Planned Distillery Adds To North Country Beverage Mix
The north country already has a growing wine industry and now a distillery in the works for Clayton has people excited about what it could mean for the area.
Servers at O'Brien's Restaurant in Clayton say a local distillery could help quench customers' thirst for variety.
"People are always looking for new drinks, new cocktails to blend up, and that just adds another variable to any formula that they want to have us mix up for them," Christopher Larkins said.
That variable may be vodka and whiskey from the planned Clayton Distillery.
With the success of local wineries, officials say the distillery will target an untapped market in the north country.
"We've got our local brew pubs producing local beer. We've got our local wineries and now you've got another stop along the trails," said the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency's Dave Zembiec.
Developers say they originally had a three-year plan before actually serving up local spirits, but plans changed after they were awarded a grant.
"We were planning on moving a little bit slower and probably taking a couple of years to get it going, but now we can move ahead immediately," said the Clayton Distillery's Michael Aubertine.
Since word got out, people have been talking.
"Very positive, they're looking forward to offering their clientele another option when it comes to beverages," said Roger Howard, also of the Clayton Distillery.
The usual problem with making distilled spirits is that a portion of every batch is unusable and is usually thrown away.
Developers say that won't be the case with their distillery.
"What were doing is taking that first percentage of alcohol and making a bio-based antibacterial hand gel and you can also make antibacterial surface cleaners and windshield washer fluid from that," Aubertine said.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Watertown, NY
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