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Aerodrome Distilling Opens in Corpus Christi

The spirits from Aerodrome Distilling are crafted in small batches to improve flavor and strength. The rum is 'Navy Strength.' Courtesy photo

At a new distillery in Corpus Christi, the rum comes in “Navy strength” and tastings are set on a bar made from the wing of a 1969 C-150. Distillery owner Nathan Bitz opened Aerodrome Distilling in Flour Bluff on the doorstep of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. Still on active duty, Bitz has served in the U.S. Navy for 25 years. He plans to retire next year.

His interest in distilling began when he was stationed at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He was in his early 20s when he was befriended by a former Navy pilot who also owned a nearby bar. He became Bitz’s mentor in all things spirits, including how to distinguish between traditional and more modern techniques.

In his travels with the Navy, he has explored techniques and tastes from around the world. For his own brand, he uses modern equipment that increases the surface area of the aging barrels, which cuts the time needed to achieve just the right taste.

Aviation Distillery focuses on the distinctions of a single barrel of product. Each barrel will carry its own fingerprint flavor. He limits filtering as it limits flavor and proof, an indicator of quality.

Future plans include a playscape, mixology classes, and distilling courses.

Aerodrome Distilling is located at 401 Aviation Drive in Flour Bluff and open 5-10 p.m. on Fridays and 2-10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Other times are available by appointments, which can be scheduled on the website.

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