Our Story

Blake Amacker and Chris Arnold at their grand opening in 2018; 
The Chesterfield barn in 2016 that was about to become the new home of Copper Cannon

An idea is born

It all started back in 2010 when Blake Amacker and his cousin Chris Arnold visited Ireland before Chris’s upcoming wedding. Stopping at one distillery after another, they were inspired and quickly realized that as engineers by trade, “we can do this ourselves.” Fueled by Blake’s experience as a homebrewer and Chris’s time on both sides of the bar, they decided they were ready to take their passion to the next level. Their vision for a distillery focused on producing unique hand-crafted spirits that are superior in taste and character was born.

Their love of the distillation process

On returning home, they immersed themselves in learning everything they could about distillation. Chris spent nights and weekends researching ways to continue to improve their product by studying chemical engineering books on distillation and process design. Blake traveled to Chicago for formal training on the distillation process and sought out master distillers as mentors. He volunteered at numerous distilleries to get hands-on experience working with both rum and whiskey distillers. Blake sacrificed his weekends, vacations, and comfort. In one instance, he spent a week sleeping in a barn and doing odd chores to get a distiller’s attention. Through Blake’s travels, he developed connections to Brazil and the art of cachaça, a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. By combining this broad range of real-world and academic experiences, he successfully blended them into Copper Cannon’s unique style.

Blake completes work on their first still, The Copper Cannon;

The brand-new modular production still arrives at the barn

Engineering a dream

After years of research, the real fun began. Inspired by a design they found, the pair re-engineered and built their first test still. It resembled a copper potato gun and was aptly named The Copper Cannon. For the next several years, they experimented with different mashes and methodologies to perfect their craft. Drawing on their mentors’ teachings and exhaustive experimentation, they fine-tuned their fermentation process and honed in on a particular yeast strain. They were now prepared to take a leap of faith and follow their passion.

The plan comes to fruition

By 2016, they were ready to find a proper home for their distillery - a beautiful New England Barn in scenic West Chesterfield, NH, built using reclaimed lumber. It was the perfect space to house their brand-new 250-gallon custom-engineered modular production still. They repurposed and modified the rest of the distillery equipment from stainless steel maple syrup tanks and yogurt equipment.  They now had everything they needed to produce various spirits, but focused on creating premium hand-crafted New England style rums.  New England-style rums made with blackstrap molasses were standard in colonial times and tied to their Louisiana roots. The rum style provides a rich, complex flavor with familiar whiskey notes but with a smoother rum finish.  Copper Cannon wanted to resurrect the New England rum style that is now difficult to find in the US. On January 20th, 2018, Copper Cannon Distillery opened to the public, offering tastings, tours, and a good time! 

A grand-opening toast to remember; Blake can hardly contain his smile

Hand-crafting excellence

Today, Copper Cannon Distillery is an award-winning, family-owned distillery specializing in hand-crafted premium rum for people that appreciate outstanding quality and want to have a good time!  Using only new premium oak barrels and their unique distilling philosophy, they impart sophisticated flavors and smoothness into their New England style rum. Everything at Copper Cannon is made at Copper Cannon! They take pride in their craft and hope you will enjoy the effort that goes into every glass.

 

You can pick up a bottle at a New Hampshire Liquor Store near you, visit our distillery for a tour and rum tasting, or Sip and Stay with Harvest Hosts. Creating a fun and inviting atmosphere for our customers and employees is a core part of our mission.

New York International Spirits Competition Gold and Bronze Awards

Awards and Accolades

2018

New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC)

Aged Rum Bronze Winner / 90 pts

 

New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC)

Distillery of the Year Award

 

New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC)

Clear Rum Gold Winner / 94 pts

 

2019

New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC)

Distillery of the Year Award

 

American Distiller's Institute - Judging of Craft Spirits

Aged Rum - Bronze award

Maple Rum - Bronze award

 

2020

Las Vegas Global Spirit Awards

Aged Rum – Gold Winner

© 2021 Copper Cannon Distillery

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