Black Button Distillery

Black Button Distillery

  • USA, New York
  • American Craft Spirits Association 2015 Bronze Medal, American Distilling Institute 2020 Bronze Medal, Concours International de Lyon Gold Medal
Phone Number
  • +15857304512
  • 1344 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, United States

Brick distillery building with outdoor patio seating.

History of Black Button Distilling

Black Button Distilling, a name synonymous with quality and innovation in the craft spirits industry, marks a significant departure from traditional distillery practices by emphasizing grain-to-glass production. Founded in 2012 by Jason Barrett, Black Button Distilling has the unique distinction of being Rochester, New York’s first grain-to-glass distillery since prohibition. This pioneering spirit has not only paved the way for the resurgence of craft distilleries in the region but also set a benchmark for quality and commitment to local sourcing.

The Founding Vision

The genesis of Black Button Distilling is as unique as its founder, Jason Barrett. Coming from a lineage deeply rooted in manufacturing, Barrett was poised to take over his family’s button factory in Rochester. However, a personal challenge—color blindness—made him reconsider his future in the button industry. This hurdle, rather than being a setback, became the catalyst for Barrett’s venture into distilling. With a desire to honor the values of hard work, entrepreneurship, and community instilled by his grandfather, Barrett channelled his passion for crafting spirits into the establishment of Black Button Distilling.

A Grain-to-Glass Philosophy

From its inception, Black Button Distilling has been steadfast in its commitment to a grain-to-glass philosophy. This approach not only ensures control over the quality and flavor of the spirits but also underscores the distillery’s dedication to supporting local agriculture. By sourcing ingredients locally, Black Button Distilling has fostered strong relationships with farmers and suppliers, contributing positively to the local economy and promoting sustainability within the industry.

The Evolution of Black Button Distilling

Over the years, Black Button Distilling has experienced significant growth and expansion. What started as a passion project has evolved into a respected name in the craft spirits market, with a loyal customer base spanning across the country. The distillery’s portfolio has also grown, offering a diverse range of spirits that reflect Barrett’s adventurous spirit and commitment to quality. Despite its expansion, Black Button Distilling remains true to its roots, continuously innovating while maintaining the integrity and values upon which it was founded.

Core Values and Community Engagement

Black Button Distilling is guided by core values that resonate through every aspect of its operations. Sustainability, passion, integrity, resourcefulness, innovation, tenacity, and skill are not just buzzwords but principles that drive the distillery’s decision-making process and product development. Moreover, Black Button Distilling is deeply committed to community engagement, regularly participating in local events and initiatives that align with its values and vision.

Black Button Distilling’s journey from a visionary idea to a leading craft distillery is a testament to the power of innovation, dedication, and community. By staying true to its grain-to-glass philosophy and core values, Black Button Distilling continues to lead the way in the craft spirits industry, inviting enthusiasts from all walks of life to “raise a glass” and celebrate the simple pleasures of finely crafted spirits.

Awards Won by Black Button Distilling

American Craft Spirits Association 2015 Bronze Medal: Awarded in the contemporary gin category for Black Button Distilling’s Citrus Forward Gin, showcasing the distillery’s innovative approach to gin production​​.

American Distilling Institute 2020 Bronze Medal: Recognised in the cream liqueur category for Bespoke Bourbon Cream, certifying it as a Certified Craft Distilled Spirit and highlighting its quality in a competitive field​​.

Concours International de Lyon Gold Medal: The Bespoke Bourbon Cream also received a Gold medal at this prestigious international competition, further demonstrating its exceptional quality and appeal​​.

John Barleycorn Awards Gold Medal: Another testament to the Bespoke Bourbon Cream’s excellence, indicating its superior quality among peers in the industry​​.

USA TODAY’s “10 Best Craft Distilleries”: An accolade that places Black Button Distilling among the top craft distilleries in the United States, recognizing its overall excellence and contribution to the craft spirits movement​​. 2018 Silver Medal: This award was given to Black Button Distilling’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey in the Best Bourbon Category, signifying its standout quality in a highly competitive category​​.

NASDAQ Stock Market’s 2016 “Next Great Consumer Brands” List: Featuring Black Button Distilling as an emerging brand with significant growth potential and consumer appeal​​.

Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies: Black Button Distilling has been listed four times in the past five years, highlighting its rapid growth and successful business model​​.

2021 Heartland Whiskey Competition Best in NY State: An award that recognises the distillery’s contribution to New York State’s whiskey tradition, with its products going head to head with some of Kentucky’s finest​​.

Whiskey Advocate 90-Point Rating: Awarded to Black Button Distilling’s Cask Strength Four Grain Bourbon, this rating is a significant achievement, indicating a high level of complexity and quality​​.

Black Button Distilling Tour Information and Experience

Black Button Distilling offers an immersive tour experience at its distillery and tasting room, located at 1344 University Avenue, Rochester, NY. This location is steeped in history, originally serving as a factory warehouse for the Symington Forge Corporation, a key manufacturer during World War I. Today, it’s transformed into a vibrant space where visitors can explore the world of craft distilling, guided by the distillery’s knowledgeable Spirit Guides.

Tour Schedule and Details

The distillery tours are available on Fridays at 6 PM and Saturdays at 1 PM, 3 PM, and 5 PM. These tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art distilling process behind all of Black Button Distilling’s award-winning spirits. The experience is designed to educate and engage visitors, from spirit enthusiasts to curious newcomers, about the intricate process of craft distilling from grain to glass.

