By Susan Elise Campbell
Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery is making its first major expansion since bringing bottles of its flagship vodka to market in 2015.
According to co-owner Matt Colucci, moving all operations to a five-acre parcel on Route 149, adjacent to the current location at 133 Clements Road in Queensbury, will enable the business to increase production, visibility and space for tastings and events.
David and Connie Bannon, two of Springbrook’s five co-owners, have owned and raised their family on the Clements Road property. The distillery began in their antique barn that once stabled horses.
When all the equipment is transported to the new location, “the Bannons will get their barn back,” Colucci said.
The process of moving has been two years in the making, he said. When the acreage came up for sale, the partners did not hesitate to bid on it.
The foundation for the new building has been poured and an 8,000-square-foot, Adirondack-style building has been framed by Nick Daigle Construction in Queensbury.
The land was a clear lot with the same brook running through it as the Bannon property. The Springbrook Hollow has been a source of water for area farmers for centuries, according to the distillery’s website. It’s the water with its specific mineral content that contributes to “the quality of the products and why they are so popular,” said Colucci.
He bought into the company seven years ago with responsibilities in general management and sales. The product was only available in a few places in New York. Now distribution extends to nine states and 50 farmers markets, he said. “We have outgrown everything.”
The distillery’s new home will provide a much larger space for locals and tourists to taste the liquor and enjoy the outdoors, expanding the tasting room from 300 square feet to 2,000. The new design calls for a large wrap-around porch and outdoor seating with fire pits and views facing the adjacent woods.
In the past guests were allowed to bring in something to eat. Plans for food service on-site next year have not been finalized. Colucci said wood-fired pizza and food trucks are being discussed, along with having some local craft beers on tap and live music on the grounds.
With larger storage and production space, along with 16-foot ceilings to accommodate larger equipment and a partially automated bottling line, Colucci said the business is getting poised to distribute to additional states “and grow the ones we are in.”
An important factor is the visibility of the new space. The building and grounds will be in full view of travelers up and down Route 149 near the intersection of Route 9L. This location falls within the Adirondack Park and borders Queensbury, Lake George and Fort Ann.
Colucci attributes the company’s growth to “hard work and good products.”
Because it takes the less time to age, the distillery started with vodka production followed by gin, whiskey, and bourbon, counting on local farms and sources for ingredients.
There are also different rotational flavors of moonshine, which Colucci said is anything un-aged. Currently there is a vodka-based moonshine with fresh cinnamon and apples from the Beak & Skiff Orchards in Marietta, N.Y. Two other specialties are their award-winning Limoncello and Orangecello, also vodka-based.
Tours of Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery are available. Visit www.springbrookhollow.com. for more information.