Vermont Business Magazine Caledonia Spirits, the distillers of Barr Hill, officially breaks ground Thursday at 3 pm at 116 Gin Lane, the site of their new 26,000 square foot Montpelier distillery, tasting room, and visitor center. The official “Ground Breaking & Cocktail Party” is open to the public. Governor Phil Scott and congressional representation from Sens. Leahy and Sanders and Rep. Welch’s offices will join the Caledonia team in the ceremony.
The expansion project picked up speed when Montpelier City Council approved a $460,000 development agreement in May of 2017. This agreement included several infrastructure improvements which were completed prior to distillery construction. The Montpelier City Bike Path construction project, also beginning this year, will run along Barre Street, directly in front of the distillery. The distillery will be granting an easement to the city for a public river access.
The new riverside distillery will increase Caledonia Spirits total production capacity to more than 200,000 cases. The distillery will house a venue for community engagement, including bee and pollinator education, distillation history, and cocktail education. The total project is estimated to cost over $9 million, and is slated to open in May of 2019.
“The City of Montpelier is thrilled to have Caledonia Spirits move into town. It's taken a lot of work and coordination to get to this point, but we have been delighted to collaborate along the way. This is a significant moment for the City of Montpelier, as we continue to show that Montpelier is a hub of business in Central Vermont. The location is ideal as it has the potential for river access on one side of the property, and the City is about to construct a bike path along the other side of the property. It's going to be more than just a great distillery, it will be a destination for those visiting Central Vermont.” – Anne Watson, Montpelier Mayor
Caledonia Spirits has hired Neagley & Chase Construction Company of South Burlington to build the facility. Weimann Lamphere Architects, of Colchester, has designed the facility with support from Dalkita Architecture and Construction of Littleton, Colorado.
“We are excited to have Caledonia Spirits join the Montpelier community. The project has been a beacon of collaboration with the city and local organizations. The new distillery will provide value to the community and a unique amenity for those who live and work in Montpelier. Visitors coming to the distillery to experience one of Vermont's high-quality, thoughtfully-made products will now get to enjoy the unique assets the rest of the city has to offer.” – Laura Gebhart, executive director of the Montpelier Development Corp.
Caledonia Spirits first brought Barr Hill Gin to market in 2011. The company has since seen rapid growth, winning 13 gold medals from top national and international spirits competitions held in New York, San Francisco, Berlin, and Hong Kong among other cities.
“The popularity of our brand begins with our farmers and distillers attention to quality,” said Ryan Christiansen, Caledonia Spirits President and Head Distiller. “The added capacity allows our team to bring more Barr Hill to market, while providing space to create and share new products with the community as we cultivate stronger relationships with our area farmers. This is an investment in Vermont. We can see the trend, and feel the momentum. If we’re going to keep up, we need more space.”