SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

December 5, 2012

Rum's the word

Childhood friends off and running with business after career changes

IPSWICH — In two years, Mat Perry and Evan Parker have morphed from a schoolteacher and clam farmer into rum-makers.

“The learning curve is still straight up,” Perry said. “I’m used to getting a paycheck and being told what to do. ... It’s a learning experience every day.”

The duo, Ipswich natives and childhood friends, started Turkey Shore Distilleries in 2010; their first bottles of Old Ipswich Rum hit the market in June 2011.

This fall, Turkey Shore won two industry awards from the Ministry of Rum: a silver medal in the flavored rum category for its Old Ipswich Golden Marsh Spiced Rum and a gold medal in the dark rum category for its Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rum.

It all started with an idea “that wouldn’t leave me alone,” Perry said: to start a rum business. Perry pitched the idea to his friend Evan Parker, who grew up down the street from him.

The two did some research, decided it was a viable idea, and “next thing you know, we’re quitting our jobs in a recession,” Perry said.

They make their rum in a warehouse on Hayward Street, next door to the Ipswich Ale Brewery. Perry’s dog, Delia, who is pictured in the Turkey Shore logo, or Parker’s dog, Tank, often greet visitors at the door.

On a recent morning, the sour smell of fermentation permeated the space, while a gurgling sound meant rum was passing through the copper still into the condenser. Stacked oak barrels lined the walls, and a 2,200-gallon molasses tank sat in the corner.

It takes roughly 21/2 weeks for molasses, water and yeast to combine in open-top fermenters, take two trips through Turkey Shore’s 250-gallon distiller, and go through a condenser and filter system. After that, it ages in new oak barrels for roughly one year before being sold.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Comments Trcker