The Distillery at Greylock WORKS
"The best place in the area to nerd out over gin.The historic Greylock WORKS mill has been converted into a stylish home for this distillery from Colorado that relocated to the Berkshires and opened here in 2019. Inside the distilling room sits a 20 person bar that makes drinks exclusively from housemade liquors and is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings—perfect for folks visiting from out of town..."
"The two things of note are, one, the giant, floor-to-ceiling alembic pot still, shining in brilliant copper behind Riley, and two, the drinks he is making are ridiculously delicious. “I’m a skier, so I wanted to make a rum specifically designed for winter cocktails,” he says. “I try to make my spiced rum smell and taste like Christmas. It’s really good in things like hot buttered rum, hot toddies and eggnog. It’s the perfect winter rum.”..."
"Despite just opening last year Ski Bum Rum is already making a name for itself. The distillery’s three rums were all awarded medals at the 2017 Denver International Spirits Competition, and boasting the only Colorado rum to take home a gold..."
"Look no further for inspiration than the Distillery at Greylock WORKS, where master distiller Ryan Max Riley has been crafting artisanal rum and gin in traditional copper stills since 2015. Classic drinks are reimagined with slowly fermented spirits that firmly anchor you in both time and place, like the saffron elixir, made with Forager summer wildflower gin, saffron pistils, and grapefruit bitters. Take-home bottles become archives for ingredients like foraged berries and rose hips, spruce tips, and black birch..."
"My silver rum is made from a really dark, rich sugar that I think smells like the woods — it’s very earthy. I wanted to make a rum with a robust brown-sugar flavor," but "I also wanted a note of banana, and a little spice or pepper. The silver rum can be developed into spiced rum; I enhance the pepper in distillation by using a slightly lower cut, letting the rum go a little longer. I use peppercorn as the start of spiced rum to focus on that pepper note, and then cinnamon and clove. That pairing is quintessentially winter holiday. The thing people say most often without prompting is that it smells like Christmas. I like to create a rum with a lot of layers of complexity that work really, really well together..."
"For something a little fancier check out the restaurant and bakery The Break Room, located in Greylock WORKS, a 240,000 square foot former cotton-spinning mill turned creative and commercial space. The industrial-chic setting in The Break Room is tastefully executed and imbued with history: tabletops are made from former wooden floors and there’s even a hoist from the old mill above the bar. Ingredients are the stars here in a deceptively simple menu that showcases fare sourced from local farmers. While you’re in Greylock WORKS do a tasting at both Forager Gin, at a small-batch distillery that uses botanicals foraged in the local mountains, and the Berkshire Cider Project..."
"The Distillery at Greylock WORKS. This was certainly the reason I’m highlighting this stop. Ryan is the master distiller with an incredibly intimate and hands on process. He forages for many of the botanicals in his gin and spiced rums, infusing the terroir of the Bershires into his spirits using a single pot still. In fact, all of Ryan’s equipment is in plain sight. The pot still, a large fermenter where he makes a concoction very similar to beer to distill into spirits, and a hand-operated bottling line. The focused balance in the flavor of his spirits comes from careful time consuming production methods.The results are unforgettable: a white rum with enough character and flavor to sip on its own, a vanilla rum that is creamy and fragrant without coming off as overly sweet, and a gin with a subtle profile of earth and spice made by forged dried wild strawberries and flower buds..."
"While the building housing it had good vibes, the distillery itself — which doubles as a cocktail bar — was even cozier. Tucked into a corner of the Greylock WORKS complex, the distillery was warmly lit with hanging string lights. It had a few small tables where guests could sit and enjoy their drinks, a bar counter where Riley mixed the cocktails, and the distillery equipment. The black-and-white classic La Dolce Vita was projected on the far wall. But the special touch for many of the drinks, particularly the gins, comes from Vasiliauskas, according to Riley. She tastes every gin after they are distilled and gives suggestions on how to improve them. “Everything I do with the gin, I discuss with Emily and get her approval — they’re actually totally controlled by her palate,” Riley said, and, "after watching my fellow Record editors taste their drinks, I’m inclined to agree — Vasiliauskas is an excellent connoisseur. The couple told me that, at the end of the day, the distillery is more than just a small business or a bar; it’s also their way of connecting with the community and fostering social bonds between others. “It’s a sweet way to connect with people,” Vasiliauskas said. “We’re all so busy all the time, you end up mostly only talking to your colleagues and people you’re already friends with … [but] drinking is social, drinking is festive, and it makes people happy.”..."