This past weekend, the holiday mad rush began. But not in a way that you might think. Buffalo’s first modern day distillery opened its doors (see history), and then after two hours of selling out its entire stock, closed them. Co-owner of Lockhouse Distillery, Niko Georgiadis seemed genuinely surprised as we talked about the miraculous sales numbers that the distillers encountered. “We had a two-hour mad rush and sold 800 bottles of vodka,” he told me. “We were totally caught off-guard. If we had sold 100 bottles throughout the course of the day we would have been happy. Instead we sold our entire stock. People tuned in to the hype, and at one point we closed the doors as more people continued to come to the building in search of spirits.”
To say that Lockhouse partners are pleased with the initial sales would be a huge understatement. Now the partners are busy looking for any and all ways to increase production, whether that means ordering new custom equipment or working throughout the night. “Our equipment isn’t very big,” Niko continued. “We can’t make the product very fast. And we’re not even wholesaling yet! Once we got all of our permits, we were ready to produce and sell the vodka, but there was no way to tell how popular it would be. We just hired an apprentice distiller and we’re looking for an overnight operator who might have experience in a brewery or a vineyard or even a clandestine operation in a basement. It’s not like hiring a bartender you know. Being the first distiller in Buffalo comes with its problems, although at this point I’m not complaining. Instead we’re finding replacement parts for broken stills and doing our best to get product back on the shelf.”
Niko tells me that they plan on having gin ready this spring, and should have whiskey next year at some point. All of the timing depends on the equipment… at this point they have a confidence boost that is motivating them to move full speed ahead in this new venture, which is obviously good for business and good for Buffalo.
See Facebook for more info on Lockhouse Distillery | $35 a bottle including tax
Lockhouse Distillery | 255 Great Arrow, Suite 31, Buffalo, New York 14207 | (716) 983-4025