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Ivy City Appears to Be Getting a New Distillery

Bourbon producer Jos. A. Magnus is moving to Michigan and turning over its facility to a new name

The water tower is a prominent feature of D.C.’s distillery-heavy Ivy City neighborhood.
The water tower is a prominent feature of D.C.’s distillery-heavy Ivy City neighborhood.
Lindsay Ferraris for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Ivy City, the warehouse-heavy industrial district in Northeast D.C. that has become a popular landing spot for producers of beer, cider, and spirits, is set to welcome a new name on its list of distillery attractions.

Bourbon and gin distiller Jos. A. Magnus announced this week it is relocating operations from D.C. to Holland, Michigan, as of October 31 and turning over its Ivy City facility (2052 West Virginia Avenue NE) to a company called Bo & Ivy Distillers. DCist reports Bo & Ivy is not affiliated with Jos. A. Magnus, and a representative for the city’s liquor board tells the outlet that it has not received an application from Bo & Ivy.

Jos. A. Magnus general manager Ali Anderson tells DCist the company is moving “to pursue significant efficiencies of scale in production, operations and distribution,” and no D.C. employees will be making the move. Jos. A. Magnus is named after its original distiller, who started bottling bourbon in Cincinnati in the 1892. The company re-established itself in D.C. in 2015, winning recognition for a bourbon aged in sherry and cognac barrels. A financial disclosure form from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos showed she was a partial investor in the brand, sparking some cries for a boycott in 2018. In 2019, Jos. A. Magnus laid off about half of the full-time staff at its D.C. headquarters and closed its tasting room.

When/if Bo & Ivy arrives, it will join a group of distillers and other producers in the neighborhood that includes Supreme Core Cider, Republic Restoratives, Atlas Brew Works, Green Hat Gin, City Winery, New Columbia Distillers, Don Ciccio & Figli, and one Eight Distilling. Ivy City recently welcomed a 22,000-square-foot brewery from Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing, too.

Matt Baker, the chef-owner at Michelin-starred Gravitas, opened gourmet market and casual cafe Baker’s Daughter on Okie Street NE in September.

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