Located in the heart of Newburgh’s beautiful historic district and booming culinary scene is the Hudson Valley’s newest craft distillery — Spirits Lab Distilling Company.
The result of a strong partnership between Lynn Hason, Matt Frohman, and Phoenix Kelly-Rappa, who have more than 40 years of cumulative experience, Spirits Lab’s tasting room opened in March 2020 amid the global pandemic. “It’s because of the incredible support of the community and how everyone rallied together that we’ve been able to launch successfully,” says Hason.
Spirits Lab uses NYS-grown grains and botanicals to produce an enjoyable portfolio of small-batch signature spirits, including Bull’s Head Bourbon, crafted from corn, wheat, and malted barley and aged five years; East End Gin, a London dry-style gin that draws its signature flavor from a blend of 16 botanicals, many of which originate in the Hudson Valley; Five Points Rye, made from local rye and malted barley; and Spirits Lab Vodka, the brand’s staple, gluten-free drink that’s distilled seven times and triple filtered.
They also produce premium bottled craft cocktails, like the blood orange Old Fashioned, which mixes Bull’s Head Bourbon with blood orange amaro and bitters, and Numbing Agent No. 4, made with Spirits Lab Vodka, coconut, and pineapple and orange juices.
“Making a cocktail is similar to baking,” says Hason. “If you mess up one ingredient, it’s hard to achieve that perfect taste.” Spirits Lab has also created cocktails in collaboration with local businesses like Angry Orchard and Mama Roux, a Cajun-Creole restaurant in Newburgh.
You can try all these products and more — limited release items, new cocktails, and single barrel whiskies — at the tasting room and retail space. Eventually, guests will be able to enjoy the venue’s outdoor courtyard, which is currently under renovation. “People come in and ask ‘What’s next?’ We like to keep it interesting,” says Hason.