Tuthilltown is the granddaddy of New York’s booming craft distillery scene. Its pioneering efforts in production and lobbying helped pave the way for NY’s 180 craft distillers, including established players like Hillrock Estate and upstarts like Orange County Distillery.
Ralph Erenzo and Brian Lee started distilling in 2005 after an unsuccessful attempt by Erenzo to start a campground for climbers in the Gunks. Stuck with some land and no business, he decided to make whiskey thanks to a timely dip in the license cost.
It was the first time whiskey had been made in New York since Prohibition. That PR gold – combined with the founders’ commitment to producing high-quality spirits with locally-sourced ingredients – lead to their eventual success.
Tuthilltown’s flagship Hudson Whiskey and Indigenous Vodka continue to win many awards and best of Hudson Valley selections to this day. After becoming one of the largest craft distilleries in the country, they eventually sold to the prominent, family-owned Scottish distillers William Grant & Sons.
The distillery operates at a scenic location on the Shawangunk Kill with views of the Gunks’ majestic cliffs. The location was the original site of the Tuthilltown Gristmill, listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Tuthilltown Spirits is open every day. On weekends, tours are held hourly between 12pm and 5pm. Advance booking is recommended.
Tours ($12 per person) and tastings ($10) can be booked on Tuthilltown’s website.