Full Circle Craft Distillers, the artisans behind the Philippines’ top craft spirits brand, mark their 5th anniversary | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Full Circle Craft Distillers, the artisans behind the Philippines’ top craft spirits brand, mark their 5th anniversary pop inqpop

To celebrate their 5th Anniversary, Full Circle Craft Distillers Co., the makers of internationally lauded Archipelago spirits, launch iconic new bottles and an interactive distillery tour and tasting experience!

Join Full Circle Craft Distillers as they celebrate the Archipelago with award-winning spirits now enjoyed around the globe.

From the beginning, the idea behind Full Circle was to handcraft an authentic flagship spirit, ARC Botanical Gin, to promote the beauty of the Philippines and its wondrous array of botanicals, from tropical citrus to fresh mangoes to exotic fragrant flowers.

Since the launch of their family-led distillery start-up in 2018, Full Circle has amassed top honors in prestigious international spirits competitions around the world. Their Archipelago spirits are now available in a growing number of countries and regions, including the US, EU, UK and across regional Asia.

Co-founded by husband-and-wife team Matthew and Laurie Westfall, the inspiration for this entrepreneurial passion project can be traced back to Matthew’s grandfather, a Russified German who first arrived in Manila in 1918 to work at San Miguel’s Royal Soft Drinks Plant.

A family legacy that has been 100 years in the making, Full Circle is making good on its promise to place the Philippines on the global craft spirits map.
The PEZA-registered distillery’s amazing growth trajectory is indeed proof positive that the Philippines can compete and win on the global stage.

Full Circle authentically handcrafts a line of artisanal spirits that celebrate the flavors and terroir of the Philippines :

  • ARC Botanical Gin, featuring 28 botanicals, 22 of which are locally sourced and foraged like mangoes from their family farm in Dasol, Pangasinan, pomelo from Davao, and Benguet pine from Sagada, Mountain Province
  • ARC Barrel Reserve Gin, laid down in 225-liter new American oak barrels handmade by the top cooperage in Napa, California
  • ARC Lava Rock Vodka, filtered over lava rocks foraged from the active volcanoes of Taal and Mayon on the island of Luzon.

Five years in, from the foothills of Mount Makiling in the lush, tropical province of Laguna, Philippines, ARC has made its way to the key markets in the EU, the United Kingdom and top Asia markets. Impressively, ARC Gin and Vodka are the first Philippine spirits in history to enjoy a national roll-out across the US with their world-class boutique importer, Preiss Imports.

In parallel to the company’s energetic expansion into new international markets, Archipelago continues to enjoy wide international acclaim. ARC spirits consistently receive top accolades and reviews from prestigious international spirits competitions and influential industry leaders, fueled by an incomparable narrative of authentic craft distilling.

Most recently, ARC Spirits swept the Asian Spirits Masters 2023 awards, bagging three Gold and two coveted Master medals, the highest honors possible and only bestowed when the panel of international judges are unanimous in their scores. The industry-leading US-based Wine Enthusiast magazine honored ARC Lava Rock Vodka a ‘93’ rating and named it one of the “Top 100 Spirits for 2022.”

These awards follow on from prestigious Gold Awards from the London Gin Awards in 2019, and a string of Platinum, Double Gold and Gold medals from top spirits competitions in the US.

And it does not stop there: The prestigious K&L Wine Merchants in California noted that “ARC Gin is poised to not only be the best gin in the Philippines but also one of the world’s most intriguing and sought-after gins. Period.” The Germany-based Ginvasion.de gin review site ranks ARC Botanical Gin 9.9 out of 10, calling it “one of the Best Gins in the world.”

Continuing to innovate and break new ground, the Full Circle distillery has recently expanded its line-up by introducing more award-winning expressions that are now landing in international markets worldwide: ARC Black Bamboo Gin and ARC Navy Strength Gin. And several other ground-breaking projects are underway.

