Couple’s distillery to soon serve up spirits
23 Aug 2023
Dalondo Moultrie The Seguin Gazette
Taking a spirited approach to their new business, a husband-and-wife team announced the upcoming opening of Johnny Pickles in Seguin.
Johnny Pickles is a whiskey distillery opening Sept. 2 at 1711 N. Austin St. owned and operated by Jen and Nate Forman. The couple moved here from Austin a couple years ago to start their new business in a friendly, up-and-coming town, Jen said.
“We looked for a property for distilling all over Central Texas and Seguin had it all,” she said. “It just kind of happened. Everything came together for us.”
“We want to help people have a good time in Seguin,” Nate said.
The Formans consider themselves artists at heart, though Jen most recently worked as a construction project manager and Nate currently manages software organization. Visitors to Johnny Pickles, once it opens, will see her metal-working art placed around the distillery’s tasting room and his pictures and paintings on the walls.
But their artistic nature will definitely show in the cocktails Johnny Pickles plans to offer, the couple said.
“We started doing creations at home with Kombucha, bitters (etc.),” Jen said. “That led to our Ireland trip and whiskey.”
The pair began researching what it would take to start a distillery and then to open one in Texas and offer cocktails of different flavors and varying tastes.
They infuse some of the whiskey to create drinks with different flavor profiles and tastes. It all starts with the first two products on the shelves on opening day: whiskey and moonshine.
“I think for us it’s a very small batch that is going to make our product very distinct,” Jen said.
“We’re very particular about the ingredients we use,” Nate said. “We experiment a lot with wood, yeast, grain, barrel size … You’re always going to get something great. It’s not always going to be the same per batch.”
When the doors open, the couple will sell bottles of moonshine and Johnny Pickles’ Firehouse Whiskey (which gets its name because the company’s building once was a fire station) all bottled on the premises. By law, the couple can sell up to four bottles per person per every 30 days, the Formans said.
Servings of the beverages as well as cocktails, wine and more also will be available with more to come in the future, they said.
But for now, they are keeping things relatively simple, Jen said.
“We are a small-batch, grain-to-glass, family-owned-and-operated whiskey distillery,” she said. “We make whiskey.”
Johnny Pickles is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Seguin Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.
The Formans scheduled their grand opening for 3 to 8 p.m. Sept. 2 with live music, food trucks and craft vendors in attendance. After that, business hours are set for 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 9 p.m. Saturdays.
Their hope is to expand as time passes and the operation grows, Jen said.