Toast Boyd & Blair as it celebrates 10 years |
Food & Drink

Toast Boyd & Blair as it celebrates 10 years

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

Cheers to 10 years!

Boyd & Blair is celebrating a decade of making potato vodka in Pennsylvania. Once distributed only in the state, it is now available in 42 states and four countries.

Boyd & Blair, located in Glenshaw, is a product of Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries and was founded on the “idea of creating exceptional spirits using locally grown ingredients and packaging,” says Barry Young, master distiller for Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries.

“We believe in quality over quantity, and that’s why we make every single batch by hand, literally,” Young says. “There are no computers, no automated processes. We do it all from creating our own potato mash to sealing and signing every bottle. This result is a classic vodka meant to be savored one sip at a time.”

The company has since added a clear rum and 151 proof vodka and its products are sold in 350 Pennsylvania state stores and 4,000 stores and restaurants across the country.

“It is extra hard to make clear spirits, because there is no room to hide, but I like challenges, and you have to have discipline in this business because it takes time to get it right. To walk into a bar or restaurant and see a bottle of Boyd & Blair, that still means a lot to me. I still get a kick out of that,” Young says.


A 10th anniversary party was held in early October, where more than 100 guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a sneak peek inside a speakeasy, where bartender Jeremy Bustamante, who works for Superior Motors in Braddock, served specialty drinks.

“I was happy to come here and be part of this anniversary event,” says Bustamante. “Both my bar at home and my bar at Superior Motors have every product of Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, because Barry puts the effort in everything he makes. He has a chemistry background and his palate makes this his destiny.”

The reason for the success is partly because Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries came out at the beginning of the craft movement, Young says.

“There is so much more competition now,” he says. “But I also think the Five Star Review from Spirit Journal (see box) really helped us.”

Upcoming events

There are many opportunities to visit the establishment: the Saturday free craft distillery tours and tastings from noon to 6 p.m. where guests learn how the potato vodka and white rum are made and stay to enjoy craft cocktails. Attendees can even wax seal their own bottle.

There are also upcoming events beginning with a beer-cocktail demo from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 7, partnering with East End Brewing. A Fantastic Fall Cocktail Class is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 16, where participants learn how to serve up expertly hand-crafted cocktails using Boyd & Blair spirits, including an autumn punch. On Nov. 17, the distillery is hosting its third annual Movember event where 50 percent of profits from noon to 6 p.m. will benefit the Movember Foundation, supporting men’s health.

Check the website or Facebook for other happenings.

Details: 412-486-8666 or

JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Boyd & Blair is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Here, master distiller Barry Young addressed the guests during a recent party.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Superior Motors bartender Jeremy Bustamante serves drinks at a 10-year anniversary party at Boyd & Blair in Glenshaw.
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