Tom's Foolery Distillery logo with monogram.

Tom's Foolery Distillery

  • USA, Ohio
  • American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits (2013), Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) (2011)
Phone Number
  • +12169250111
  • 17520 Rapids Rd, Burton, OH 44021, United States

Stacked bourbon whiskey barrels in distillery.

History of Tom’s Foolery Distillery

Tom’s Foolery Distillery, established in 2008, is the creative endeavour of Tom and Lianne Herbruck. Tom Herbruck’s journey into distilling began at a young age, with an interest in applejack production that led to his first permit application at the age of 15.

In 2008, the Herbrucks turned this long-standing passion into reality by opening Tom’s Foolery Distillery in Ohio, following the acquisition of necessary permits and a 30-gallon still.

Distinctive Approach to Distilling

From the onset, the distillery has focused on traditional, hands-on methods of distilling, adhering to a philosophy of making products entirely from scratch. This includes growing the grain, fermenting, distilling, and bottling. Their approach celebrates authenticity and craftsmanship, leading to the production of spirits that are bold, full-flavored, and reflective of traditional techniques.

Expansion and Product Line

Initially, the distillery’s focus was on applejack, producing their first batch in 2009. The demand for their applejack saw an expansion from a 300 bottle release to 1,300 bottles over time. Recognizing the opportunity to broaden their spirit range, Tom’s Foolery added rye and sour mash bourbon to their production line. Their products are pot-distilled and are noted for their unique flavor profiles influenced by the Ohio climate.

Current Status and Recognition

Tom’s Foolery Distillery has gained recognition for its quality spirits. In 2013, their applejack was awarded a silver medal at the American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits.

The distillery continues to operate as a micro-distillery, emphasizing small batches and a hands-on approach. It’s important to note that the distillery, as of the latest information, is not open to the public, but there are plans for future expansion to accommodate visitors.

Founders and Philosophy

Tom maintains a full-time job alongside his distilling duties, while Lianne manages the business end and plant operations. The Herbrucks’ commitment to their craft and community is evident in their approach to distilling and the relationships they foster with local farmers for sourcing additional grains and fruits.

Awards Won by Tom’s Foolery Distillery

American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits (2013): Tom’s Foolery’s applejack was awarded a silver medal. This recognition came as a testament to the quality and popularity of their applejack, which quickly sells out upon release.

Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) (2011): Tom’s Foolery achieved success with two of their products. They received a silver medal for their Applejack Eau-de-vie-Jack in the Eau de vie category, and a bronze medal for their Applejack in the Brandy category. This highlights their expertise not only in whiskey production but also in crafting quality applejack.

Tom’s Foolery Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Begin your journey at Tom’s Foolery Distillery, nestled in the picturesque landscape of Burton, Ohio. The tour introduces you to the ethos of the distillery, renowned for its commitment to traditional whiskey-making methods and natural processes. Here, the philosophy is about honoring traditions while exploring new frontiers in distilling.

The Craft of Whiskey Making

Delve into the heart of whiskey crafting. The tour guides you through the meticulous process starting from grinding the grains to the final distillation. Witness the traditional sour mash fermentation in open cypress wood fermenters and the passage of the mash through the historic Vendome pot stills, which have an intriguing history of their own.

The “Barrel a Day” Program

A unique aspect of the tour is learning about the “barrel a day” program. This approach results in producing roughly one barrel of whiskey from each batch of mash, allowing the distillery to experiment with their recipes and create distinct flavors.

The Rack House Visit

Explore the rack house where the real magic of aging happens. Unlike modern facilities, this rack house has no temperature control, allowing the whiskey to interact with the barrels and the external environment differently across seasons. This process plays a crucial role in giving the whiskey its unique flavor and texture.

Tasting and Sensory Experience

The highlight for many is the tasting session, where you can sample various spirits produced by Tom’s Foolery. This part of the tour allows you to appreciate the nuances in flavor and aroma that result from their meticulous crafting process.

Souvenir Shopping

Conclude your tour with a visit to the gift shop, where you can purchase bottles of their spirits and other souvenirs. It’s a chance to take a piece of Tom’s Foolery’s tradition and craftsmanship home with you.