Full Circle Craft Distillers Unveils their Iconic Bottle, a Celebration of the Archipelago

Full Circle’s 5th anniversary is being celebrated with the release of a bespoke, handcrafted 700ml bottle design and visually stunning labels and corks that feature unique Filipino design motifs.

The eight-ray Philippine sun, drawn from our national flag, figures prominently throughout the bottle: at its neck, on its body, and at the bottle’s heel.

On the front of each bottle, ARC is rendered in a uniquely Filipino art form, Letras y Figuras, which translates to “letters and figures.” The Spanish colonial-era style utilizes the shape of humans, animals and objects to create letters that spell out the name of the patron who commissioned the work. Updating this motif, the craft brand captures the magic of distilling, their fresh Philippine botanicals, and even the team behind the company, with each hand-drawn letter to form their brand name, Archipelago.

Turn the bottle on its side and uncover the word Archipelago embossed across the contours that gently curve into a thin, graceful neck.

The copper-engraved cork tips its hat to the distillery’s bespoke German copper still, which has been designed precisely for working with Philippine botanicals, and which features a one-of-kind lava rock filtration chamber.

A Commitment to True Craft – The Country’s First Craft Distillery, featuring “Maddie”

Full Circle’s state-of-the-art, 450-liter, 7-plate hybrid copper still was handmade in Germany by CARL GmbH, and named after the co-founders’ French bulldog, “Maddie.” Designed at precise specifications to meet the demands of their 28-botanical recipe, the copper still offers unparalleled control and precision for the Full Circle team as they handcraft their artisanal spirits.

While much of the distilling is by hand, anchored on time-honored traditions and techniques, “Maddie” is driven by a programmable logic controller that ensures every drop of distillate comes off the still at the highest possible quality and with unwavering consistency.

Steam heat is carefully controlled as well, which, along with an automated agitator, which gently raises the heat of the mash of distillation, allowing the Full Circle distilling team to sensitively coax out the essential oils from their botanicals, which in turn gives their award-winning ARC Gin its incredible range of aromas and flavors.

Multi-Awarded Philippine Craft Distillery Opens Its Distillery Doors to the Public

Keen to share their commitment to authentic craft distilling, Full Circle’s doors are open to the public for a one-of-a-kind, hands-on distillery tour and tasting experience, with an aim to educate, uplift and promote international best practice.

Full Circle Craft Distillers invites you to visit their distillery and to hear about their multigenerational family story, appreciate their traditional and time-honoured distilling processes, explore the wonderful botanicals of the Philippines, many of which are sourced from family farms, and enjoy tasting through a flight of their award-winning ARC spirits.

Each ticket includes a welcome cocktail, an educational tour of the state-of-the-art craft distillery located in Calamba Laguna, a flight of the spirits range, bar snacks, special discounts on ARC spirits, and access to distillery exclusives like the new handcrafted ARC 700ml bottles, seasonal releases, gift boxes and cool ARC merch.

To book a tour or for more information text 09171184446

Gin for Good

As part of its multi-pronged commitment to sustainability, Full Circle has launched its Gin for Good program.

With every bottle of ARC Gin sold, Full Circle Craft Distillers Co contributes a percentage of its profit to help conserve and protect endangered Philippine wildlife.

In partnership with the Katala Foundation in Palawan, the Gin for Good program supports:

Anti-Poaching Initiatives
Reforestation of Critical Forest Habitats
Conservation Education

For more information, visit https://fullcircledistillers.com/ their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fullcircledistillers/ and Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/fullcircledistillers/

Archipelago Spirits are available online at Lazada, winery.ph, manila-wine.com, and boozy.ph and available in stores at major airport locations at Duty Free Philippines, Royal Subic Duty Free, select Kultura branches, Landers Superstores, Unimart, The Marketplace, Landmark Supermarket, and Tesoro’s. ARC is also pouring in signature cocktails at the country’s finest 5-star hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars.



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