New York’s budding distillery industry.

For an everyday person like me, you end up finding things purely by accident.  I went to a fundraiser and was introduced to  Hudson Manhattan Rye, a spirit  I’d never tried but rather enjoyed.  I was surprised it was distilled in New York State.

On an expedition to buy a bottle of wine I casually asked the clerk if the store carried this Rye.  turns out they did and he mentioned there is another rye distilled in New York State.  And that was McKenzie Rye which is distilled in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Later I came across information relating to a Buffalo group that just received a distillation license from the state of New York and was planning to rye whiskey using locally grown rye.  That led to a recent post I put up here about the new local distillery, Eight Buffalo Spirits, Inc.  From a chance encounter with rye whiskey I came to find out that 3 different companies were producing or preparing to produce distilled spirits in the Empire State.  Turns out there are more and more on the way.

Thanks to Google and Bing search I found 2 bits of information  of possible interest to you.

1.  I found  “The History of the Whiskey business in Buffalo, NY” by Peter Jablonski.  It claims that in 1887 there were only 3 distilleries in the State of New York.  Two of them were in Buffalo and one on Long Island.  I would have guessed that with the thousands of canal boats on the Erie Canal  and the large number of  crewmen, freight handlers,repairmen and the like would make a nice easy to carry product like whiskey the drink du jour over the 363 mile canal length..  After all there were over 75 taverns in Buffalo’s Canal Harbor area alone.

2.  Distilling is growing in New York State.  There are more than three.  I don’t know how many more.  I did find these. Time Magazine also published a story about the growth of microdistilleries in their Oct. 15, 2012 edition.   So if you want to support New York State businesses and not the corporate wheeler and dealers, here is a list of some of the state businesses I’ve found.

***Castle Spirits, Salamon Wertzberger, 18 Quickway Road, #201, Monroe, NY 10950,(845)783-8728,

Products:   Plum, cherry liqueurs;  fruit brandies; amaretto coffee;  chocolates (Kosher)

***Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Cheryl Lins, Box 245, 144 Delaware St., Walton, NY 13856,
Products:  Absinthe
***Finger Lakes Distilling, Brian McKenzie, 918 Rambler Rd., Elmira, NY 14905
***Harvest Spirits, Tom Crowell & Derek Grout, 3040 US Route 9, Valatie, NY 12184
Products:  Vodka, Gin, Calvados and infused vodkas.
***Hidden Marsh Distillery, Bill Martin, 2981 Auburn Rd, Seneca Falls, NY 13148
Products:  BEE vodka, triple distilled from 100% NYS honey plus brandy & liqueurs
***Lake Placid Spiritsm, Ann Stillman O’Leary, Box 227, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Products:  Hand-crafted spirits distilled from local potatoes, apples andmaple sap. Our gin contains Evergreen flavors from the Adirondacks.  Our water is from Lake Placid.
***Long Island Spirits, Richard Stabile & Dan Policino, 2182 Sound Ave, Baiting Hollow, NY 11933
Products: Liv Vodka,
***Stoutridge Vineyard, Steve Osborn, Marlboro, NY 12542
Products:  : Vodka made from grapes
***Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, Ralph Erenzo, 14 Gristmill Lane, Gardiner, NY 12525
Products : Heart of the Hudson Vodka, and triple-distilled “V” Vodka, made from 100% Hudson Valley apples; Old Gristmill Authentic American Corn Whiskey, unaged,made with Hudson Valley corn; Hudson Baby Bourbon.
***Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, Jason Grizzanti, P.O. Box 354, 114 Little York Road, Warwick, NY 10990
Products: Distilled from fruit grown in Hudson Valley orchards: Grappa, Brandies, Apple and
Pear Eau de Vie
***Wolf Bros. Distilling, Sean Wolf, 372 Benton St., Rochester, NY 14620
Products: Empire State Dry Gin, Absinthe. Working on Irish whisky.
The manufacturing and producing Empire State of old, along with jobs,  will return once again if we decide to give our companies a good hard look before we habitually turn to producers who flood that airwaves with advertisements that lead us to buy without thinking.