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From moonshine to prime time this crafty distiller has made a distinctive mark on the Buffalo booze scene.  As a New York State Farm Distillery, Buffalo Distilling Company creates a uniquely local, 100% grain to glass craft experience.
 
Buffalo Distilling Company was a successful Buffalo distillery in pre-prohibition times but fizzled out by 1918. The current distilling crew began their journey not far away in Bennington, NY. They perfected their craft and plotted the return of this historic distillery to Buffalo. After 100 years, the Buffalo Distilling Company of today is reborn in the Larkinville neighborhood of Buffalo.
 
Buffalo Distilling Co makes an impressive array of spirits. You can tell they test, tweak, and only present the very best as their final product. Their tasting room/cocktail bar provides a great opportunity to try everything they offer. Find your favorite and have the bartender shake you up a special cocktail. 

Here is a full listing of the spirits Buffalo Distilling Co is making under the moniker "One Foot Cock":

  • Bourbon Whiskey- Flagship whiskey made with local corn, wheat, and barley.
  • Straight Bourbon- Bourbon barrel-aged for 2 years.
  • Apple Brandy (not aged)- A style similar to French Calvados or Eau De Vie.
  • Apple Brandy (aged)- Local apples double distilled and aged in oak barrels.
  • Vodka- Truly special spirit made from start to finish in-house with local grains.
  • Moonshine- A nod to their beginnings as moonshiners. Local corn base with a pinch of malted barley.
  • Krupnik- Polish honey spiced liquor made with their own vodka base and local honey.

After all that liquor tasting, you probably need a snack! Buffalo Distilling Co has you covered. They have a small but thoughtful menu with sandwiches, pierogi, hot pretzels, and hummus.

 

For the love of local

When we met with head distiller Kevin Ford, he explained some different ways a distiller can navigate the craft spirits business.  Some begin by purchasing already made alcohol and then aging, flavoring, and packaging the end product as their own.  Others (including Buffalo Distilling) start at the very beginning of the process. 

What does that mean?

  1. Purchasing grains
  2. Brewing the mash
  3. Pitching the yeast
  4. Fermenting
All of those steps happen before anything enters the still, let alone our glass! A pretty long and involved process, right?!
 
Buffalo Distilling has an NYS farm distillery license which means they have to use grains and fruits grown in NYS. They source apples from Smith's Orchard in Pendleton and grain from Sheldon. This is pretty cool, because not only are they completing all the steps above in-house, they are also purchasing their ingredients locally.  
 
The end products from Buffalo Distilling Company are truly local: grown, fermented, and distilled all in NY.  This is why they can say grain to glass and mean it!
 
 

The Five

Our goal is to provide both interesting and consistent content. In that light, we have chosen 5 questions to ask each of the artisans we visit. 

Kevin Ford @ Buffalo Distilling…

Kevin Ford- head distiller edition Aug 9, 2018

1. How and why did you get started in this industry? 

Kevin's dad taught him at a young age how to make beer. From there, his interests shifted to liquor and the distilling process. Kevin started home distilling about 2 years ago and then met up with a trio of moonshiners from Bennington, NY. This set of events laid the foundation for what is now Buffalo Distilling Company.

2. Do you have a favorite pairing, food or otherwise, with your creations?

Whiskey and good company!

3. What was the craziest thing you have made and what was the result?

Bacon Bourbon- Fat-washed bourbon madness made for a private party. Resulted in a smooth, salty, and smokey drink.

Experimental Coffee Liquor- In order to impart a smoky flavor, they used an aquarium air pump to intake smoke from smoldering maple wood chips and then injected it into the liquor. Neat!

4. Do you have a product you wish resonated more with your customers?

Apple Brandy- They make 2 varieties of traditional brandy, one is barrel-aged and one is not. The finished product is similar to a French Calvados and not the sweet, syrupy stuff used in Appletinis!

5. Other than your own, what are some of your favorite craft beverages?

After a hard day of drinking the hard stuff, Kevin reaches for a beer! He supports local businesses that love their craft as much as he does. A couple of his favorites breweries are his neighbor Flying Bison and nearby Old First Ward.

Buffalo Distilling Company creates products that are "Made in Buffalo, for Buffalo". Check them out!
 

Did You Know?

The whiskey process starts with 1200 lbs of grain. That grain creates 500 gallons of mash. The mash is then distilled and only yields 30 gallons of whiskey for you and me!

Buffalo Distilling Company

Buffalo Distilling Company
860 Seneca Street Buffalo, NY

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