GLENVILLE — Construction is underway at the site of a unique combination of businesses in Glenville; a distillery and cooperage.
The property brings two businesses together; a craft distillery from Murry’s Fools Distilling Company, and a cooperage, a facility which makes the wooden barrels which store and age spirits, from Adirondack Barrel Cooperage.
“The concept is you’ll be able to have a destination where people can go learn about distilling and also learn about barrel making in the same spot,” managing partner Tony Hynes said. “I think it’s going to be kind of an interesting draw, people are very interested in the craft distilling movement, and to attach a cooperage to that, the barrel is 70-80% of what makes the whisky-whisky.”
Hynes purchased the property at 7152 Amsterdam Road in Glenville has sat mostly unused for the past two years. It was the former site of local maple syrup producer Riverside Maple Farms, which opened at the end of 2017 and closed in February 2020.
Hynes explained, Murray’s Fools Distilling Company is owned by Sarah and Randall Beach, Hynes described himself as similar to their landlord for their new site in Glenville.
The Glenville location will be the Beach’s second, they own another distillery in Altona. The new location is expected to open this fall. The distillery recently submitted all of its finalized paperwork to get its liquor license Hynes said.
The other business on the property is Adirondack Barrel Cooperage, which is co-owned by Joe and Kelly Blazosky and Hynes.
The two new commercial buildings on the property will be 8,500 and 10,500 square feet.
“I ended up making a deal to buy the maple farm, and Randall Beach who owns Murry’s Fools Distilling, has been one of my lawyers for 20 years,” Hynes said. “And he lives in Schenectady, but his business was in Plattsburg, so I convinced him that that made no sense. I said ‘if I fit up the space, will you move in there?’ and he said sure.”
Hynes had wanted to move the barrel company, which is located in Remsen, closer to this area. He lives in Glenville and is the CEO of Precision Valve & Automation, the Halfmoon manufacturing company he founded in 1992.
Construction on the barrel shop began earlier this month, Hynes said.
“I would say by this time next week the framing will be done,” Hynes said. “Our target date to move, it’s not only the construction of the building but there’s an awful lot of planning involved. We’re looking at a target date of March 2023.”
The property will also have a rickhouse, Hynes said. A rickhouse is a building used to age whisky, he explained.
“So we will manufacture whisky barrels, they will then go to our distilling customers, and then they will be able to fill them and send them back to me,” Hynes said. “And then I will store them in what’s called a bonded warehouse, so it doesn’t take up space, or they don’t have to organize space where they are.”
The site, all of the buildings and other costs of the project will total about $3 million, Hynes said.
“It’s certainly going to be unique,” Hynes said. “There is nothing else like this in the country. You can go to the Jack Daniels Distillery, and Jim Beam, but those places are so huge they are essentially chemical plants. They have cooperages there, but the scale at which they build, you can’t get a feel for the craftsmanship that goes into building a barrel.”
The United States has a very small number of cooperages Hynes said. The majority of them are very large he explained.
The barrel is a “very important” part of the distilling process Hynes said. The barrel is where whisky gets its flavor from, he explained.
“Before whisky goes into a barrel it’s essentially moonshine,” Hynes said. “When it gets into the barrel, it starts to age, it cycles in-and-out of the wood and we char the inside of the barrel so that’s where we get that richness and color, and where you get that oak-y flavor in the drink.
The distillery is large enough to hold small events and has quite a bit of green space, Hynes said.
A connecting trail will go between the new property and Wolf Hollow Brewery Company, which is also located on Amsterdam Road.
“We’re going to basically have ourselves a beer-whisky trail,” Hynes said. “Were hoping to do some things jointly with them, because they certainly draw a lot of people and they are producing a very good product.
The town’s planning and zoning commission approved of the plans for the project in March.
“We’re excited for this, this is one we’ve been working on for a while with the property owner,” Glenville supervisor Chris Koetzle said. “It’s part of what we’ve been trying to work on, on Route 5, is trying to being that agritourism business there. So it compliments Wolf Hollow Brewery to have the distillery there.”
The area around that part of the town is really coming together as a place to visit for agritourism types of activities, Koetzle said.
These businesses help to bring visitors to the area who also visit other area businesses Koetzle said. He explained it also helps to being new jobs to the town.
“We’re just excited to welcome them, because I think it’s a great compliment to that corridor and I think it’s really going to help build the underutilized corridor,” Koetzle said. “It’s going to be positive for the town”
The barrel shop is sold out for the remainder of 2022, and all of 2023, and is taking contracts for 2024 Hynes said.
“If I could double barrel production I could sell them all out as quickly as I could double the production,” Hynes said. “So I think those nine jobs are going to probably become, I would say within two years, at least 20 jobs.”