BRATTLEBORO — It’s no surprise that Vermont businesses are built on family traditions. One that is exceptionally unique is a distillery that was founded on recipes brought from Lithuania over 100 years ago.
Christian Stromberg opened Saxtons River Distillery in 2006 based on the wisdom and heritage of crafting fine liquors passed down through his family, after they fled czarist-controlled Lithuania in 1906. The appreciation of Vermont maple syrup and exploring sugar houses, paired with Lithuanian traditions and customs is what Stromberg based Saxtons on.
“Understanding the amount of work required to produce quality maple syrup has given me a profound respect for the final product. With a nod to family tradition and the tradition of Vermont,” Stromberg says.
Since its start in a hand-built barn on the banks of Saxtons River in Cambridgeport, the distillery has since moved to Brattleboro (2011) and has been featured in Forbes, Maxim, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for producing high-quality products.
Saxtons’ spirits are sophisticated and carefully crafted with ingredients that are ethically and locally sourced in an effort to support other small businesses. The company sources its maple syrup and raw honey from local Vermont farms for its Sapling line of products and coffee from Mocha Joe’s for the Perc Coffee Liqueur.
The Snowdrop Gin is the highest rated in New England, and the Perc Coffee Liqueur has received multiple gold medals.
“It’s recognition and the acknowledgment from those in the industry that we produce excellent, high-quality products,” said Joslin Roderick, business development manager.
The company’s dedication to using quality ingredients, even if it’s harder, is what makes Saxtons stand above its competition.
While the tasty cocktails and award-winning spirits are where Saxtons shines, the company also makes efforts to give back. In November 2022, its Snowdrop Vodka was released as a benefit for the Blue/Yellow USA nonprofit group in support of Ukraine, where 50 percent of the proceeds are donated.
Prior to that, Saxtons installed solar panels on the distillery roof to reduce its carbon footprint and positively contribute to alternate ways of producing power.
For those looking to sample Saxtons’ spirits, there’s a tasting room in downtown Brattleboro on Elliot Street, while all of the production and distillation happens at the Grand Tasting Room at 155 Chickering Drive. What makes it so grand is the full bar, light snacks, gift shop, indoor/outdoor space, and a venue for small and large gatherings. Saxtons also offers bar catering services for weddings and parties.
Saxtons has grown from a distillery and tasting room to selling products in California, Nevada, Montana, Utah and throughout New England. Join the Saxtons River Distillery Loyalty Program, and get a taste during open hours. More information and the whole product lineup can be found on saxtonsdistillery.com.