to produce the finest whiskey and spirits…No compromises and all heart.

Today we have hundreds of barrels of whiskey varieties aging in our bonded barrel storage warehouse, along with small batch gin, rum, decadent liqueurs and even distilled beer from Sam Adams. We invite you to come meet our passionate and knowledgeable team, taste our spirits and join us in celebrating the next revolution of handcrafted American spirits at the intersection of Boston’s history, craftsmanship and celebration!


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