Distillerís Log - Spring 2016
New England Spring may be the most elusive season of our four. Although the calendar may read that the vernal equinox has passed, the weather on Westford Hill can continue with a long period of cold and gray. Then suddenly peepers become deafening, a few weeks of warm sun, greening, pesky black flies and out of nowhere it can feel like summer.
One hope for this period is that the fruit buds in our northeastern orchards don’t get teased to come too soon and get nipped by late frost. Farmers must have nerves of steel.
Spring is busy in the distillery, too. Projects that we put off all winter require attention. Distilling of tanks of fruit, such as apples or Bartlett pears, resumes as the winter of fermentation ends. Bottling, labeling, and events to promote our spirits are always in season.
We were pleased to host our Congressman from the Second Connecticut District Joe Courtney who paid us a visit to tour our facility. The article in the New York Times in December on Connecticut distillers enticed him to come see what we’re up to. He is a great supporter of farms and other small businesses that are so plentiful here.
We were happy to catch up recently with Chris Carlsson, the spirits expert from Rochester, NY who judged with Louis at the American Distilling Institute competition a few years ago and has visited here. He’s writing an article on aged apple brandy production, and interviewed us on our work with that. It was 1998 when we put our first apple distillate in barrel, so Chris was eager to talk to us about our observations 18 years into that project. As New England’s first distilled spirit, apple brandy has a fine, long story to tell.
Speaking of stories, when student Tyler Margid asked if he could write about Westford Hill as a project on local businesses, we were happy to have him visit. Read about his impressions—we’re happy to share them here.
When you’re emerging from hibernation and begin to circulate again, be sure you’re asking your local restaurateurs and wine shops to support local craft spirits distillers. You can find the big brands everywhere you go—why not drink local for a unique experience? You deserve it!