July 17 Program: Share the Spirits!

Gold Medal: 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Gold Medals, 2009 and 2010 Chicago International Review of Spirits. Best in Class: Vodka, 2009 New York State Spirits Awards. Gold Medal: 2009 Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition. Harvest Spirits in Valatie, NY has received an impressive array of awards.

On Saturday, July 17, the Canaan Historical Society welcomes Harvest Spirits co-owner Derek Grout, who will speak about the creation and growth of the first farm-class distillery in New York State. The company is an offshoot of Golden Harvest Farms, a third-generation apple grower whose year-round farm stand is a familiar sight to those who travel Route 9 in northern Columbia County.

In addition to using their own apples, the distillers have developed relationships with and employed the products of other area farmers. One such collaboration earned them another award this year: when the pear crop of Fix Brother Farm in Hudson was damaged by hail, the pears were pressed by Eger Brothers in Hudson and the cider delivered to Harvest Spirits for finishing in their 100-gallon German copper still. The end result, a pear brandy, received a bronze medal in April from the American Distilling Institute at their sixth annual brandy conference and competition.

Harvest Spirits’s current offerings include Core Vodka, Cornelius Applejack, Apple brandy, and the above-mentioned Pear brandy. Other products made from local fresh fruits are being readied for sale.

Mr. Grout’s presentation begins at 2 pm. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served following his address. The Canaan Historical Society Meeting House and museum is open from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays during July and August.

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