Matt Murphy returned from deployment in 2010. He came back from serving our country and thought ‘What’s next?’ He decided to go back to school at the University of Maine in Orono. After thinking about his future and what he was going to do he called his Dad to run an idea by him he had about starting a distillery. After all, the family had roots in operating a distillery going back generations. Matt’s Dad immediately said:

“You’re Crazy. That’s lunacy”

Two days later he called back and said:

“You’re onto something. That’s a good idea”

They own a 5 generation old family farm on the Hermon – Bangor line and now there is a small distillery on that farm. The name came from Dad too. The Devil’s Half Acre Distillery. Back over 150 years ago in Bangor, on Harlow Street, was where the bars and the brothels were located. It’s where the sailors and the loggers used to relax and un-wind. The area was known as Devi’s Half Acre.

Last December, remember everyone is deep in the pandemic and it is still pre vaccine, and they launch Jigger & Jones American Gin. Less than 6 months later at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, they were awarded the Bronze Medal. This is a top level competition involving distilleries from around the world. To win the Bronze, for such a new distillery is a great accomplishment.

If you are wondering about the name Jigger and Jones, that’s Bangor history too. Jones is ‘Fan” Jones a Madam from Harlow Street in Bangor and Jigger is Jigger Johnson a lumberjack who knew the Devil’s Half Acre very well.

Devils Half Acre Distillery
Devils Half Acre Distillery

When Matt was told Maine was proud of his distillery’s award, he said:

“I am very proud to be part of the team.”

Humble words from a humble guy. Congrats Matt. And Dad, Larry.

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