The appeal is real! Craft Beverages and Cultural Institutions Go Together Like Gin and Tonic.
Breweries, cideries and distilleries and cultural organizations all continually strive to build and diversify their following, as well as provide existing audiences with new experiences.
Sharing these common needs and goals can serve as a nexus, bringing these two disparate endeavors together.
Since its establishment, Murray’s Fools Distilling Co. has actively connected and partnered with history and art museums, theatres and heritage organizations. We truly appreciate the work, volunteerism, and passion that goes into managing these groups and the value they bring to our communities.
Murray’s Fools Distilling Co.’s philosophy is based upon a heritage of freedom and individualism. We believe the cultural organizations in our community emphasize and advocate these values, and we have thoroughly enjoyed partnering with them, making new connections, establishing mutually beneficial relationships and promoting the treasures our area has to offer.
Here's some shots from several of the fun events we collaborated on!
July is NY Distilled Spirit Month
New York State Distillers Guild Declares
July “NY Distilled Spirits Month” to Promote
Second Annual Spirits Competition and Events Across the State
For Immediate Release, June 27, New York, NY - To salute the inspiring results of the second annual NY Distilled Spirits Competition, and to recognize a variety of diverse and dynamic events taking place at farm distilleries across the state, the New York State Distillers Guild (NYSDG) has declared July “New York Distilled Spirits Month”, and invites spirits, cocktail, and farm-to-table enthusiasts to join in the celebration by attending a happening at a tasting room near them.
NYSDG partnered with the Raise a Glass Foundation to stage the spirits competition in May. The competition is a way of raising the bar of spirits being distilled in New York state, and to raise funds to support collective promotional, research, and legislative activities NYSDG executes on behalf of the state’s distillers. CLICK HERE to see complete results of the second annual competition.
This year’s Best in Show winner was Yankee Distillers Straight Wheat Whiskey, which is hosting a Fourth Anniversary party on Saturday, July 27, with exclusive releases, food, and live music. Saint Lawrence Spirits won Distillery of the Year based on the cumulative points of all of their medaling entries, and are planning an event for Wednesday, July 31, with hors d'oeuvres from Chef Christian Ives from the Saint Lawrence Spirits Château Restaurant and live entertainment by Travis Rocco.
Other events include a Brooklyn Public Library Archive “Barchive” conversation, “Moonshine, Speakeasies and Local Stills”, held at Van Brunt Distillery on Thursday, July 25, a “Moonshot Party” toasting the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with Moonshine cocktails and barbeque at Buffalo Distilling on July 20, and a fundraiser for Rochester-area charity focused on children with heart disease, Mended Little Hearts, at Black Button Distillery on July 19. Additionally, Brooklyn’s Barrow’s Intense Tasting Room will feature a different NY distillery each day in July, with 10% off tastings and bottles of the products of that day’s featured distillery.
The complete calendar of NY Distilled Spirits Month events is:
NYSDG Treasurer and Marketing Committee Chair and Olde York Farm owner Louise Newsome said, “From the North Country, through the Hudson Valley, down to New York City, and out to Western New York, by hosting these coordinated events in July, New York’s farm distilleries are helping drinkers draw the connection between our guild members, New York agricultural products, and high-quality spirits.”
Craft distilleries across New York State support and contribute to the revitalization of local agriculture and New York’s inner cities. Founded in 2014, the NYSDG’s mission is to promote and advocate for the distilling industry in New York State through the collective voice of our members and to generate high quality, reputable and successful distilled spirits in New York State. In addition to great shaping pro-distillery legislation, and educating trade and consumers, NYSDG has supported the development of several regional spirits trails, developed nydistilled.com, and contributed to the success and growth of the Taste NY Program.
For Media & Press inquiries, please contact NYSDG Director Jenn Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org; 917.714.4274
Albany, NY (February 7, 2019) – Randall S. Beach, owner and manager of Murray’s Fools Distilling Co. in Clinton County, NY, has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the New York Distillers Guild.
Beach has been operating MFD Co. since obtaining licensing in 2015. He co-owns and manages the distillery with his wife, Sarah. Murray’s Fools currently produces craft vodka, apple brandy, single malt whiskey and aquavit. Beach is also an attorney in NY’s Capital Region where he has practiced for seventeen years.
The New York Distillers Guild, founded in 2013, currently has over 60 members located throughout New York state.
According to the American Craft Spirits Association, New York ranks second in the U.S. for the number of craft distilleries, with over 120 craft distillers (making up almost 8% of the nation’s total).
As the state with the second largest number of craft distilleries, the NY Distillers Guild has the substantial responsibility of promoting and advocating for a considerable number of members and constituents. And that is exactly the Guild’s mission, to promote and advocate for the distilling industry in New York State through the collective voice of its members. The 60+ member distilleries in the NYS Distillers Guild are located in all 11 regions in New York State, and include farm and urban distilleries. Member distillers make nearly every category of distilled spirits – including vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, vermouth, liqueurs and bitters.
