Easy native spirits are the brand new ardour for a Maine couple who helped launch nationwide craft distillery motion – Bangor Day by day Information


For Jesse and Kacey Lupo, opening Mossy Ledge Spirits in Etna, their distillery and tasting room, has been an extended labor of affection.

However though they may mark their one-year anniversary subsequent month, the work hasn’t slowed down for the couple. Actually, they’re on the Lakins Street enterprise virtually all hours of the day, minus just a few for sleeping, they stated, however it’s all price it.

As they surveyed the spacious tasting room, the shiny 600-gallon custom-made copper nonetheless, the barrels the place whiskey and gin are being aged, and the neat rows of bottles which might be able to be stuffed with their spirits, Jesse Lupo couldn’t assist however smile.

Gabor Degre | BDN

Gabor Degre | BDN

Jesse Lupo, co-owner of Mossy Ledge Spirits distillery, takes a sip of his Jester’s Greatest whiskey that has been getting old on the distillery. The corporate began working in Could of 2018 and now they provide 9 completely different distilled drinks made out of Maine-grown grains.

“It’s turned out precisely like we’d hoped,” he stated. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Only a few years in the past, he and Kacey have been beginning to make a reputation for themselves, each regionally and nationally, with their firm Trident Stills. Their chrome steel and copper stills that they fabricate in Etna are utilized in distilleries throughout Maine and as distant as California, Colorado and Kentucky.

Enterprise is sweet, with their stills particularly interesting to clients who belong to the nation’s rising small craft distillery motion. They may have stopped at making stills. However Jesse Lupo didn’t need to simply help the craft distillery motion — he wished to be a part of it.

Gabor Degre | BDN

Gabor Degre | BDN

Mossy Ledge Spirits distillery in Etna provides 9 completely different distilled drinks made out of Maine-grown grains. The corporate began working in Could of 2018.

He and Kacey had an concept of the form of place they wished to create — homey, welcoming and cozy — and the form of spirits they wished to make: clean. They constructed a dust street on a patch of land subsequent to their nonetheless fabrication store, and started working constructing the proper distillery and tasting room advanced for his or her wants. It encompasses a photo voltaic array on the roof to generate electrical energy that helps to energy the constructing and a nonetheless massive sufficient to allow them to make as a lot liquor as they figured they may promote.

And as they constructed the distillery, they labored to maintain prices down and their focus native, offering Jesse Lupo some good tales to inform as he offers a guided tour by means of the constructing.

“We recycle and upcycle,” he stated.

Tables within the tasting room are former pc tables from the College of Maine that the couple bought for a cut price worth. An outdated nurse’s station from Jap Maine Medical Middle supplies a great spot to retailer devices used to distill spirits, and a particular machine they use to stay labels on the crammed bottles got here from a neighborhood girl who had a bittersweet story.

Gabor Degre | BDN

Gabor Degre | BDN

Mossy Ledge Spirits distillery tasting room and occasion house in Etna. The household owned and operated firm began distilling spirits in Could of 2018 and now they provide 9 completely different distilled drinks made out of Maine-grown grains.

Ruby Davis and her late husband, Tom, of St. Albans, had dreamed of opening a vineyard collectively, however when he died, it by no means got here to cross, Jesse Lupo stated. She offered the labeling machine to the Lupos for what they may afford to pay — which was a lot lower than what it value, Jesse Lupo stated.

He inspired her to attempt promoting it on-line to make more cash, however she was undeterred.

“I virtually cried,” he stated.

The Lupos are wanting native for his or her elements, as properly. The maple syrup that provides their sipping whiskey, “Jester’s Greatest,” its subtly candy taste comes from Cider Hill Maple Farm in Exeter, run by one in every of their buddies. And all of the barley they use to make their spirits comes from Buck Farms and Maine Malt Home in Mapleton.

“Their malt is changing into famend across the nation,” Jesse Lupo stated, including that he loves supporting native farms and companies. “After I went out to work after highschool, I had the selection of depart the state or keep and struggle for scraps. It’s good to see these smaller companies maintaining Maine folks in Maine.”

Gabor Degre | BDN

Gabor Degre | BDN

Kasey Lupo, the co-owner of Mossy Ledge Spirits distillery in Etna. The corporate provides 9 completely different distilled drinks made out of Maine-grown grains. They began working in Could of 2018.

However all of that target shopping for native and on creating the proper distillery and tasting room can be price little if the spirits made right here have been blah or horrible. Fortunately for the Lupos and for Mainers who take pleasure in sipping whiskey, sampling cordials or mixing cocktails with artisanal gin or rum, they aren’t. They’re clean, stuffed with taste and don’t burn taking place, simply the best way Jesse Lupo likes it.

“Nearly your whole industrial manufacturers have a burn to them,” he stated. “That’s the place craft does properly. I can management the product.”

Once they opened the tasting room to clients final Could, they weren’t precisely positive how it might go. Etna, about half an hour west of Bangor, is unquestionably off the crushed observe. However up to now, so good, the Lupos stated. Individuals got here, took a tour of the distillery and sampled the spirits.

Gabor Degre | BDN

Gabor Degre | BDN

Mossy Ledge Spirits distillery in Etna is a real household operation. Larry Neal the assistant distiller (pictured) is the daddy of co-owner Kasey Lupo. Jesse Lupo’s mother and father are additionally concerned within the enterprise. The distillery began working in Could of 2018 and provides 9 completely different distilled drinks made out of Maine-grown grains.

And plenty of went residence and requested their company liquor shops to hold the model. Proper now, Mossy Ledge Spirits will be bought in 49 completely different retail places, as far north as Caribou and as far south as Portland, and the Lupos credit score that listing to the enthusiastic clients who’ve sampled their wares and ask their native retailers to promote them.

“What makes it worthwhile is simply realizing folks love our product,” Kasey Lupo stated. “It makes you’re feeling good.”

The most effective vendor proper now’s toasted coconut cordial, a 40-proof spirit derived from their double-distilled, carbon-filtered vodka. There are different flavored cordials, together with Jesse Lupo’s personal favourite, pineapple, and cherry, amaretto, candy tea, cinnamon and peppermint. As properly, they promote pure, unflavored vodka, Jester’s Greatest flavored whiskey and anticipate to have darkish rum, gin and an unflavored whiskey accessible quickly.

It’s all in a day’s work for the couple, Jesse Lupo stated, including that that’s a very good factor.

“My job doesn’t appear so much like a job,” he stated.


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