With drinks in hand, crowds gathered before noon Monday at the new American Crafted Spirits distillery in Windsor.
It's flagship product -- SILO Vodka -- symbolic of the building itself and the business's deep ties to the Green Mountains. Peter Jillson, the company's founder, is an 8th generation Vermonter. "Right now we are actually getting our grain from a mile down the road at the Great River Farm -- It's a rye. So if you taste the product today, it is rye-based product," Jillson said.
As the community celebrates the new beginning, the day represents the continued growth of the industrial park, now called Artisan's Park. Here Vermont businesses are on display. From the Sustainable Farmer to the Harpoon Brewery, one of region's most popular beers. And now SILO Vodka is added to the mix.
"There is a real interesting synergy evolving as they all begin to work with each other and figure out, whether it's jointly marketing events or how they can share resources. A real boost for this community," said Bob Flint with the Springfield Regional Development Corporation.
"A place that was just an empty field -- turn it into a job center and tourist magnet for Vermont. So it is just a great story about jobs, as well as spreading the word that Vermont has the best food, best spirits, best beer being produced anywhere in the world," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, who declined a sample, saying it was a bit too early in the day.
But on this day, as the company's president pours a drink for his contractor -- the man behind Geo Barns of White River Junction -- spirits are the talk of this party. An industry that's on the rise and one worth toasting. "There is probably on the order of 8 to 10 right now. And the craft distilling industry is still extremely small. There are about 400 craft distillers in the United States. It's akin to what the micro brews were 25 years ago," Jillson said.
SILO Vodka is only available right now at the distillery and Vermont State Liquor Stores, But the company says it will be shipping to New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by the end of the year. The company also plans to expand into the gin and whiskey market in the near future.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>