It’s no secret that the Hudson Valley does alcohol well. Actually, it does craft beer and local wine really, really well. With dozens of breweries and wineries nestled throughout the Hudson River region, the area practically oozes alcohol.
Now, however, it’s time for spirits to shine. While the Hudson Valley already has a number of award-winning distilleries (looking at you Hillrock Estate Distillery and Tuthilltown Spirits), it’s about to welcome a very large, very European guest to the sippable scene. By 2020, Alexandrion Group, Romania’s largest spirits producer, will establish its first American distillery in Carmel.
“[Alexandrion Group’s] investment is proof-positive that New York is a premier destination for food and drink enthusiasts,” observes Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
It was in July 2017 that the group first announced its plans to secure a space for a distillery in the United States. When the project reaches completion in 2020, the distillery will produce the premium spirits, including whiskey, bourbon, gin, brandy, and vodka, for which the brand is known.
“We are delighted to work together with the local authorities in a large project that will introduce Alexandrion Group to the American market,” says Nawaf Salameh, chairman of Alexandrion Group. “It is an opportunity to share from our expertise in order to develop new products tailored for the U.S. customers.”
While the initiative is a draw for spirits aficionados throughout the region, it’s also a financial boon for the Hudson Valley as a whole. According to a statement from the New York State Governor’s office, the Alexandrion Group will invest more than $40 million to renovate the Putnam County distillery, creating 102 new jobs over the course of the estimated five-year development phase. The project will receive aid from Empire State Development, New York’s primary economic development agency, in the form of up to $2.7 million in performance-based tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program.
“I along with the Carmel community are extremely pleased and excited that the Alexandrion Group has selected the Town of Carmel to establish and operate their first U.S. distillery,” enthuses Town of Carmel Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt. “The distillery will be a destination for many visitors and tourists adding to a huge boost in our local economy.”
The Romanian producer isn’t the only international alcohol maker to find a new home in the Hudson Valley. It joins rank with Asahi Shuzo International Co., Ltd., the maker of DASSAI premium Junmai Daiginjo sake, which announced the establishment of what will be New York’s largest sake brewery in April 2018. The sake brewery will provide another financial boost to the Hudson Valley economy, with its $28 million investment in the facility and creation of 32 new jobs. Once it reaches full production, the brewery, which will be located at the corner of Route 9 and St. Andrews Rd in Hyde Park, will produce 332,640 gallons of sake a year.