Vermont distillery to see new life, location after ownership change

A Vermont distillery is making a comeback after closing its doors last year.

Middlebury-based Stonecutter Spirits will be under the new ownership of brothers Keith and Matt Berg, according to a news release. 

As the company transitions to new management, its headquarters will be moved down to Quechee, where the new owners have partnered with Vermont Spirits to temporarily oversee production of the Stonecutter’s gin and whiskey. 

The distillery, founded in 2013, had a tasting room in Middlebury, as well as a bar & restaurant, Highball Social, in Burlington. Both locations closed in December of last year.

Read the Stonecutter story from 2017:Stonecutter putting down barrels of gin and whiskey for the long haul

“The reality we’ve faced is that everywhere you look, craft spirits is an increasingly crowded marketplace,” said Sivan Cotel, Stonecutter co-founder and operations director, in a news release at the time of the distillery’s closing.

“Our reception locally has been incredible, but we’ve never been able to make inroads into other sales areas.”

Amber Tozzie of Burlington, a bartender at Stonecutter Spirits Highball Social, makes a drink Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.

What’s next for Stonecutter co-founder Sivan Cotel

Talk of new ownership for Stonecutter began at the top of the year, Cotel said in an interview.

“Those discussions took many interesting turns,” Cotel said, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Berg brothers contacted Stonecutter as the company was closing down, showing interest in keeping the company running.

Cotel will continue to assist the Bergs with transitioning over the next couple of months, he added, but plans to stay in Vermont and potentially oversee business operations for another local business. Since the distillery’s closing, co-founder Sas Stewart has started an “adventure dinner business” and heads On the Fly, an organization helping restaurant owners impacted by the pandemic, according to VTDigger.

“I hope to grow another Vermont company,” Cotel said.

More:Several Burlington restaurants announce temporary closures as COVID pandemic continues

Stonecutter Spirits Highball Social was located adjacent to Folino's Wood Fired Pizza in Burlington.

Contact Ethan Bakuli at (802) 556-1804 or ebakuli@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.