|Photo by Bill Dowd|
VALATIE, NY — The micro-distillery movement in New York State is up to 15 locations, with several more in the planning and licensing stages. And, some of those already open are preparing to go well beyond their initial products.
Harvest Spirits, located at the Golden Harvest Farm in this Columbia County town, is a perfect example. The Route 9 apple grower now produces Core Vodka, Cornelius Applejack, Pear Brandy and Apple Brandy with several more products in the works.
Collin McConville, one of the distillers, says Harvest Spirits is working on another version of the Cornelius Applejack as well as a grappa — an Italian grape-based spirit that Harvest Spirits is combining with sweet cider; himbeer geist — a German spirit using apples and black raspberries, and Rare Pear, a 100-proof, oak-aged spirit made from the distillery’s whole fruit pear brandy.
The distillery, McConville said, came about as a means of using up Golden Harvest Farm’s apple crop, and its line of spirits is based almost entirely on fruits grown on its acreage.
Harvest Spirits is a member of the fledgling New York Craft Distillers Guild, along with Castle Spirits (Monroe), Delaware Phoenix Distillery (Walton), Finger Lakes Distilling (Elmira), Hidden Marsh Distillery (Seneca Falls), Knapp Vineyards (Romulus), Lake Placid Spirits (Lake Placid), Long Island Spirits (Baiting Hollow), Spirits by Battistella (Ithaca), StillTheOne (Port Chester), Swedish Hill Winery (Romulus), Tuthilltown Spirits (Gardiner), and Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery (Warwick). Those distilleries produce a wide range of spirits, ranging from fruit brandies to vodka to rum to bourbon.
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