By Dave Warner

Sometimes a press release comes in, and you wonder what connection it has to Little Falls. Especially when it comes from Norristown, Pennsylvania, and reads like this, “Five Saints Distilling and International Spirits LLC has announced that their international award-winning premium craft spirits are now available nationally in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Previously, the spirits were only available throughout Pennsylvania, where the company is headquartered, within the PLCB’s Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores. Now, five of the brand’s spirit products are available online in most of the continental U.S.”

Then, an email comes in, a phone call is made, and John George says, “It’s a hell of a story. I’m a 1976 Little Falls High School graduate, and my very first job was at Park Row Drugs, which was in Shopper’s Square. I was a stock boy.”

He went to college, worked in the pharmacy field, went back and got his MBA, and became a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company living in Saratoga Springs.

George continued to get promoted within the company, which saw him move to Pennsylvania and retire in 2016. “Before that, in 2013, I was searching the internet and was reading about the changes in distilling laws which allowed micro-distilleries to be created with less paperwork and less cost.”

“There was a link for Moonshine University, and I clicked it, and it said, ‘You too can be a distiller in 5 1/2 days.’ I liked the sound of it and enrolled,” he said.

George says that when his wife got up the next day, he told her, and she said, “This is what happens when I go to bed early?”  “Yup,” George replied.

He traveled to Lousiville for the course and, on the second day, decided he liked it and called his wife and said, “I like this, and we’re going to open a distillery.” She said, ‘We can talk about that when you get home.'”

George told her he already had a name for the business, and it would be called ‘Five Fathers Distilling.’

His wife thought it was a fantastic name and asked him how he came up with it.

George explained to me that his father, John George, was a New York State Policeman who grew up on the south side of Little Falls and, in 1970, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Herkimer. “He backed a little too close to a snow bank, and they found the engine and heater running. They resuscitated his partner, but he died.”

“I always say that I was then raised by his three brothers and a close family friend. They all lived in Little Falls,” he stated.

Robert, Joe, and Raymond George, as well as John Lorinzoni. “It was great because they all taught me different things. I was given the gift of five fathers, not just one, hence the name, Five Fathers Distilling.”

But, the name was already taken by Jim Beam, who had just come out with a limited edition of Five Fathers Bourbon.

His wife said, “What are you going to do, fight with Jim Bean? Just come up with another name.”

George responded, “Well, at least this conversation is going in the right direction.”

“I thought about it a little more and called her the next day and said, how about Five Saints? She said, where’d that come from?”

“Well, 75% of the time, I was a little bit of a pain in the ass to raise, so they weren’t just fathers to me, but they were saints to me, and that’s where the name comes from.”

George found the Humane Engine #1 Firehouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, bought that, restored it, and on the 4th of July in 2016, opened the doors to celebrate the independence of the United States of America and his independence from corporate America.

“Now I’m just a lowly distiller. I used to be a respected pharmaceutical executive,” he said.

They’ve been in business for seven years, and they’ve always been limited to selling in the state because of the liquor laws there. “I could never sell to anyone outside the state, so my friends would come down, buy some bottles, and take them back to New York.”

But the law has changed. “We’re now available online in 41 more states plus the District of Columbia. That’s really, really big for us.”

“I have a lot of friends who still live in Little Falls, and I think they’re going to really like this,” he stated.

George said, “I love Little Falls, and I’ve always wanted to get back there. My brother Jeff still lives there. If you can live in Little Falls and you can make a living, it’s a hell of a place to raise a family. It’s a great place.”

“What you pay for a house up there is what you pay for a car down here. It’s incredible.” George ended, “I’ve traveled the world, and Little Falls has so much going for it.”

Five Saints offers seven different award-winning spirits that include Vodka, White Whiskey, Savory Tuscan Gin, Maple Bourbon Butter Pecan Rum, Blood Orange Liqueur, Raspberry Lavender Absinthe, and a Rare PA “Bourbon Style” 100 Proof Whiskey.

Spirits lovers can simply order online at to deliver to their homes or businesses. You must be 21 or older; an adult signature is required for delivery.

Five Saints Distilling is a member of the American Distilling Institute and is located at 129 East Main Street in Norristown, PA. In 2018 the ADI awarded Five Saints with the “Best Repurposed Building to a Distillery” to honor the renovation and use of the Historic Humane Fire Engine Company No. 1, built in the late 1880s.

“The experience we strive to provide all who visit Five Saints or enjoy our spirits is to relax, connect, enjoy, and savor quality time with friends and family,” said George. “I always remind folks if someone asks what you’re doing as you’re enjoying our spirits, to tell the truth – ‘We’re hanging out with Five Saints and Friends!’”