Flask & Barrel Review of Tom’s Foolery Distillery

As someone who’s ventured through numerous distillery tours, my visit to Tom’s Foolery Distillery was a breath of fresh air. Nestled in the charming Burton, Ohio, this place is a hidden gem for whiskey enthusiasts.

From the get-go, the vibe was welcoming and down-to-earth. The staff greeted us with genuine smiles, making me feel more like an old friend than a first-time visitor. The tour kicked off with a fascinating intro to their whiskey-making process. It’s evident that they cherish tradition here, and it shows in their approach to distilling.

What really stood out for me was their “barrel a day” program. As a collector, I appreciated this unique method, allowing for experimentation and resulting in a diverse range of flavors. The tour through the rack house was another highlight. It’s not every day you find a place that lets nature play such a crucial role in aging their whiskey.

Now, the tasting – this was where Tom’s Foolery truly shined. Each sample was a testament to their craft. The flavors were robust and well-rounded, clearly benefiting from their natural aging process. I was especially taken by their bourbon, which had a perfect balance of sweetness and complexity.

What To Do Nearby Tom’s Foolery Distillery

Eldon Russell Park (Distance: Approx. 5 miles): A scenic park offering hiking trails and opportunities for nature observation. It’s a great spot to experience Ohio’s outdoor beauty.

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve (Distance: Approx. 3 miles): This preserve is known for its diverse habitats, making it ideal for wildlife viewing and bird-watching. It’s a peaceful place for nature walks.

Welton’s Gorge Preserve (Distance: Approx. 5 miles): Offering over 300 acres of woods and wildlife, this preserve is perfect for hiking, fishing, and observing local fauna.

Lucia S. Nash Preserve (Distance: Approx. 4 miles): Located on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, this 12-acre preserve offers wooded and wetland trails for an immersive nature experience.

Pipspieces Art Studio LLC (Distance: Approx. 2 miles): A unique art studio where you can explore your creativity through various art classes and workshops.

Crooked River Adventures (Distance: Approx. 3 miles): Offers kayak and canoe rentals for an adventurous day on the river. Suitable for all skill levels.

Maple Madness Driving Tour: A self-guided tour through the countryside of Burton, showcasing local maple syrup production. It’s an ideal activity for those visiting in the fall.

Ma and Pa’s Gift Shack (Distance: Approx. 2 miles): A charming shop in Burton offering a wide selection of unique souvenirs and gifts.

Rothenbuhler Cheese Chalet (Distance: Approx. 6 miles): Known for its award-winning Swiss cheese and other gourmet items. A must-visit for cheese lovers.

Country Arts & Jewelry (Distance: Approx. 6 miles): If you’re interested in jewelry or Native American merchandise, this is a great stop.

Nauvoo Family Market (Distance: Approx. 6 miles): A general market known for its bulk foods, bakery items, and local cheeses.

Whitehouse Chocolates (Distance: Approx. 6 miles): Offers a delightful selection of handmade chocolates and confectioneries.

Quintealia’s Tea Parlor (Distance: Approx. 2 miles): Located in a historic Victorian mansion, it’s a perfect spot for a relaxing tea experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Tom’s Foolery Distillery?

Cinda’s Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (440) 632-1929. Their address is 14964 S State Ave, Middlefield, OH 44062.

Middlefield Cafe & Diner: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (440) 632-0147. Their address is 14890 N State Ave, Middlefield, OH 44062.

Warren’s Spirited Kitchen: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (440) 273-8100. Their address is 14614 E Park St, Burton, OH 44021.

What hotels are near Tom’s Foolery Distillery?

Punderson Manor Lodge & Conference Center: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (440) 564-9144. Their address is 11755 Kinsman Rd, Newbury Township, OH 44065.

The Hiram Inn: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (330) 569-6000. Their address is 6867 Wakefield Rd, Hiram, OH 44234.

The Aurora Inn Hotel & Event Center: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (330) 562-0767. Their address is 30 Shawnee Trail, Aurora, OH 44202.