Big Spring Spirits distillery, Tasting Room and cocktail lounge border Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, just 10 miles from Penn State University's main campus. The distillery overlooks the Big Spring, which is the source of the award-winning water that is the linchpin of our fine spirits.
Founded in 2014 by Penn State alumni Kevin Lloyd and Paula Cipar, Big Spring Spirits currently produces twelve products including vodka, several rums, gins, whiskies and cream bourbon. They started Big Spring Spirits inspired by their individual talents, as he was looking for his next business endeavor while she is a top-notch interior designer with a remarkable talent for creating sophisticated and eclectic spaces. Together, they share a pride in the central Pennsylvania region they call home--the community surrounding Penn State University--and a desire to give back to that community by creating a business focused on “local” that helps support the local economy through both ingredient-sourcing and tourism.
The finest ingredients are contracted from local farmers who are as passionate about agriculture as we are about spirits. From the herbaceous 7 Governors Gin to the smooth Silver line of white whiskeys, our spirits showcase carefully-nurtured ingredients. Big Spring Spirits is dedicated to making distinguished, well-crafted spirits from grain to glass.
But make no mistake about it, in the final blending, it’s all about the water. Humans can’t make good water, that’s up to a higher power. Big Spring Spirits is just lucky enough to have access to some of the best water in the country, water perfectly suited to making spirits. Bellefonte’s Big Spring water was named Pennsylvania’s Best Tasting Water by the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association. Excellent spirits require excellent water, and the eponymous Big Spring makes that possible.
Big Spring Spirits is the first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) distillery in the state of Pennsylvania, second in the country and just the third in the world. The distillery is located in the historic red brick Building 10 of the original Pennsylvania Match Company complex, founded in 1899.
Match Factory History
Big Spring Spirits is located in a 5,597 SF section of the Match Factory Building that is on the Historic Registry. The Existing Building is “Building 10” of complex and was constructed in 1931. The existing building wall construction is three bricks in depth. When the complex was renovated in 2007, new metal roof decking was installed on the existing steel roof trusses, and 4” vented roof insulation with new asphalt shingles were installed. The building has an existing concrete floor, however a portion of the floor was not completed. The building had been unoccupied for many decades prior to being taken by Big Spring Spirits.
Meet the Team
Kevin Lloyd is from Marion Center, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University where he earned a degree in molecular and cell biology. Kevin was co-owner of Exygen Research for 6 years. He continues to engage his scientific talents with his creation of Big Spring Spirits and his role as Production Manager.
Paula Cipar hails from Pottsville, PA and holds degrees in Art & English from Cedar Crest College and Architecture from Penn State. She is an interior designer with extensive experience in both residential and commercial design through her own design company, Morpheus. Her work can be seen from coast to coast and in numerous establishments in Centre County. She is best represented by the unique tasting room at Big Spring Spirits.
Philip Jensen is from Midland, Michigan. He has done research for Penn State University in the Departments of Plant Pathology and Biology for many years and is an award-winning home brewer. Philip brings his aptitude for developing well-crafted spirits to the position of Head Distiller.
Tasting Room Manager
Lucy Rogers has been in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years as a restaurant manager, wine club director, catering manager, and now serves as tasting room manager for Big Spring Spirits. Her sheepish admission that her favorite hobby is eating good food and drinking well-made beverages makes her the ideal candidate to get the job done.
Brandon Wagner grew up in central Pennsylvania and is also a graduate of Penn State. In spite of many efforts to leave the food and beverage industry behind, he always finds himself right back in it. As Lead Bartender, Brandon brings a keen sense of creativity to the table when it comes to craft cocktails, and his customer service skills are second to none.
Big Spring Spirits will be the first LEED certified distillery in the country and that is no small feat. “LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, and recognizes advanced building strategies and practices that help preserve a healthy green planet.
Our building is unique in that it houses 3 different building occupancies. We are H-3 (high hazard) in our ethanol producing area which includes the stills and blending tanks and are therefore encapsulated behind a two-hour fire wall. We are an F-1 (Factory and Industrial) rating in the manufacturing, storage and bottling area and we are an A-1 (Assembly) area in our tasting room.