Craft Distilled Spirits from Connecticut to be Featured at Commemorative Event in Washington DC
Spirits produced at Westford Hill Distillers selected to represent regional food
and drink from the Long Island Sound region.
Westford Hill Distillers, a craft distiller located in Ashford, Connecticut, has been invited by the Smithsonian Institution to help kick off FOOD in the Garden 2014: Waterways and Foodways. The series, which will be held Thursdays in September, began on September 4 at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
FOOD in the Garden 2014 explores the history and connections between water, people and food in four maritime regions where battles were waged during the War of 1812. The first event focuses on Long Island Sound and features a marketplace with select products chosen to represent local food and spirits from the Long Island Sound region.
Westford Hill has been invited to present its award-winning brandies including Connecticut Pear William and New World Aged Apple Brandy. Apple brandy was the first distilled spirit produced in America and has been produced since 1630. Westford Hill Distiller’s New World Aged Apple Brandy is pure New England made with a blend of Connecticut-grown apples.
“Aged Apple Brandy is one of our specialty products,” says Louis Chatey, who co-owns Westford Hill Distillers with his wife Margaret. “We appreciate that the Smithsonian recognizes that true craft-distilled spirits represent an important part of America’s heritage and deeply honored to be invited to pour our spirits this historic event.”
“Event organizer Susan Evans of the Smithsonian told us that when researching a distiller to feature at this kickoff event, everyone pointed her to Westford Hill Distillers,” adds Chatey.
According to the FOOD in the Garden event website, “In 1812, Long Island Sound, one of the nation’s most historic estuaries, was a crossroads of trade and agriculture… From its many farms and wineries to its thriving seafood industry, Long Island Sound has become synonymous with the production of fresh, tasty food and drink… We will explore how the area has changed since the War of 1812, and learn what new and exciting things are taking place to protect Long Island Sound while still producing amazing, regional food and drink.”
Earlier this year, Westford Hill Distillers worked with Slow Food International to define the process for producing true American Aged Apple Brandy for its International Ark of Taste in an effort to protect the heritage of the spirit. Westford Hill Distillers’ New World Aged Apple Brandy is being featured this month at Slow Food’s Terra Madre in Turin, Italy as an example of the craft.
Westford Hill Distillers New World Aged Apple Brand earned Best of Category and a Gold medal at the American Distilling Institute’s 2012 judging.
“Fine brandies start with great fruit, and local Connecticut soils and conditions have been producing top quality fruit for generations,” says Margaret Chatey. “We are proud to support local agriculture in the Northeast and have purchased more than one million pounds of local fruit. Now that artisan-crafted spirits are growing, American consumers can become re-acquainted with this style of spirit–-hand-distilled fruit brandies.”
About Westford Hill Distillers
Westford Hill Distillers produces a variety of fine aged brandies, eaux-de-vie and Rime organic Vodka. The distillery also custom produces for other brands such as Subarashii Kudomono, Peel Liquors, Cape Moonshine and Brodsky Bitters. Westford Hill Distillers has been in operation since April of 1998, and was one of the first craft distillers in America’s re-emerging movement. The distillery is located on a 200-acre property that has been in the Chatey family since 1919.
In 2008, the distillery earned three Golds and a Silver for its products and package design at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition, with its heart-shaped Poire Prisonniere earning Best of Show in Packaging Design from among 3,500 entries. This bottle features a full-grown Connecticut Bartlett pear floating in Westford Hill Distillers’ award-winning pear eau-de-vie.
Westford Hill Distillers eaux-de-vie, brandies and expanding line of spirits is widely distributed at wine and spirits shops and restaurants around Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island. The distillery in Ashford, however, is not open regularly to the public. To learn more visit the distillery’s website at www.westfordhill.com.