May 22, 2019
The Alexandrion Group, the largest spirit producer in Romania, recently announced plans to establish its first United States distillery in New York Citys Hudson River Valley.
The company is investing more than $40 million in the renovation of an existing building and the construction of new facilities for its new 120,000-square-foot distillery and tasting room located at 39 Seminary Hill Road in Carmel, the county seat of Putnam County.
The Mid-Hudson Valleys vibrant economy has attracted businesses and residents from across the world, and with the addition of the Alexandrion Groups first U.S. distillery, this region will continue to flourish, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his address announcing the project.
The company's investment is proof-positive that New York is a premier destination for food and drink enthusiasts, and we look forward to Alexandrion Groups continued success in the Empire State.
Epstein is serving as the design architects, full-service engineers and construction professionals for this project. Given our unique position of having branches in Romania and the U.S., coupled with our experience in food and beverage facilities, we are pleased to be a part of this venture. Epstein is also working with Frilli, a single main distillery vendor based out of Siena, Italy.
The investment consists of renovating an existing building and constructing an addition for a visitor center and tasting room, as well as building additional facilities for wastewater treatment. Initially, Epstein's architects and engineers developed a site plan, performed due diligence, and worked on preliminary design services for the distillery.
We are now working on Design Development of the entire building, both the Distilling facility and the Visitors Center.
We could have started from scratch, but we found the facility to have a lot of features and capabilities that we can utilize, so we can modify it in a number of ways, said Randy Tharp, Epstein's Vice President and Director of DesignBuild. We have maintained all the existing access roads the primary access to the facility for commercial purposes will be from Route 6.
Alexandrion reports the Carmel distillery will employ 60 workers over the next five years, 100 employees throughout New York State and 400 nationwide. Those at the facility will be there for operations, both the Visitors Center and the day-to-day of the distillery. Distillery staff will be employed in three shifts, allowing distillation to occur five days a week, 24 hours a day.
On a daily basis, there will be no more than six to eight trucks bringing in grains to the site or removing finished product, Randy said.
In coordination with Frilli, Epstein is also ensuring the necessary building provisions are made for the many pieces of distillery equipment, including stills, pumps, boilers, cooling towers and fermentation tanks. The alcohol is stored in a tank farm located outside of the facility.
We have consulted with the fire department and have agreed to their fire protection requirements. We will supplement fire safety with additional equipment that they currently don't have, Randy said. There will be leak-detection in all of the tanks as well as a concrete barrier, so if there are any leaks, they will be contained and will not spill outside the barrier.
Architecturally, the distillery is meant to showcase both the history of the site as well as the production of spirits. The copper stills, for example, will be visible from the exterior of the building through a glazed wall. In this way, casual visitors can get a sense of the production process even if they do not join a tour of the facility. Additionally, the gambrel roof of the Visitors Center alludes to the roofline of the Drew Seminary buildings. These structures were situated in the same location as the Visitor Center, but were lost to Carmel following a fire at the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, the formal expression of the buildings ties the historic past to the present, suggesting an integration into the fabric of the surrounding community.
We did some research into the appearance of the old seminary school. It takes into account the local history local context, local materials. There will be some stone and wood incorporated into the new facade, Randy said.
The Visitors Center will house a gift shop, tasting area and a bar/terrace for enjoying the view of the lake and the surrounding area of the site. These elements of the distillery will draw the curious and knowledgeable alike, and will serve as the place for celebrations, weddings and corporate events.
Once the project is competed in 2020, the distillery will initially produce spirits such as vodka and gin, which do not require aging, and will eventually be capable of producing whiskey, which could then be aged in a separate facility. The Alexandrion Group will also be offering public tours of the distillery, as well.
Settling on the U.S., Alexandrion Group President Nawaf Salameh said, It is an opportunity to share from our expertise in order to develop new products tailored for the U.S. customers. Investing in the local economy is a strategic move that will allow us to be present in the United States and use the base as a starting point for exports in the rest of the world.
The Alexandrion distillery will bring noteworthy economic development and tourist dollars to a county that wants to generate outside interest in its local products and amenities. Its presence will be transformative for the town of Carmel, and it will serve as a destination for spirits enthusiasts throughout the Hudson River Valley and beyond. As a result, the establishment is expected to be a boom to the community, since it will generate tax dollars and draw from the local labor pool for skilled jobs in the distillation and service industries. Epstein is thrilled to be a part of such a project, and we look forward to continue helping Alexandrion achieve their vision!