Barrelmaker and whiskey distiller on verge of move to former Glenville syrup factory

September 18, 2022

BY ROBIN K. COOPER, Albany Business Review –

Precision Valve & Automation founder Tony Hynes has hired a group of Amish builders to fast-track construction of an 18,000-square-foot barrel factory and warehouse, part of his strategy for converting a section of the Route 5 corridor on the western edge of Glenville into a hot spot for whiskey and spirits enthusiasts.

Hynes is investing about $3 million to reimagine the 30-acre former Riverside Maple Farms syrup production plant into a factory that will house Adirondack Barrel Cooperage, an Oneida County manufacturing business that Hynes invested in with founders Joe and Kelly Blazosky four years ago.

The barrel company could move production 90 miles from Remsen to Glenville by March. The move will give Adirondack Barrel Cooperage five times more space than it currently has as demand for its handmade oak barrels continues to grow.

An Amish construction crew began framing the 8,000-square-foot factory and an adjacent 10,000-square-foot warehouse last week. The outer shells, including roofs, doors and windows, are expected to be complete within four weeks. The project is being overseen by Spa City Management, a real estate management company that Hynes formed to maintain properties for Precision Valve in Halfmoon and the rest of his portfolio.

Besides creating two dozen manufacturing jobs in the region, Hynes is leasing the former syrup production building and retail shop to a distillery.

Randall and Sarah Beach, founders of Murray’s Fools Distilling Co., are opening a second location at the former Riverside Maple Farms site after starting their distillery in Altona, 20 minutes from the Canadian border, in 2015. The distillery could open in the next three to four weeks once the Beaches receive approval from the state Liquor Authority.

It is all part of Hynes’ vision for helping that section of Route 5 become more than a commuter corridor for 13,300 cars and trucks that travel between Amsterdam and Schenectady every day. The property, whose official address is 7152 Amsterdam Road, is located less than a quarter-mile west of Wolf Hollow Brewing. A trail connects the two properties to allow visitors to walk from the brewery to the distillery and barrel factory.

“The traffic in that location is going to be multitudes better than what we have now,” said Randall Beach, co-founder of Murray’s Fools. Beach also is a land use and real estate attorney with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna of Albany and has handled real estate transactions for Hynes for several years.

Murray’s Fools expects the new location will give them enough space to produce between 1,000 and 5,000 gallons of whiskey, vodka, apple brandy and aquavit, a corn-based spirit with hints of juniper, dill and caraway.

The Beaches expect the new location to give them more business in their tasting room, while creating an opportunity to increase distribution.

Hynes sees that as a signature piece of his plan to continue expanding the barrel factory.

Adirondack Barrel Cooperage has long-term contracts with 25 customers and demand is so strong that Hynes expects to increase sales from 4,000 barrels this year to somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 barrels by 2024.

“We are sold out for this year and next year and we already are taking orders for 2024,” Hynes said. “The move is going to be good for the business and it will be good for the employees.”

The new site will be large enough that Adirondack Barrel Cooperage customers will be able to ship bourbon and other spirits to the Glenville complex where cooperage employees will be able to fill and store barrels.

“We are competing against guys who can make 2,000 or 3,000 barrels a day,” Hynes said. “If we want to compete, we have to do it on quality and find ways to add value.”

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