Pioneer craft distiller to speak to historical association

Learn about the history of distilling on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center in New Salem.

To the Editor:

The history of distilling in New York is a fascinating one.

Beginning in 1640, Dutch settlers on Staten Island began producing Dutch Jenever, a grain-based gin infused with local botanicals such as hops and juniper berries.

The number of distilleries grew throughout New Amsterdam, now New York City, and deep bonds developed between the agricultural communities and the distilleries.

Rum became more common after the British takeover but, after the colonies gained their independence, whiskey became the “American spirit” and its production became vital to farm life, amd the number of farm distilleries mushroomed across New York state.

From Colonial times to the present day, the legal local distilling industry has had significant ups and downs, almost disappearing during the days of Prohibition.

But now, the craft of distilling has been reborn in New York. Local distillers are once again turning to and forming relationships with local farmers in their quest to obtain local fruit, botanicals, and grains.  

Our local craft distillers are enthusiastic and ingenious entrepreneurs. Come and hear pioneer distiller and co-founder of the Albany Distilling Company, John Curtin, discuss the intriguing history of distilling in New York and in our region.

This interesting and informative program — “From Dutch Jenever and Colonial Rum to Empire Rye: The Story of Distilling in New York State” — will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center in New Salem at 7 The Old New Salem Road. Admission is always free.

On the same day and at the same location, please take the opportunity to take in the exhibits at the New Scotland Historical Association Museum, featuring the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The museum will be open for a half-hour before the program.

Judy Kimes


New Scotland

Historical Association

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