Hidden Gems: Dark Door Spirits, a massive distillery where you can blend your own bourbon

Assortment of different gins and whiskey bottles on a bar table

Dark Door Spirits is a distillery in Tampa that creates gin, vodka, and pure bourbon whiskey — and the venue located at 6608 Anderson Road hosts distillery tours, bottle your own bourbon/gin classes, and local vendor markets.

Dark Door Spirits might be one of the best kept secrets in the city of Tampa. For the past several years, this distillery has upped the city of Tampa’s profile as a hot spot for spirit aficionados. Visitors can enjoy tours of the distillery (just $15) with distillery guide Christina.

A tour guide stands at the front of a distillery

More than just a distillery, Dark Door is also an adaptive, spacious events venue. The distillery has hosted cult cinema screenings, art markets, cocktail classes, and private parties.

On Sunday, March 28, Dark Door Spirits will host a “Dark Market” from 4-8pm (both people and pups are welcome at the event). Essential Pizza will be on hand providing food, and a the Big Red Bus will be in attendance for anyone looking to make a blood donation.  If you donate blood, you will receive 10% off the Dark Door Gift shop plus a t-shirt and gift card from One Blood. Follow Dark Door Spirits on Instagram for frequent events updates. You can also view the full events calendar on Dark Door’s website.

Other exciting events include an “Eating Our Cocktails” class on March 25. Learn from Dark Door’s very own cocktail master, Shane, how to create three unique, beautiful, and delicious handcrafted cocktails showcasing Dark Door Spirits on Thursdays at 6 PM. The class includes a charcuterie box and a premium tour of the distillery and gift shop. 

On April 10 you can participate in a Bottle Your Own Whiskey event! Taste through a number of unique barrels, then pick a favorite or create your own custom blend! Together, you and the Dark Door experts will then bottle, label, and cork a special large format 1 Liter bottle you will get to take home that day. This unique experience will include a tour of the distillery.

On April 15, Dark Door hosts a Blend Your Own Gin experience. With over ten botanicals to choose from, you can create your own custom Gin blend. Together, we will then bottle, label, and cork a special large format 1 Liter bottle you will get to take home that day! This unique experience also includes a tour of the distillery.

Pro tip: enjoy a pandemic at the disco cocktail ahead of your tour.

Dark Door co-founders Matthew Allen and Brandon Marshall started the Cerberus Craft Distillery with the Dark Door Spirits Brand and one simple goal in mind: to create a damn good product. Marshall and Allen realized they had authentic ideas, and the ability, conviction and means to make those ideas a reality. 

The Spirit of IPA was the distillery’s first spirit to hit the market in the summer of 2016. The pair soon found their niche, which was and is creating unexpectedly delicious spirits for those who desire something outside the industry norms. 

Here are a few standout bottles that Dark Door puts out:

Spirit of Prohibition: First, you experience the lavender as an aroma. Next, a fresh cirtus taste follows. Botanicals soak in the gin for two weeks creating an inviting honey color and also softening the gin for an unexpectedly smooth, yet flavorful spirit. 

Demeter (Citrus Gin): A citrus forward of lemon, lime, and grapefruit with a hint of pink peppercorn and orange.

Spirit of the IPA: India Pale Ale specialty is an award-winning spirit with rich full hop notes up front, with hints of vanilla, followed by the sweet, refreshing dried fruit characteristics of a classic corn whiskey. 

Pandemic at the Disco: Fifty percent of profits from Pandemic at the Disco sales will be donated to charitable organizations supporting the local hospitality industry, including the U.S. Bartender Guild COVID-19 relief fund. We wanted to give back to a community that has given us so much support over the years.

You can view all of their spirits online. The online shop also features cool gifts like at-home cocktail kits, and their copper member ship card.

Dark Door Spirits, 6608 Anderson Road

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of thatssotampa.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@thatssotampa.com.