Prohibition Distillery / Bootlegger 21 NY
Tell us about your business.Prohibition Distillery is located in the small Catskill town of Roscoe, NY. My partner John and I started our company 5 years ago out of the back of our cars with no experience. The first product we released was our Bootlegger 21 NY Vodka. It is very different from industrial made vodka as it has no glycerol or sugar added. It is distilled from 100% corn (Gluten free), then slow filtered through hard wood charcoal to produce a remarkably smooth vodka. It is served at places like Four Seasons Hotel, Nobu, Landmarc, Tavern on the Green and Nick & Toni's and distributed in 13 states. Our Bootlegger 21 Bourbon is also made from 100% corn and aged 9 months in new charred American oak barrels. Our gin will be released on August. We chose to be in a small town (we commute 5 hours per day ), because we can make a difference and see the impact our business is having on our community. We like to think we are making an impact...one drink at a time!
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.Our distillery is located in a restored red brick firehouse built in 1929. We had to do a complete renovation, but managed to save all of the original detail. Our barrel house (currently being renovated) is located in the former VFW hall. We chose to repurpose our building, so that we can preserve the history of our small town, which is home to fly fishing in the US . Our distillery is open daily for tours and tastings. Our goal is to educate consumers on the art of distillation and to share the beauty of the Catskills.
What inspires you?We are inspired by so may things. The interactions we have with people who taste our spirits and are surprised by how good something local can be motivate us. The trust and belief our families and friends have in us to build our dreams has been so humbling and inspires us to push harder. With the release of our Bourbon we had joined the proud heritage of bourbon distillers dating back over 200 years. Trust, Integrity and Tradition inspire us!
What makes your business stand out?Our product quality combined with tireless work ethic, passion and belief in our products help us to stand out. When we were starting, we had no money yet we wanted to enter one of the toughest industries ..EVERYONE told us that it could not be done! Thank goodness we did not listen. Our vodka, Bootlegger 21 New York Vodka has won the Double Gold Medal at The 50 Best 2014 Domestic Vodka completion and has won the Best vodka at the NY International Spirits Competition. In addition, all of our Products Bootlegger 21 Vodka, Bootlegger 21 Gin and Bootlegger 21 Bourbon are 100% Corn, Gluten free and kosher. In a nutshell Quality, passion, station to detail and belief in ourselves and products make our business stand out!
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Being and entrepreneur you are an adventurer. You have your compass (business plan), your rudder (finances) and your determination. Believe in yourself! Be committed to and will yourself to success! Be prepared to work harder than you have ever had to work....but in the end it is worth it!
What does American Made mean to you?It means everything! American made means quality, craftsmanship and value! Our distillery is making an impact on our Catskill region through job creation and distillery tourism. We make all of our spirits from American / NY corn, which impacts the American farmer. We have taken the time to source and are proud to source all of our glass and packaging from American manufactures. We have even sourced all of our retail items locally. We are honoring a tradition of the great American distillers who came before us. Our logo for our company is the Poppy flower, which is in memory of fallen soldiers and sailors. American made means...Everything to us! We are living Our American Dream.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.Vote now
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now