The dream for the Catskill Distilling Company began with owner and distiller Monte Sachs, who grew up on a dairy farm in coastal Connecticut and first encountered the art of distilling while attending veterinary school in Italy at the University of Pisa. There, while traveling through Italy, he learned the art of distilling traditional grappa from an 80-year-old farmworker named Bernardini.
In 2008, Monte and his wife Stacy opened the micro distillery in Bethel, NY, scarcely a stone’s throw from the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, along with an adjunct business, the Dancing Cat Saloon, which serves not only their own craft spirits but craft beers and fine food.
The water is from the Catskill Mountains, and the New York-grown grains, purchased at a nearby mill, are returned as mash and fed to local farm animals. From the locally grown grains to fruit from local orchards and botanicals grown on site, the Catskill Distillery embodies the spirit of the farm distillery and demonstrates a strong commitment to the local agricultural community.
The themes of history, art, music and community run through the activities not only of the distillery, but of its siblings the Dancing Cat Saloon and the Stray Cat Gallery, which opened across the street in spring of 2013. The Woodstock legacy of the area is reflected in the names of our spirits, from Peace Vodka to Most Righteous Bourbon.