Since prohibition, black Button Distilling, the first grain-to-glass craft spirits producer in Rochester, N.Y., announces the grand opening of a new, expanded tasting room and distillery at 1344 University Ave., Rochester.
At 28,000 sq. ft., the new distillery and tasting room is quadruple the size of the distillery’s former location. Black Button’s average annual spirits production will increase from 1,000 barrels of spirits per year to as much as 4,500 barrels in the first few years. The Tasting Room’s retail space has grown to 4,500 sq., allowing for significantly increased seating capacity, private event space, distillery events and expanded hours of operation for the public. The distillery anticipates adding 10- 20 jobs to the company within the first year and up to 50 jobs in the future.
Black Button Distilling will release its oldest Straight Bourbon Whiskey to coincide with the grand opening. Aged for just over 8 years, there are only 170 bottles of this 125-proof Single Barrel Straight. It features rich chocolate, brown butter, and cinnamon with dry oak on the nose. The palate is spicy, with almost effervescent cherry cola, thick molasses and cookie sweetness, and a long spicy finish with leather.
Black Button Distilling, a locally founded and owned business, has operated for over a decade in Rochester. Black Button’s unique distillation process and geographic terroir create a style known as Rochester Style. No other distiller makes bourbon the way Black Button does, simply because they can’t — a combination of our equipment, process, ingredients, and climate that defines the special Rochester Style of Black Button Bourbon.
Today, Black Button spirits are going head-to-head with Kentucky’s finest. Most recently, Black Button’s Cask Strength Bourbon was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Empire Rye Whiskey won a silver at the same competition. Over the years, Black Button Distilling has earned dozens of medals from spirit competitions across the globe, including winning Best in NY State from the 2021 Heartland Whiskey Competition while also tying for best bourbon in the same competition with a Kentucky-made Bourbon.
Black Button Distilling is the story of Rochester area family businesses that span generations. Barrett’s grandfather owned a button factory in Rochester, and as a kid, Jason imagined himself running the factory one day. But Jason is colorblind. Since making only black buttons wasn’t an option, he honored the values of hard work, entrepreneurship, and community his grandfather taught him by pouring them into his passion for crafting handmade spirits. That passion has earned the distillery countless accolades, including landing on the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing companies four times in the past five years.