Brewing local collaborations: Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ mixes unique experiences
Berkshire Mountain Distillers is a distillery located in Sheffield, MA. Below, the team shares some details on their business and the importance of supporting local.
Describe your business
A founding member of the craft distiller movement, Berkshire Mountain Distillers handcrafts its products in small batches. Garnering recognition for their select line of high-quality spirits including a James Beard Award Semi-finalist, Berkshire Mountain Distillers has received praise from GQ, NYT, and Washington Post. Berkshire Mountain Distillers, which was established in 2007, opened its new production facility-store-tasting room in 2014.
What makes your business unique?
The Berkshires’ first legal distillery since prohibition, Berkshire Mountain Distillers is embraced by many of the nation’s leading mixologists. As supporters of local agriculture and business, Berkshire Mountain Distillers uses regional materials in many of their products, creating a truly authentic artisanal brand. The business has received numerous high accolades including Gold Medal Awards from the Beverage Tasting Institute and San Francisco Spirits Competition and national praise from publications like Details, Playboy Magazine, Cool Hunting, Wine Enthusiast, and Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible. Their products are currently available in 19 different states.
In February 2021 Berkshire Mountain Distillers released a trio of whiskeys in partnership with three brewers in Massachusetts as part of their twelve-partner Craft Brewers Whiskey Project. The five-year collaboration includes the distilling of a dozen different popular beers from some of the best and well-known craft beers in the country including six from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Each addition to the American whiskey collection is the product of a single-sourced craft brew distilled into a unique Berkshire Mountain Distillers whiskey. Produced by the region’s first legal distillery since prohibition, Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ will blend each whiskey to 86 proof using its proprietary historic spring water in Sheffield, MA.
The February release of the Craft Brewers Whiskey Project features three whiskeys distilled from three craft brewers in the Commonwealth including: UFO White Ale from Mass Bay Brewing Co. (Boston, MA;) Spencer Brewery’s Trappist Ale (Spencer, MA;) and 413 Farmhouse Ale from Big Elm Brewing, located in BMD’s hometown (Sheffield, MA.)
Scheduled to be released in Spring 2021, the next set of whiskeys will highlight Boston Lager from Samuel Adams (Boston, MA;) Imperial Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company (South Deerfield, MA); and Smoke & Dagger Black Lager from Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers (Framingham, MA.) Berkshire Mountain Distillery is also planning to expand this partnership by collaborating with other popular craft brewers from neighboring states later this year.
What does your business look like?
At the production facility, retail shop and tasting room in Sheffield, MA, visitors can sample award-winning artisanal spirits including Greylock Gin, Ethereal Gins, Ragged Mountain Rum, Ice Glen Vodka, Berkshire Bourbon, and New England Corn Whiskey plus a few cask-finished bourbons that are not otherwise available in Massachusetts. Curbside pickup is available, making the business a great local option for whiskey enthusiasts.
Visitors can book tours in advance although tours are currently hold during COVID-19 restrictions. For a listing of current hours and visit policies, please visit the Berkshire Mountain Distillers website or call 413-229-0219.
Why is it important to support businesses like yours?
Berkshire Mountain Distillers is a strong supporter of local agriculture and business and uses regional materials in many of their products, creating a truly authentic artisanal brand. Founder Chris Weld is actively engaged in the business and lives in Sheffield, MA, where the distillery is located. A long-time member of Berkshire Grown, which supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community and economy. keeping dollars local is important to the business and to helping build community. Berkshire Mountain Distillers gives back to many institutions in the region including a number of cultural organizations which make up a large part of the Berkshire economy.
Do you want to say anything to your customers?
We welcome visitors every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our team members are on site to answer any questions, offer tastings and host small groups in our various public areas. Currently, we have a fire pit outside with socially distant picnic tables and, in summer, plan to offer a tented area for all-weather outdoor tastings. Come and sample our award-winning artisanal spirits including Greylock Gin, Ethereal Gins, Ragged Mountain Rum, Ice Glen Vodka, Berkshire Bourbon and New England Corn Whiskey plus a few cask-finished bourbons that are not otherwise available in Massachusetts. Curbside pickup is available.
How has your business changed or adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Berkshire Mountain Distillers has always valued its community and the importance of locally driven efforts. In response to the pandemic, Berkshire Mountain Distillers has been doing what it can to respond to the crisis. Due to emergency changes in federal law, our team is now legally allowed to make hand sanitizer, which has been made available to the community as long as we are able to keep up with demand. We are using a (75%-85%) ethanol blend with Vegetable Glycerin and Hydrogen Peroxide for their hand sanitizer formula as authorized by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and consistent with World Health Organization guidelines. And we’re donating a portion of our profits to those putting themselves on the front line.
Berkshire Mountain Distillers asks visitors to please be thoughtful of the community, especially small businesses and those in need. We provide a designated entrance and exit and asks visitors to maintain a social distance of six feet when in the facility.