It’s hard to believe it’s been a year (and one heck of a year at that) since Loaded Cannon landed on the beautiful shores of Florida’s Sun Coast.
The original poem that announced the webpage still plays in founder Steve Milligan’s head sometimes.... “In the distance a ship / and the faint sound of drumming / Captain says prepare / Loaded Cannon is coming.” And come they did, bringing Manatee County its very first distillery. The pirate theme fits right in, too, being in a city that hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates’ spring training program and the Bradenton Marauders baseball franchise at LECOM Park. Ironically enough, Loaded Cannon is located right down the road from LECOM’s campus on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
For their “One Year, Still Here” anniversary, they will be releasing five new spirits with an interactive mixology class to take place on Facebook Live the last week of the month. Residents can preregister for the cocktail class of their choice and order the respective supplies by July 17. New spirits being added to the already vast portfolio of liquors are Anney’s Blade Strawberry Vodka, a limited release of Anney’s Blade Grape Distilled Vodka made with chardonnay grapes from Napoli, a Coffee Rum and a Spiced Espresso Rum, both using local beans from Kahwa, and Carlota’s Revenge Whiskey made from a Bourbon Mash.
Steve believes in crafting the finest spirits while keeping sustainability in mind and supporting local businesses. Sourcing locally grown raw materials and retailing local vendor products is a point they take great pride in. Marketing Director and first mate mixologist Michelle Russell involves the community at every turn. When Covid-19 hit and they were able to mass-produce hand sanitizer, she made daily trips to distribute it directly into the hands of frontline workers. She takes used bottles from the tasting room and upcycles them with a local candle maker into trendy, man cave candles. And for their anniversary celebration, she’s donating proceeds from the sale of commemorative shirts to the nonprofit SOLE (Supporters of Law Enforcement). It’s no wonder it’s been one year and they’re still here!
The Loaded Cannon crew is extremely grateful for the support they’ve received in return for all their community engagement efforts, and they encourage local bars to reach out and partner with them. Currently their products can be found at both Total Wine locations, but they are in hot pursuit of new local partnerships. Steve added a final note, “You truly are loyal crew members. Stay the course and always remember we’ll keep making whiskey until corn is a buccaneer (buck-an-ear)!”
To be part of the celebration, email Michelle at [email protected]
The Mixology Class Schedule is as follows:
July 27: Strawberry Basil Martini
July 29: Pirate’s Coffee
July 31: Smoked Old Pirate Fashion
All classes are at 6:30 p.m., and you can join the event by clicking here: Facebook Live