Old Humble Distilling Co. conjures the spirits of Humble oilfields

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Joseph Breda said he calls himself a “spirit guide.” As the owner of Old Humble Distilling Co., Breda crafts whiskey and bourbon at his facility in the city of Humble on North Houston Avenue.

Breda said he began distilling whiskey after first experimenting with brewing beer and fermenting wine.

“[Me and my friend] meandered from beer to wine to whiskey,” Breda said. “When I learned about whiskey tastings, I started hosting them and became an enthusiast.”

Breda said he and his friend received their Texas distiller’s licenses in 2013 and started The Big Thicket Distilling Co. in Conroe one year later. One year after that the company moved to Humble and became the Old Humble Distilling Company in 2015.

Breda was raised in Atascocita and graduated from Humble High School. He said fellow alumni will notice the purple sported on the company’s Texas Straight Whiskey label, which is the school’s designated color. The distillery’s label also pays homage to Humble’s oil-business heritage.

“I really appreciate being a part of this community,” Breda said. “I really want to be here and build a business that’s part of this area.”

Breda said every part of the production process is completed by hand, from the distilling to the labeling.

“I’ll start working here after 8 p.m. during the week and label the bottles by hand, fill up bottles, cap them, seal them, heat shrink them, box them,” Breda said.

Because of the size of the facility—1,600 square feet—and the time he has to make the whiskey, the quantities he produces are limited, Breda said.

“We got to work to sell it, so we can’t be in here making the bourbon all the time,” Breda said.

Stores that sell varieties from the distillery are posted on the company’s website. Breda said he plans to move the distillery company to a new facility in Humble in 2020.

“For now, I want to get 50 or so bottles of our Boomtown Bourbon back out.” Breda said. “We also make Roughneck Reserve that I’m debating preparing a few hundred bottles of, hopefully in time for Christmas.”

Whiskey options

Old Humble Distilling Co. crafts four different whiskeys:

  • Texas Straight Whiskey is on sale now for $30.
  • Special Reserve Whiskey is on sale now for $40.
  • Boomtown Bourbon will be available next spring for $50.
  • The availability of Roughneck Reserve Bourbon is to be determined.
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