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Yo ho, ho at the rum distillery

Avi Aisenberg used drive by hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane traveling to his family’s plastics recycling plant in South Bay, a small community along Lake Okeechobee.

Now, he and partner Joe Durkin take the molasses produced from the sugar cane and turn it into FWAYGO rum at the South Florida Distillery. They had big news this week, announcing they will move to a new 4,600-square-foot location at 2608 S. Federal Highway, just north of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The distillery will have a bigger tasting room where customers are allowed by state law to buy up to two bottles a year of each product. In addition to rum, they make the Florida Kush blue agave spirit and Prescribed Spirits Gin.

The building they are moving to currently has Kreepy Tiki, a bar with a tattoo shop, but the inside is being renovted, Aisenberg says. A new 6,000-square-foot bar and entertainment venue will be in the middle and the tattoo shop will be in the front. The distillery will be in the back.

Aisenberg and Durkin can’t own the bar that because state law doesn’t allow distillers to be distributors or bar owners.

The distillery’s biggest retail outlet is Total Wine & More, but the rum is also sold in drinks at bars and restaurants from South Beach to Boynton Beach, Aisenberg said.

They also do contract manufacturing for a minimum of about 2,000 bottles.

The heart of their operations has been custom-made stills. The 13-gallon one they started with is something akin to what a moonshiner would use, Aisenberg says. They added two 26-gallon stills and near the beginning of 2016 added a 250-gallon still. Their new location will have a 5,000 liter (1,321 gallon) stainless steel still.

Depending on the amount of contract work, the business is cash flow positive and the partners have been rolling profits over into capital expenditures, Aisenberg says. They aren’t necessarily looking for investors, but are open to talk.

Durkin says the new location near the airport and Port Everglades is a great location for travelers to pop into. There is also an emerging cool vibe scene in the neighborhood with Lauderdale Brewing and Riverside Market South.

The distillery expects to open this fall and will have more information on its Facebook page.

 

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.