FEW Distillery Looks to Change the Game

There’s something odd about FEW.

It’s not the packaging, with its turn-of-the-19th-century vibe. It’s not its spirit offerings. After all, there’s nothing particularly new and/or edgy about gin, bourbon, rye, et al. It’s not even the price (with their gin around $40 up to their eyebrow-raising $60 rye offering), which could easily cause the casual drinker to keep reaching past that bottle of FEW Spirits for their McCormick vodkaginwhiskey.

No, what makes FEW odd is it’s sheer, utter impressive ballsiness. From start to finish, each of the offerings that FEW has put out into the market are unlike any other spirit that’s crossed your palate. And that’s just how founder/distillery Paul Hletko likes it.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

“We’re obviously not the cheapest,” Paul told us. “But, we truly are small batch, so that means we have to create something that people will pay that extra dollar for. It’s not a particularly good business sense to go in and say ‘Here, this tastes exactly like Maker’s Mark but it’s $15 more expensive!’”

FEW seems to have embraced that uniqueness, and it looks like they’re forging their own path in a world of mountebank distillers scrambling for the claim of “small batch” and “craft” distilling.

Not that Paul and his team set out to throw shade on the giants of the liquor world. Paul just likes to think that if you’re going to say that you’re small batch, you should probably take the challenges with the benefits of one of cocktail culture’s hottest trends.

“I could easily be cutting by per-bottle costs by 95 percent if we decided to switch over purchasing our neutral grain spirits,” he said. “But then we wouldn’t be holding true to our beliefs that we’re a small batch distillery.”

It’s a dedication that has taken Paul and his staff of 13 to some pretty impressive feats. From concept to current distribution, FEW has been making waves for about four years now.


Tasting your way through the full FEW stable, it’s increasingly clear why the brand has been able to attract some of the best and brightest in the cocktail world. See our reviews each of the offerings to see why we think FEW may be one of the best distilleries out there now.

For Paul and his crew, more than anything it’s a way to do something that matters while having fun.

“Think about that,” he said. “We’re getting paid to make whisky. How cool is that? I mean, sure, it’s not always a lot that we’re getting paid!”

Check back throughout this week as we feature FEW Spirits throughout the next week, and even mix it up with them.

For more information about FEW, visit their website at www.fewspirits.com

Mark Vierthaler is the founder and Editor of Cocktails, 365. His work appeared in The Tasting Panel Magazine, Savvy Host, Liquor.com, and countless other websites and blogs. He is Bar Smarts certified, and works with bars and restaurants in cocktail creation and pairing. To contact him, e-mail cocktails365@markvierthaler.com

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