Caledonia Spirits opens multi-million-dollar distillery

US gin and vodka producer Caledonia Spirits has opened its new multi-million-dollar “sustainably-designed” distillery in Montpelier, Vermont, which will increase its capacity by 10 times to meet demand.

In August last year, Caledonia Spirits broke ground on the US$9 million 27,000-square-foot distillery and visitor centre on Gin Lane in Montpelier.

Situated along the banks of the Winooski River, the solar-powered Barr Hill Distillery also features a cocktail bar, research and development centre, retail shop, and an event space. The site also has custom-built stills and allows Caledonia Spirits to keep its production in-house.

Designed with sustainability in mind, the distillery features a rooftop solar array, “state-of-the-art” systems for water and heat reclamation, spill containment and electric car charging.

Barr Hill Distillery is projected to use 83% less water per bottle of gin than Caledonia Spirits’ previous facility. Waste from the facility will be sent to the city’s biodigester to be used as renewable fuel.

The new site, with “enhanced production capabilities and increased capacity”, will allow the producer to introduce its Barr Hill Vodka, Barr Hill Gin and Tom Cat Gin, to more customers.

It will also allow Caledonia Spirits to produce new products, including “further instalments” from its Experiments in Agricultural Rectification (EAR) programme.

The first batch from the EAR programme was a vodka distilled solely from pure Vermont maple syrup. Special releases will be available for purchase exclusively from the new distillery.

Caledonia Spirits was founded in 2009 by local beekeeper and farmer Todd Hardie. The company is now under the leadership of Ryan Christiansen, president and head distiller, who purchased the firm in 2015.

“Because Caledonia Spirits oversees each step of distillation, we were in a unique position to set the standard for how a distillery can be built in the northeast US,” said Christiansen.

“Our commitment to crafting high-quality spirits for our customers and partners is what drives us, and this new distillery will present us with opportunities that would have been hard to imagine several years ago.

“We look forward to taking advantage of this amazing opportunity to serve more customers, work with additional farmers, and create new and innovative spirits in a sustainable way. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Caledonia Spirits and Barr Hill.”

Caledonia Spirits is expecting to bring in hundreds of visitors per week and will create additional local jobs. The distillery is open to tours seven days a week.

The Caledonia Spirits range is available in 32 US states, Puerto Rico, Canada (Quebec), Denmark, Hong Kong, and Japan.

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