Artisan Distillery Set To Break Ground In Windsor, Vermont

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News Review Claremont, NH Jan. 18, 2012

Artisan Distillery Set To Break Ground In Windsor, Vermont

WINDSOR, VT. - Barnard, Vt. businessman Peter Jillson is opening a micro distillery in the Windsor Industrial Park, which will produce crafted vodka. American Crafted Spirits will soon be breaking ground on a 3,000 square-foot distillery in the Windsor Industrial Park.

Photo courtesy of American Crafted Spirits

"We are looking to start construction on the building within six months, with a plant to be producing product by late summer," owner Peter Jillson said in a recent interview. The artisan distillery will produce Silo Vodka, which was patented by Jillson in June of last year, as well as other flavored vodkas and whiskey. The company also projects to create five new job opportunities within three years.

As with the beer micro brewing sector over the last 15 years or so, there has been a recent growth in cottage industry of artisan distilleries as well. Currently there are an estimated 260 artisan distilleries in the United States.

"Therefore, there is a great opportunity to craft a quality product in an industry that’s growing, as well as creating jobs and economic development." Jillson is an eighth-generation Vermonter and has 30 over years sales experience in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. "Growing up in Vermont, I felt it was important to stay in the Green Mountain state and to utilize all the resources and raw materials Vermont has to offer."

The building project is receiving partial financing from the Vermont Economic Development Authority, which recently approved a $101,250 business loan, as well as the Connecticut River Bank. The total project cost is estimated at roughly $938,000. "Bob Flint, executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corp., helped a great deal in identifying potential building locations," Jillson added.

Of course, Vermont has already built a strong reputation in the beer micro brewing industry and now, are also beginning to produce spirits as well. The vodka will be produced from Vermont sourced wheat or corn, and the company has been working with a University of Vermont agronomist to locate raw materials from local farmers.

Unlike the traditional steel framed buildings that are used, American Crafted Spirits is constructing a post-and-beam distillery, contracted by GeoBarns, LLC based in White River Junction. A barn construction design is great for a distillery, which needs to utilize height and drainage, while the distillery equipment isbeing manufactured in Germany.

American Crafted Spirits will join Harpoon Brewery, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company and Simon Pearce in the Windsor Industrial Park. These companies all have public tours, which the distillery also plans to incorporate into their business. "We wanted to add a business that is utilizing natural resources and something that ties in with everything else," Bob Flint also stated.