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Black Squirrel Distillery Is Set To Open

Back in November I wrote about a unique distillery that was coming to the corner of Elmwood and Amherst Streets. I say “unique” because Black Squirrel Distillery (BSD) is slated to be the first to produce rum in New Your State. The distillery cleverly figured out way to acquire a NYS Class D Distillery License, even though it was in the business of producing rum, which traditionally would be precluded from such a license due to the types of products needed to distill the spirit.

You see, the license requires distillers to source a certain percentage of products from NYS farms. In the case of BSD, that would mean that they would have to acquire sugarcane byproducts in order to make the rum. Obviously sugarcane is not grown in NYS. So instead of using sugarcane byproducts, BSD resorted to using syrup tapped from maple trees. Brilliant!

Black-Squirrel-Distillery-Buffalo-NY-1“As a New York Farm Distillery we create high quality spirits using New York State agricultural products— in this case maple syrup from local producers,” touts co-founder Matthew Pelkey.

“We make everything by hand. While we push the envelope on this and other products, the utmost attention to detail is given to every step of the process,” said partner Jason Schwinger.

On Saturday, February 21st, 2015, Black Squirrel Distillery will open to the public from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm. On that day, customers are invited to come purchase a bottle of the rum, aged in oak with an undertone of maple. A total of 200 bottles will be released, and tastings will be conducted at the distillery.

Black Squirrel | 1595 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo, NY

Black Squirrel Distillery on Twitter at @BlackSQRL | Facebook | For more information, visit

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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