BIG TASTE, SMALL FOOTPRINT


 Denning’s Point Distillery was born of a lifetime of small steps, formative experiences and a lot of serendiptity for Co-founders Karl Johnson and Susan Keramedjian.  For Karl—his whole life seems to have led to this point: he grew up on a 6,000 acre farm in MN, pulling his little red wagon around, selling corn to the neighbors as a boy.  Then,  he studied under his father, a plant geneticist and agronomist who bred barley for malt.  And years later, working in chemical engineering distilling rocket fuel compoenents.  Meanwhile, across the continent, Susan spent many years in corporate marketing and design in NYC with both established brands and products as well as start ups.  

Fast forward, this duo landed in the Hudson Valley with its magnificent abudnance, beauty and rich historical significance.  Karl and Susan realized an opportunity to dovetail their experiences and create award-winning spirits with unique, modern branding. Denning's Point Distillery's spirits are made entirely of local grain and celebrate the rich history of the Hudson Valley. The whole here, is most definitely more than just the sum of it’s parts! 

 
 

The Process


4000 lbs of NY State's finest grain equals 200 gallons of amazing barrel strength whiskey.

4000 lbs of NY State's finest grain equals 200 gallons of amazing barrel strength whiskey.

Selecting the Grain

We source our grain through several family owned farms in the Hudson Valley, the Catskills and the Finger Lakes region in NY State. Our philosophy is “the closer, the better” but we will never sacrifice quality for drive time. Can’t do it. Won’t do it.

Mashing

All production of our spirits happens in our space in Beacon, from milling the grains in our roller mill straight through the distillation and barreling.  Hot water, milled grain, and barley malt are the only ingredients used in our mashes. Grains are not separated from the resulting wash. We ferment and distill on the grain for the most true flavors.

KJ making it happen with Marge Gunderson—our roller mill!

KJ making it happen with Marge Gunderson—our roller mill!

Fermentation

After cooking the mash, the contents are cooled and our proprietary yeast is added. Originating from Southern KY, our specially selected yeast is propegated on site. While this takes a great deal of extra time, we feel strongly that it is more than worthwhile as it creates abundance of precursors to the aromatic esters for our barrel aging process.

Fermentation is usually a five day process. Cooling is required to keep a consistent temperature during this time. This also helps with the development of consistent flavor profiles and maximum productive efficiency of the conversion of sugars to alcohol.

Equipment Geeks: Our love of gadgetry knows no bounds. We can montior our temperatures and control all of our equipment remotely from the distillers iphone, with the aid of our home-grown relay box.

Barrels soaked and ready to be filled today! One day these chubby caterpillars will release a zillion butterflies. We are guessing in about two years.

Barrels soaked and ready to be filled today! One day these chubby caterpillars will release a zillion butterflies. We are guessing in about two years.

Distillation

We are the proud owners of a 250 gallon custom hybrid still, handcrafted by Vendome Copper and Brassworks of Louisville, KY. Our still lets us combine the best aspects of a traditional pot still with the added benefits of achieving excellent reflux with the column still. 

Botanical infused spirit in development.

Botanical infused spirit in development.

Blending

We have a very romantic story about our water source:  it is the finest water available from the great water department in Beacon, NY. The water is sourced from local Hudson Valley reservoirs, lakes, rivers, ponds and it is naturally excellent tasting water if we do say so ourselves. Despite this, we remove all potential impurities through reverse osmosis – with the ultimate goal that the water not influence the integrity of the flavor of the grain and resulting spirits.

Barreling

We barrel our aged spirits in a combination of 10 gallon, 30 gallon and 53 gallon charred American Oak barrels, charred to a level “3”. Small barrels are not the most economical way to age spirits but they are speedier and we lack patience! 

Full Circle: Once our distillations are completed, our spent grains are picked up by local farmers to use in the feed of their farm animals. Typically, after distillation, the grains are 28% protein – great, free feed for the animals, no waste to dispose of for us. It’s a win, win.