Quantum Spirits transforms former Carnegie bakery into distillery
If you're into science and technology and love to converse over a fine cocktail, Carnegie's Quantum Spirits might be your new favorite place to hang out.
Self-proclaimed nerds at heart and owners Ryan and Sarah Kanto are set to open their distillery and tasting room in March in the former Steinmetz Bakery on East Main Street in Carnegie.
The couple says they are carrying on the tradition of the building: yeast was used in bread and will now be used in the mash for distilling.
Though the official opening is several weeks away, Quantum will hold soft openings and sell limited quantities of bottles beginning this month. The focus first is on vodka and then gin, with aged gin and whiskey to follow.
“We like vodka, but we're more excited about gin,” Ryan Kanto said.
Ryan Kanto has been a home brewer for years and also is a trained engineer, loving the science and technology behind just about anything — especially gastronomical experiences. Sarah Kanto, a huge history and pop culture buff, also has a keen eye for interior design, modernizing the space to feel warm, comfortable, and cool, with touches of geometric patterns, of course.
Science and technology are so important at Quantum — from the design and equipment to the precise distilling process. Assistant distiller and “(Slightly) Mad Scientist” Chris McNary, who received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah as a chemical physicist, runs the on-site lab. Rounding out the team at Quantum is history and science enthusiast Bryan Martindale — the purveyor of proof and manager of sales and private events.
“We're not knocking traditional methods, but in craft distilling we have an opportunity to expand the boundaries, like with vacuum distilling gin, allowing for a more nuanced flavor profile,” Ryan Kanto said.
Sourcing local is important to the Kantos. Some of the furnishings in the building are sourced from reclaimed items from around the area. They also are working on sourcing local grains from farmers in Washington and Greene counties, and also have created a partnership with The Guild of St. Fiacre in Carnegie to source herbs as well as supply the urban farm with left over mash for fertilization.
Visitors will be able to sample Quantum Spirits product line in The Triple Point tasting room and Sarah Kanto's goal also is to serve “the best bar snacks in the world,” though patrons can order take out and also bring in their own food.
“Nothing is better than Pirate's Booty (aged white cheddar popcorn) and whiskey,” Sarah Kanto said.
Sarah Sudar is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.