By Jennifer Weber
With the end of October and Halloween around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about staying warm over those long, chilly Western New York nights. Picture that sip of whiskey in front of the fireplace, just waiting for you to enjoy. One step further, imagine that spirited bottle coming from a local Western New York distillery.
Over the past five years, a dozen or more distilleries have popped up in Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Niagara Counties, thanks to changes in the New York State Farm Distillery Law. While many of these bottles can be found at your local liquor store, a visit to distillery itself becomes a weekend adventure worth a few hours of your time. Many of these local businesses not only offer tastings and onsite storerooms, but also educational tours, events and restaurants on site making each visit a true tourist (in your own backyard) destination.
Time to check out a different kind of spirited adventure this weekend and pick up a bottle of local goodness along the way. Cheers!
5462 Robbins Road
The Ellicottvillle Distillery line of spirits, the Agronomist, offers three options for your tasting pleasure a Corn Whisky, a Corn Vodka and Apple Vodka made from their own homegrown grains. “We grow it. We ferment it. We distill it.”
Little Chicago Distilleries
3443 Suite K Route 16 North
Olean, New York 14760
Little Chicago Distilleries was started by a group of friends who “wanted to bring back legal distillation of fine spirits in their hometown of Olean.” Their first product, Black Hand Vodka was approved for sale last month and is made using only locally grown ingredients.
Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing
8398 West Main Street
Westfield, New York 14787
Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing, part of Mazza’s Brewing & Distilling offers a variety of grain-to-glass small batch spirits including Rye Whiskey, Bourbon, Applejack, Corn Whiskey, White Rye Whiskey, Limoncello, Apple Brandy Liqueur and additional featured guest spirits depending on what day you visit.
Enchanted Mountains Spirits
137 Water Street
Jamestown, New York 14701
Enchanted Mountains Spirits brings a taste of the Irish to their potato Vodka and Whiskey through old world family recipes over two centuries old. Each batch is made from potatoes, malted barley and locally sourced goldenrod honey from Western New York.
Southern Tier Distilling Company
2072 Stoneman Circle
Lakewood, New York 14750
Southern Tier Distillery is committed to being a farm to glass distillery and offer a wide variety of spirits including American, Corn and 2X Hopped Whiskey, London Dry and Citrus Gin, Small Batch Vodka and Maple Aged Spirits. Save the Date for their upcoming Straight Bourbon Release party on November 11th from 2pm-8pm.
1595 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14207
Black Squirrel crafts all their spirits from maple syrup sourced from the New York Maple Exchange in East Concord. They offer four varieties of spirits, Black Squirrel Aged Maple Spirit, Mapleshine, Ardilla Negra Maple Coffee Liqueur and Black Squirrel Maple Liqueur.
Buffalo Distilling Company
860 Seneca Street
Buffalo, New York 14210
The Buffalo Distilling Company is Buffalo’s first Bourbon Whiskey distillery and features hand-crafted, small-batch Bourbon, Moonshine, Apple Brandy and Vodka created under the label One Foot Cock.
Black Button Distilling
149 Swan Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Black Button distills, bottles, ages and serves small-batch gin from local New York grains. They live up to their motto “Living Large in Small Batches” by offering Citrus Forward Gin, Black Button Barrel Reserve Gin as well as delicious limited-time seasonal releases: Lilac Gin and Garden Gin.
Lakeward Spirits at the Barrel Factory
65 Vandalia Street
Buffalo, New York 14204
Lakeward Spirits works with WNY companies Pioneer Malting, NYCraftmalt, Queen City Malting, and Niagara Malt to produce their three spirits Grain Canyon Vodka, Evergreen Gin and Inland Sea Rum.
41 Columbia Street
Buffalo, New York 14204
Lockhouse Distillery was the very first Western New York distillery in town since the days of prohibition. They distill their own spirits from grapes grown at Freedom Run Winery in Lockport. Their current selection includes Lockhouse Gin and Vodka, Limited Release Barreled Gin, Limited Release Single Hop Spirit, Sakura Gin, Coffee Liqueur and Amaro.
Niagara Distilling Company
459 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Niagara Distilling Company is a farm to bottle distillery using all organic grains to create their 1812 Vodka and Gin which they boast as “spirits so smooth they could stop a war.”
500 Seneca Street
Buffalo, NY 14204
Tommyrotter Distillery is a craft distillery that uses homegrown American grains to produce Small Batch Vodka, Gin and Triple Barrel American Whiskey.