Q: Where did the name ‘Murray’s Fools’ come from?
A: The story of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. (MFD Co.) is based on our co-founder, Randall Beach’s, great-great-grandfather W.H.H. Murray (Adirondack Murray), and his advocacy of the Adirondacks and outdoor life. Considered by many to be the “Father of the Outdoor Movement,” Murray wrote and published Adventures in the Wilderness in 1869. This book brought huge, adventure seeking crowds into the Adirondacks, creating what the media of the time dubbed 'The Murray Rush'. So many people arrived after the book was published that there weren't enough accommodations, guides, etc.; hence these crowds were called 'Murray's Fools'. Later, these ‘Murray's Fools’ returned and built hundreds of 'Great Camps', hotels, vacation homes and clubs in the Adirondacks, making the Adirondack Mountains the destination place of the growing urban class., as well as the privileged.
Murray’s Fools Distillery Co. seeks to create and provide fine spirits fashioned for those who, just as the original Murray’s Fools, have independent streaks, courage, adventurous souls and live for nature’s quiet moments.
A: We started on this journey for five primary reasons.
First, we are happiest when we are creative. Beginning a craft distillery has fed our need to be creative and learn. From the name of the business, to the selection of the equipment, to the process engineering and naming of the spirits, this venture requires a great deal of creativity and thought. We are thriving on this.
Second, we actually enjoy working together. Our talents and competencies are complimentary, making our teamwork extremely efficient and fruitful. We have recognized this for many years, and have been waiting for the opportunity to take our teamwork to a business level. Craft distilling is that opportunity.
Third, we enjoy fine food, wine and spirits. Luckily for our waistlines, overall health, and bank accounts, we tend to naturally enjoy all these things in moderation. We also enjoy food and beverages when they are locally produced and we can talk to those who made them. There is something special about speaking to the farmer, chef, vintner, brewer or distiller and hearing their stories and their whys. We find it fun and meaningful. Our craft distilling start-up allows us to become a part of this tradition.
Fourth, as we have grown older, the natural world has become more and more important to us. We love our farmhouse and surrounding lands in the Adirondacks. There is personal empowerment and restoration that comes from spending time in nature. These are two of the core principles that W.H.H. Murray sought to instill in American culture throughout his life. These principles have become important parts of our life, and we want to impart that through our spirits. We want you to drink a bit of the fine, while experiencing Nature’s restorative powers.
Finally, the timing is right. The craft distilling industry is in its beginning stages, much like craft brewing was twenty or thirty years ago. The industry is humming and the people we meet are super interesting and inspirational. We feel it’s a great time to try something new and join the craft distillery movement.
So, is there an “elevator pitch” to sum all of this up? Maybe… “Our craft distilling start-up allows us to feed our creative cravings and take advantage of complimentary talents, while indulging our passion for fine, local beverages and advocate for the restorative importance of nature.”
A: We wanted to be in or near the Adirondack Park and this was an available facility that met our needs, at an affordable price. It is located next to the property that co-founder, Randall Beach, spent his entire childhood life. The property has sentimental connections.
A: The dream took flight in March 2015 with a research and distilling class in Seattle, WA. Since then our lives have been propelled forward with our passion! After receiving our approval and license from the TTB, we began clean up and construction of what was to be our weekend home for the remainder of the year and beyond!
We started our major construction in September 2015, transforming an old workshop into a small batch farm craft distillery. Only able to work on available weekends, we managed to accomplish a tremendous amount of work over the last three months of 2015, working only 17 days with a total of 192 team hours!
The purchase and installation of all the large equipment immediately followed the construction, and then, with our NY State license in hand, we ran our first distillate in May 2016.