Tasting Room Experience

Adjacent to the distillery, the Black Button Tasting Room is a warm and welcoming environment where guests can sample spirits, enjoy Black Button cocktails, and purchase bottles and merchandise. The Tasting Room features a bar serving Black Button cocktails alongside New York State wine and beer, providing a comprehensive local tasting experience. With comfortable seating areas and windows that open to the outdoors, the space is designed for relaxation and enjoyment of the distillery’s offerings.

Operating Hours and Reservations

The Tasting Room operates with winter hours as follows:

  • Thursday & Friday: 3 PM – 9 PM
  • Saturday: Noon – 9 PM
  • Sunday: Noon – 5 PM

Reservations are welcomed, ensuring visitors can enjoy cocktails, tastings, and retail shopping in a comfortable setting. The distillery provides indoor seating with ample space for guests to explore the spirits at their leisure.

Event Space and Private Gatherings

Black Button Distilling’s event space within the Tasting Room hosts a variety of functions, from private events and corporate gatherings to happy hours and educational cocktail and spirit blending classes. This versatility makes it an ideal location for celebrating special occasions or hosting corporate events in a unique setting.

Parking and Accessibility

For those visiting the Tasting Room and distillery, parking is conveniently located on the east end of the building, with the entrance on Blossom at the intersection of Blossom and University. The entrance to the Tasting Room is about 100 yards from the Blossom Road parking lot, shared with the distillery’s neighbors at Roc City Circus, ensuring easy access for all visitors.

Black Button Distilling’s tours and Tasting Room offer a unique opportunity to delve into the craft of distilling, learn about the production of award-winning spirits, and enjoy a taste of local craftsmanship in a historic and welcoming environment. Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of distilling or simply enjoy a day out with friends, Black Button Distilling provides an experience that’s as educational as it is enjoyable.

Flask & Barrel Review of Black Button Distilling

I’ve been to my fair share of distillery tours, collecting whiskeys that span the spectrum from your everyday shelf staples to those rare bottles that you save for the most special occasions. So, when I say Black Button Distilling stands out, it’s not just casual talk. Let me break it down for you, rating it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the vibe at Black Button is exactly what you want from a craft distillery. It’s got this authentic, grassroots feel that’s getting harder to find. The place isn’t just about the spirits; it’s about the story, the process, and the people behind it all. They’ve got passion, and it shows in every bottle they craft.

Their spirits? Top-notch. I’m talking about a range that not only respects traditional distilling methods but also isn’t afraid to get a bit creative. Their Citrus Forward Gin and Bespoke Bourbon Cream? They’re not just good; they’re award-winning, and believe me, they deserve every accolade. The gin is smooth, with just the right kick of citrus, and the bourbon cream is like nothing else out there – a perfect blend of sweet and strong.

The whiskey selection, though, that’s where my collector’s heart really beats faster. Their Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a standout, rich and full of character. And their commitment to using local ingredients? It’s not just talk. You can taste the quality and the care that goes into each batch.

But it’s not just the spirits themselves; it’s the whole experience. The staff are knowledgeable and genuinely enthusiastic. They’re not just there to sell you a bottle; they’re there to share a story, to educate and entertain. And the tour? It’s a deep dive into the craft of distilling, from grain to glass. You leave not just with a bottle, but with a greater appreciation for the art of distilling.

Now, why not a full 5 out of 5? Well, no place is perfect. While the selection is impressive, I always find myself wishing for just a bit more variety in their limited releases. And while the atmosphere is generally welcoming, it can get a bit crowded at times, especially on weekends.

What To Do Nearby Black Button Distilling

Rochester Public Market (2.1 miles away): A bustling hub of vendors selling fresh produce, specialty foods, and unique artisanal goods. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and pick up some fresh ingredients.

The Strong National Museum of Play (2.4 miles away): Perfect for families or anyone interested in the history of play, this museum offers interactive exhibits on video games, dolls, toys, and more. It’s a fun and educational experience for all ages.

George Eastman Museum (1.5 miles away): Photography enthusiasts and film buffs will appreciate this museum dedicated to the life and work of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak. It features an extensive collection of photographs, cameras, and film technology.

Rochester Museum & Science Center (2.5 miles away): Offering three floors of hands-on exhibits exploring science and technology, the natural environment, and our region’s cultural heritage, this museum is educational and engaging for visitors of all ages.

Highland Park (3.5 miles away): Known for its beautiful arboretum and the annual Rochester Lilac Festival, Highland Park is a lovely place for a stroll, a picnic, or just to enjoy nature in the city.

Artisan Works (2.7 miles away): This unique space is both an art gallery and a studio, showcasing a vast collection of artworks ranging from contemporary pieces to historical artifacts. It’s a must-visit for art lovers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Black Button Distilling?

Granny’s Kitchen: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (585) 481-2727. Their address is 581 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14607.

Jim’s On Main: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (585) 442-4172. Their address is 785 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14605.

Char Steak & Lounge: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (585) 241-7100. Their address is 550 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, located in The Strathallan Rochester Hotel & Spa – a DoubleTree by Hilton.

What hotels are near Black Button Distilling?

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Rochester Downtown: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (585) 450-3801. Their address is 101 S Union St, Rochester, NY 14607.

Courtyard by Marriott Rochester Downtown: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (585) 504-2750. Their address is 390 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607.

The Inn On Broadway: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (585) 232-3595. Their address is 26 Broadway, Rochester, NY 14607.