distillery

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

As New York state continues to boost the craft brewery and distillery business, brews and spirits pushed into the wine court at the New York State Fair.

David Tadros has been collecting brews and spirits from Clayton to Brooklyn to sell at his stand on the edge of the wine court. State Fair Showstopper Ale, a brew concocted only for the run of the fair, by Empire Brewery, is sold here, along with other New York state beers. And for the first time distilled spirits are available outside, opening them up to a bigger audience.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The bourbon being produced at a Utica distillery is being described as the first legal bourbon produced in central New York. It's proof that the craft liquor industry is growing in New York state.

The Adirondack Distilling Company started out by crafting vodka. Then they moved to gin and, most recently, white whiskey. Now, master distiller Jordan Karp says the company is moving on to that quintessential American drink.

"Bourbon is an American spirit made with at least 51 percent corn, and stored and aged in a charred, new, oak American barrel,” Karp explained.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosted his second beer, wine, spirits, and now cider summit, to showcase one of the state’s few growth industries.

The owners of breweries, distilleries, wineries, and for the first time, cideries, gathered at the Capitol to share ideas about growing the industry. They also heard a pep talk by Cuomo, who says a few thousand new jobs have been created.

“We also can be a major facilitator,” Cuomo said. “A lot of your business is about promotion."

The Daily Refresher

As people increasingly stray from mass-produced products, demand is growing for locally produced food, wine and beer. In upstate New York this trend is spilling over into the field of craft distilleries, and the state is seeing a comeback of the small, artisan liquor operations of the pre-Prohibition era.

From the Adirondacks to the Hudson Valley, and down to New York City, dozens of micro-distilleries are popping up.

In western New York, Jason Barrett is adding another operation to the ranks.

Boutique brands of liquor on the rise in New York

Jul 25, 2013
Eagle Beverage

"I had a lot of spare time on my hands, and this was just one of the many crazy ideas you come up with when you're trying to figure out what the heck you're going to do to make some money and make a living."

Two years ago, Brandon Bellinger was working for a now defunct racing team in North Carolina. Today, he's developed and created his own brand of top shelf tequila, called 21 Tequila, which he sells at local bars and liquor stores around Oswego County.

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.