It was back in November that we took our first look at Niagara Distilling Company (NDC) – see here. Since that time, owners Nick Kotrides (pictured) and Eric Heuser have been hard at work, outfitting the 10,000 square foot structure with the proper equipment needed to get the show on the road. By entering into the market NDC plans on rolling out with its initial 10,000 bottle run.
Talking to Nick, I found it fascinating that he decided to pull the trigger on the operation after selling Empire Grill on Hertel Avenue. It was around that time that he met Eric (now Head Distiller) through a mutual friend. Eric, originally from Wisconsin, learned the art of distilling when he was living in Germany for ten years. Upon moving to Buffalo for work, and meeting Nick, a partnership was forged. “I always wanted to be in the distillery business, but it wasn’t until NYS laws changed that I was able to,” Nick told me. “Now, with Eric on board, and a sales force in place, we’re making a top of the line vodka – there is not a vodka on the market that tastes as smooth as ours. It’s farm to bottle – 80 proof, non-GMO, and locally sourced. We’re only producing with the hearts of the run, which means that we’re throwing away the beginning and the end of the run. Only the top vodka makers do that because many distillers cut corners, which impacts on the taste quality.”
Aside from distilling with only the hearts of the run, Nick and Eric also pride themselves on recycling the bi-products. “We recycle everything,” said Nick. “The heads of the run go to a biodiesel firm and the spent mash goes to the farm for livestock feed.”
Taking a look around the NDC operation, it’s pretty darn impressive. The shiny stills look more like instruments that you would see in an orchestra pit, than in a distilling operation.
Currently, work is underway on the tasting room, and the front parking lot is being transformed into a sizable courtyard. “We took the parking lot out completely. We don’t need parking lots in Buffalo – I never had a parking lot for any of my businesses. We would rather have a beautiful courtyard where customers can enjoy our 1812 Vodka, instead a parking lot for 20 cars. We care about this city, and it shows in the spirits that we are making. We started with vodka, and in four to six months we will be rolling out the gin. And we already have our barrels for the whiskey. We have another custom still on the way, and we’re gearing to sell out of state, right out of Buffalo, NY. This product speaks for itself. It’s a national product. As for Buffalo, this will be an event-driven location. We will also be partnering up with the local restaurant industry. Stop by next Friday and see what we’re all about – you will not be disappointed.”
Courtyard underway… located next door to The Washington Market, near Oshun, Toutant, Seabar, etc.
Niagara Distilling Company will be opening on Friday, July 24, 2015 at 2pm. Lloyd Taco will be selling food starting at 5pm.
Niagara Distilling Company | 459 Ellicott St | Buffalo, New York 14203 | (716) 886-9457 | Stay tuned to Facebook for additional event details