Capital Region Craft Beverage Producer Expands Albany Footprint with Additional Tasting Room and Retail Shop
Photos of the New Albany Distilling Facility Are Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of Albany Distilling Company, Inc.'s new facility on Livingston Avenue. Albany Distilling, which was the city's first licensed distillery since the beginning of Prohibition, invested in the expansion project as a result of increased product demand and the need for additional barrel storage space. The company will add eight new employees to support the expansion in downtown Albany.
"This administration's focus on growing New York's craft beverage industry has led to the production of some of the most diverse and renowned beer, wine, spirits and cider in the country," Governor Cuomo said. "The completion of Albany Distilling's downtown expansion is proof positive that our efforts to remove barriers to business development are working, and we look forward to Albany Distilling's continued success in the Capital Region."
"Visiting craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries in every corner of our State, I have seen first-hand how our craft beverage industry leads the nation and continues to grow," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The expansion of the Albany Distilling Company is great news for the Capital Region and economic development in upstate New York. This is another success story that was made possible by New York's commitment to local beer, wine, cider, and spirits. By cutting the red tape, we have seen our craft beverage industry expand in countless communities across the State, leading to new investments and good jobs."
Founded in early 2011, Albany Distilling began its operations in July 2012. The company's first product was whiskey, a bourbon mash first released as a new make and eventually as a three-month-old bourbon. An unaged rum was then inspired by the company's proximity to Albany's original 18th century distillery. Over the years, Albany Distilling expanded its offerings to include more whiskeys and a range of spirits, including products created in collaboration with other small local businesses like Nine Pin Ciderworks and Death Wish Coffee.
The new location includes more than 3,000-square-feet of the total 6,000-square-foot property, which was built in 1846 as a residence and later served as horse stables and a Nabisco factory warehouse. It features a tasting room, accompanied by a full bar offering New York-made spirits, cider, wine and beer. This expansion provides customers with a full craft beverage experience including prints and posters from New York State, slate drink coasters from Queens, and whiskey flights served on maple cutting boards made in the Adirondacks.
Albany Distilling invested more than $1 million in property acquisition, fit-up, fixtures and production elements. To encourage this expansion, Empire State Development is providing up to $60,000 through a capital grant. Capitalize Albany Corporation and the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation also supported the building renovation with a $30,000 grant through the Downtown Albany Retail Grant Program.
John Curtin, Albany Distilling Company Co-Owner, said, "Given our location here in the Capital Region, we feel it is an unspoken rule that it is our responsibility as a spirits producer and a craft beverage manufacturer blocks away from the State Capitol, to show off the rest of what New York has to offer. This new facility makes good on that promise."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "New York State's craft beverage industry is booming. Albany Distilling Company's growth is a microcosm of the broad industry development we are experiencing statewide, as craft beverage producers are contributing to community revitalization, creating jobs and strengthening regional economies."
Senator Neil D. Breslin said, "I want to congratulate Albany Distilling Company and their owners John and Rick on this expansion. Their passion for craft distilling is evident by their ongoing success. Albany Distilling has the distinction of being the first licensed distillery in Albany since the beginning of Prohibition and I expect them to continue to grow here for years to come. I also want to applaud Governor Cuomo for his commitment to New York State's craft beverage industry."
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "Albany Distilling Company has been a local juggernaut in the craft beverage industry. Distilling has long been a part of Albany's history, and this expansion shows that the Capital Region's appetite for locally crafted beverages is only growing. I am proud to have passed legislation to help grow this industry and look forward to continuing to work on their behalf. Congratulations!"
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "It seems as if it was just yesterday when we stood in the empty shell of the Albany Distilling Company to kick of this renewal of this forgotten building in the warehouse district and today we celebrate this $1 million expansion and investment in the community. Another jewel of the city of Albany is shining and my admiration and congratulations to John and Rick for their commitment and even greater future success."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Albany Distilling's incredible success showcases Albany County's commitment to small businesses, entrepreneurship, and heritage tourism, and New York State's support for the craft beverage industry. I congratulate John Curtin and Rick Sicari on this momentous occasion and offer my best wishes on this next chapter of their company's growth."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "My administration works each day to ensure we are strengthening our existing small businesses and attracting new establishments. Albany Distilling Company is a prime example of a local small business choosing to expand their operations in our Capital City. I am excited that they have opened their new tasting room and retail shop in our growing Warehouse District. I'd like to wish co-owners John Curtin and Rick Sicari continued success, and thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for supporting craft beverage manufacturers in New York State and helping to unleash their potential here in Albany and throughout the Capital Region."
Capitalize Albany Corporation President Sarah Reginelli said, "Albany Distilling's expansion not only continues to grow this exciting local business, it exemplifies the success of Governor Cuomo's focus on New York's craft beverage industry, and is a key project connecting downtown and the warehouse district. With this expansion completed, and theREP's successful Restore NY application, this area is poised to become a thriving gateway. Capitalize Albany and the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation look forward to Albany Distilling's continued success."
Since Governor Cuomo's first statewide Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit in 2012, new craft businesses have opened at an extraordinary rate, with the number of craft beverage manufacturers doubling statewide from 467 in 2012, to nearly 1,000 today. By passing major legislation and implementing regulatory reforms, New York's craft beverage sector has become a major driver of job creation, tourism, and economic development in communities across the state. In the Capital Region, the number of craft distilleries has increased from just five in 2012 to 20 today, with the region now home to 101 total craft beverage manufacturers, up from 36 in 2012, and an increase of more than 180 percent.