Back in the early 1800s, New York produced more than half the nation's barley and rye. The Hudson Valley rippled with high quality grain and, until Prohibition in 1930, hosted over 1000 farm distilleries that produced whiskey and gin reflecting the region's distinctive terroir.
Two hours north of New York City, among the misty troughs and rolling hills bounded by the Berkshire Mountains, perches Hillrock House: a humble, elegant vestige of the Hudson Valley as it was two hundred years ago. Built by a successful grain merchant and Revolutionary War Captain, its carefully restored period features speak of another era, one when the same pride and attention to quality was applied to the craft spirits distilled there.
Jeffrey Baker was lucky enough to grow up at Hillrock Estate, on the family farm. Over the years spent working there, Jeff developed a passion for the region's fine spirits and rich terroir. He became an early proponent of the farm-to-table movement, establishing one of the region's first pasture-raised, sustainable beef operations producing premier black angus beef for his Saratoga Springs restaurant. Along the way, he managed to earn an MBA from Wharton and become an Executive Managing Director/Partner of an NYC-based real estate investment banking firm. But eventually, his passion for craft spirits led him back to the family farm in Ancram, New York to found Hillrock Estate Distillery. To round out the team, he brought on industry icon Dave Pickerell as Master Distiller, Tim Welly as Head of Operations and Distiller and Danielle Eddy as Director of PR/Marketing and Sales.
The Hillrock House itself serves as the emblem of Hillrock's commitment to quality – its Palladian window adorns the bottles, which are hand-filled with Hillrock's farm-grown, floor-malted, craft distilled, fine oak-aged whiskey. Jeff Baker remains wholly committed to the farm-to-glass philosophy and the goal of producing only the finest craft whiskey around. The result is a distillery whose commitment to old-world standards is so unique, it's thoroughly modern.