“Our state is a leader in the craft distilling industry, and it is exciting to be elected to the Guild’s board to help ensure that craft distilling continues to grow and succeed in New York,” Beach said.
During his service on the board, Beach will be collaborating with other board members to create programs, increase awareness and advocate for legislation that will allow the NY craft distilling community to continue to thrive.
Osprey Aquavit - A Dream Come True
Aquavit, an unusual choice? Too risky a spirit for a craft distiller?
Not really… Make what you love and you will succeed!
While recently traveling and visiting Scandinavian countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, not only did I absolutely fall in love with the cities, the people and the food, but also the spirit of their spirits!
I was first introduced to Aquavit in Norway and instantly fell in love! Murray’s Fools Distilling Co. had only developed one product at the time and it was still going to be three products and two years later until I was finally able to create my very own spirit, Osprey Aquavit.
My recipe was definitely not a random spontaneous combination, I did some deep research on traditional and modern recipes and the entire production processes.
I created three individual ‘recipes’ and using my petite copper pot still, I began my experiments! So much fun! They were all very different, with distinct flavors; however all used the traditional caraway and dill base. I was very happy with the results!
To select a final recipe, I brought together a discreet focus group of bartenders, gourmet chefs, Scandinavians, foodies and a couple that had never even tried Aquavit! So much fun! We ate Scandinavian foods, shared stories, and sampled recipes. It was still serious business however, everyone recorded their tasting notes and scores without interacting with each other and the result…all but one person voted for the same recipe! They all also provided some much needed and valued feedback on how they might like to see the spirit enhanced.
Now that I had my recipe I was ready to roll in the big mama stills!
As a traditional celebratory drink, this spirit needed the perfect name. We were inspired by Terrace Lodge, a camp W.H.H. Murray had owned on Osprey Island in Raquette Lake, NY. A camp where, on a regular basis, Murray celebrated the joys of the natural world with friends and family. And so it was, our new spirit was labeled Osprey Aquavit.
This spirit is typically served on special occasions, chilled in very small Aquavit glass, however I have found it makes an amazing Danish Mary (or Danish Murray we like to call it) and a fabulous Negroni!
It is a wonderful feeling to create something you love and enjoy and have the opportunity share it with those who also appreciate fine spirits. I am so proud to see this product on liquor store shelves and hear the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ of those who try it.
Clinton County, N.Y. - Murray’s Fools Distilling Co., Clinton County’s first licensed craft distillery, boosts their growing craft spirit portfolio with the launch of their new American Single Malt, WolfJaw Whiskey.
The new whiskey is a small batch American single malt with a hint of peat for a delicate suggestion of smoke. It contains 40% alcohol-by-volume (ABV) and is sold in 375ml bottles.
A love of scotch combined with the growth in the craft whiskey segment encouraged the owners of MFD Co. to create their own distinctive single malt and present its new flavor profile to the market.
MFD Co. WolfJaw Single Malt Whiskey Profile:
APPEARANCE: Burnished Chestnut
NOSE: Enticing butterscotch aromas with emerging hints of campfire
PALATE: Silky mouthfeel. Brown sugar and vanillas provide the backdrop for bursts of pepper and orange zest
FINISH: Smoke from the peat comes to the forefront at the slightly hot finish
This American craft spirit has a unique flavor twist and finish, designed to reach both seasoned and new generations of whiskey drinkers and cocktail connoisseurs.
MFD Co. is initially releasing its new whiskey in upstate New York on Friday, July 20th, 2018, and will be available at the MFD Co. Distillery, Plattsburgh Farmers' & Crafters’ Market and Gioiosa's Wine & Spirits. Please check the MFD Co. website and Facebook page for hours and event schedules.
“In today’s fast growing American Whiskey category, fans are looking for genuine and premium products that are special and created in small batches, with a sense of history and tradition. MFD Co. is excited to deliver this new whiskey that meets and exceeds these expectations.”
About WolfJaw Single Malt Whiskey
W.H.H. Murray introduced the Adirondack Wilderness and the joys of camping to the people of the United States. Awe-inspiring peaks such as Upper and Lower Wolfjaw inspired Murray’s creativity and zest for a life amid nature’s beauty. One hundred and fifty years later, the Adirondack Mountains have the same impact on our spirits. Wolfjaw whiskey is a single malt whiskey that captures the thrill and awe of the Adirondacks with its smooth beginning and campfire-like finish.
About Murray’s Fools Distilling Co.
Murray’s Fools Distilling Company is a fully licensed farm distillery located in upstate New York, just a few feet from the storied Adirondack Park. MFD Co. currently produces 'The Snowshoe' Vodka, 'La Pomme du Lac' Apple Brandy and ‘WolfJaw’ Single Malt Whiskey. Honoring heritage and embracing innovation, Murray's Fools Distilling Co. creates small batch distilled spirits fashioned for those who live for nature's quiet moments and freedom of self.
