A whiskey-centric distillery in Seward has begun a month long funding campaign. Nathan Newhall’s Freedom Distilling Co. will be hire exclusively veterans and make special consideration for those service-disabled.
The campaign is driven through their website, offering rewards of locally-made wooden shot glasses, deerskin gloves and long board decks. Newhall hopes to sign a lease at end of the month, potentially in the southernmost building of Amble’s Machinery and Hardware. The 5,000-square-foot space at 2019 Cedar Ave. S. would be easily accessible to the Franklin Avenue light rail station on the Blue Line.
“It’s safe to say we’ll have our permits by March, it may happen faster than that,” says Newhall. He’s so far built one white oak fermentation tank, and will add on some cedar versions to craft a line of unique small batch whiskeys. He’ll also produce a line of honey spirits. Besides keeping bees himself, Newhall has two aunts who are nuns at Assisi Heights in Rochester. The Sisters have their own colony and will help lend honey and beekeeping advice.
Newhall is also committed to hiring veterans, many of them wounded in service. “We’ll be making a lot of our systems automated, and wheelchair workable,” he says. “We’ll give the opportunity to veterans who have, say, lost limbs, who would be having a tough time getting a job like this. It’s normally pretty labor-some, a place with lots of piping around, that you’re always stepping over things. So we’re going to make it accessible for some people who have given so much.”
If all goes to plan, expect un-aged products from Freedom Distilling on shelves in late 2015 – a couple moonshines (one 50% honey/50% corn, another entirely corn), a corn-based vodka, and a gin flavored with bee pollen.
WATCH: Freedom Distilling CF on Vimeo.