Vermonters have long made a living on the landscape, and the quality reputation that comes with these products is fueling a new trend-- Vermont-made spirits.
"It's unique. People like seeing stuff made from Vermont. The products that Vermonters are making are really good," said William Goggins of the Vt. Department of Liquor Control.
In the last 10 years the state has licensed 16 distilleries, and 12 already have products on the shelves. The Vermont-made spirits feature local flavors like maple, berries, apples, and at Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, it's all about the honey bees.
"It is interesting to see each person's stamp on their work," said Todd Hardie of Caledonia Spirits.
For the last four decades, Hardie's heart has been in beekeeping. And in just the last two years, he created a line of gin, vodka and cordials distilled from honey and sealed with a bees wax glaze.
"Distilling is rooted in agriculture, and we have a respect for that," Hardie said.
State officials say distilling has become big business here in just the last 10 years. The brands have established a reputation for quality and are becoming well-known beyond the Vermont border. Equipment and market research require a big upfront investment, so distilleries start with a more limited product line to see an immediate return.
"People have been clamoring for the brown spirits. We have been doing clear spirits. I think a lot of distilleries start with clear spirits because when you get into barrel aging it takes time and then it takes more time to bring the product to market," said Tanya Thomas of Caledonia Spirits.
Currently, Caledonia Spirits is working on two more kinds of liquor-- barrel-aged gin and whiskey-- which take much longer to produce.
"We have to have a diversity and a volume to do this work," Hardie said.
So far the state has stocked up on every Vermont-made liquor. The distillers fill weekly or monthly orders and the products are brought to the Department of Liquor Control in Montpelier, where they are dispersed among the state's 49 liquor stores.
Hardie insists the support of the Vermont community is the reason for their success. The reputation for Vermont-made goods and diversity of products helped create a niche in the artisan distilling industry.
"As long as people want to keep putting their backs into the business and doing what they can to make success out of their product, we will keep helping them," Goggins said.
Currently there is no law limiting the number of distilleries in Vermont, and state officials say they do not plan on it. They expect there is lots of room for growth.
These high quality spirits come at a high price. Some of the bottles are more than $50 apiece.
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>