American Distilling Institute Awards Bronze Medal to Murray’s Fools Distilling Company
Altona, NY - Murray’s Fools Distilling Co.’s (MFD Co.), La Pomme du Lac, craft distilled Apple Brandy was awarded third place among its peers at the national American Distilling Institute’s Awards Gala. This is an amazing achievement for the team at MFD Co., not only is it their first entry in a competition, it is also only their second product in production.
ADI announced the winning spirits Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at their annual conference Awards Gala held in Portland, Oregon this year.
Each year, both US and international entries are tasted blind and evaluated by an expert panel of judges made up of distillers, journalists, bar owners, bartenders, retailer, wholesalers, distributors and importers.
This year the American Distilling Institute (ADI) had a record number of spirits entered into their annual Judging of Craft Spirits – It took 46 judges three days to judge the 1, 017 spirits that were submitted!
The competition is specifically for US and International craft spirit producers who are independently owned and is small-scale (maximum sales of 100,000 proof gallons).
MFD Co.’s other products include, The Snowshoe Vodka and a soon to be released American Single Malt., WolfJaw Whiskey.
The micro batch products are available for purchase at:
- MFD Co. Distillery (visits currently made by appointment, contact through email@example.com). Watch the website, www.murraysfools.com as the produce become available at more locations.
About La Pomme du Lac – Craft Distilled Apple Brandy
La Pomme du Lac, “The Apple of the Lake”, is a craft distilled Apple Brandy made in the Adirondack-Lake Champlain region from apples grown in Upstate New York. In 1890, W.H.H. Murray published Lake Champlain and its Shores, an exploration of the history of Lake Champlain and its yachting opportunities. Expansive and broad, our brandy reflects the wild, sublime nature of Lake Champlain and its surrounds.
About Murray’s Fools Distilling Co.
Murray’s Fools Distilling Company is a fully licensed farm distillery located in upstate New York, just a few feet from the storied Adirondack Park. We currently produce 'The Snowshoe' Vodka and 'La Pomme du Lac' Apple Brandy and expect to bottle our first batch of Adirondack Single Malt in the spring of 2018. Honoring heritage and embracing innovation, Murray's Fools Distilling Co. creates small batch distilled spirits fashioned for those who live for nature's quiet moments and freedom of self.
Not only is Murray’s Fools Distilling Co. a beautiful picturesque place to work, it is also located on a historically significant property. Purdy’s Mills was once a booming small hamlet that included Purdy’s saw mill, a boarding house, a box factory and a general store. The owner of the mill, Fred Purdy’s homestead, Clover Hill Farm, was adjacent to the mill and is still part of the property today. The homestead has been maintained and been kept as historically accurate as modern day will allow. Now, where in the 1800s a successful mill was once thriving, a different industry has moved in!
Our fundraising campaign has ended and, even though we didn’t quite meet our goal and the costs were almost double our estimates (we are not contractors), we are moving upward and onward. We ended up needing a larger septic system than anticipated and our well dug deeper then we guessed, but it is all AWESOME! And we are making progress and moving persistently forward. It is all good news for us!
Thank you for all the support, emotional and financial, from all our friends and family! Through you we were able to raise $8,300.00!
Special thanks to these people! You are so generous to us with your support and beliefs in who we are and what we are capable of!
We have added in our own personal savings and what we have made in sales over the five months to bring it up to cover the $17,900.00 costs of the septic, the well digging and installation, hot water heater and plumbing supplies (not including bathroom).
We currently have under control:
Even though we are so close… we cannot say for sure when we will be back in production and can’t make any promises on whether we will still be able to open the tasting room in the spring. We’re working as much as we are able to and as fast as we can, even in this arctic -14° weather!
Still to go – Next steps:
Hope to see you in the Spring!! CHEERS!
We are regularly asked how long it takes and what is the entire process for making our craft distilled vodka?
Well here it is - the entire farm distillery process from grinding grain ourselves to hand labeling the bottles - all boiled down to three minutes!
As a small craft distiller managing your own business, a huge part of the job description becomes Marketing, unless you can afford to hire someone. Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone there are several key criteria you should be aware of and participate in. In this blog I’ve briefly outlined the process I went through to design Murray’s Fools Distilling Co.’s first label, ‘The Snowshoe Vodka’.
1. Research the Legal Regulations and Requirements
These are the factors I considered to be most important when I designed our label. However, there are other things, such as color, label-shape, and quantities to order, to keep in mind and take into consideration when designing. The best test for me was to create and print some of my label ideas, tape them to my bottle and set them up next to some other brand bottles we had purchased. If my design got lost and didn’t stand-out, the design was out of the running. If the design looked good it became an option.
Watch the video below for a look into my process for designing ‘The Snowshoe’ label.
Co-founder of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. | Altona, NY