Brad Rehn | Reading Eagle

Reading native Chris Flowers and his wife, Kate, plan to open Reading Distilling Guild in the coming weeks at 127 Madison Ave., a narrow street between NorthReading Distilling Guild Fourth and Fifth streets.

Flowers, a 1994 graduate of Reading High School, said he has long hoped to open a business in his hometown and got the idea for a distillery when Pennsylvania changed its liquor laws in 2012 to allow craft distilleries.

Reading Distilling Guild will eventually produce a line of spirits, Flowers said. In addition to the white rum and spiced rum, he plans to produce gin and whiskeys.

“I always wanted something in the city of Reading, some form of business, and I wanted it be tied into Reading. All of our branding will be iconic things from the city, such as trains, the Pagoda: things like that.”

Reading Distilling Guild would be the first distillery in Berks County. It would join the growing number of distilleries in the region, including Manatawny Still Works in Pottstown, County Seat Spirits in Allentown, Thistle Finch Distillery in Lancaster and Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon.

Flowers said he sees momentum building in Reading and hopes to be a part of it.

“The business community in downtown is excellent,” he said. “I’ve talked with many business owners in the city. They are doing excellent things and thriving in the city, and it looks like the new administration wants more businesses in the city, which I’d love to be part of. I think it’s going in a great direction.”

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