THE WHISKY LADY
A new face into Rochester culture, Black Button Distillery is the first craft distillery within city limits since prohibition.
Found at 85 Railroad St., next door to Rochester staple brewery Rohrbach Brewing Company and just a block from the Rochester Public Market, Black Button is a small batch crowd-funded distillery producing whisky, gin, vodka, moonshine and even a barrel aged maple syrup for our sweet tooth ! Black Button therefore offers a pretty cool range of spirits, all with their own signature twist, I’m particularly thinking about this Apple Pie Moonshine which is combining two of the greatest things in life : pies and alcohol
Gino Fanelli from Reporter explains that the road to opening a distillery that pumps out upwards of 400 bottles a week was a legal struggle nearly two years in the making due to strict regulations that have kept New York’s craft liquor industry stifled.
“First we had to get our farm distillery license, then our CDS [Controlled Dangerous Substance] license, then our liquor license; all in all, the process took over a year and a half,” said Barrett.
“Well worth the wait, the flavor of love is found in each sip of every spirit. The gin, a warm, orange-y romp backed by the light presence of Juniper is a sweet, mild take on a classic liquor. The vodka: packed wheat and full of complex flavors not typically expected from a neutral spirit. And the moonshine is something different altogether. The flavor of corn is first to come to the table, but soon followed by a rich flavor reminiscent of a refined, aged whiskey (though it is not) and finished with a smooth, gentle kick. It’s unique, strange, harsh, smooth and just downright wonderful.” Gino F.
The building housing the distillery is said to be approximately 100 years-old, the main door having been built by its neighbor brewery which brought huge support to Jason Barrett’s project. According to The Rochesteriat, the vintage building has been re-used in a way (mixing new and old) that’s well-perceived both by the hipsterish crowds and the preservationists alike.
Regarding the name “Black Button Distilling”, Jason Barrett, its founder, explains :
“My family has owned a button factory on Monroe Avenue for four generations, I’m colorblind, so the joke’s always been that I could always sort the black buttons.”
It’s then in this spirit of fun, and combined with a true passion for the art of distillation that Black Button makes their brews, in a way where you can taste every hint of grains, yeast, water and whole bunch of love.