TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. – A one year-old craft distillery in Apalachin has been recognized as the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year in New York State.
Waterman’s Distillery opened in April of last year inside a renovated 1860’s barn off Route 434. Owners Joe and Michelle Alig recently received the recognition and a $1,000 prize from Empire State Development which operates 24 Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers across the state, including one at the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator in Binghamton. Waterman’s makes the 607 brand of flavor-infused all-natural corn whiskeys. Michelle says they were thrilled to be selected.
Alig says, “We just thought, ‘Oh, there’s so many people that will be nominated in New York, it’s a really nice honor but we’re sure we won’t get it.’ So, when we received the email of congratulations, you’ve received this award, we were really, really happy. It felt like such a great accomplishment
Joe Alig took SUNY Broome’s 12-week Entrepreneurship Program back in 2015 when he first started thinking of opening his own distillery. He had been distilling spirits as a hobby for 24 years. Joe says taking the course helped him to figure out ways to use his finances wisely.
“It helped us to sort out what we really needed, and what we didn’t need, and to kind of limit our mistakes. When you open a business, you make so many mistakes that cost you so much money. It was really an amazing program
Waterman’s tasting room offers tasting flights and cocktails made with its flavored corn whiskeys such as blood orange, jalapeno ginger and salted caramel maple. All of its infused flavors are natural and 90 percent of them, plus the corn to make the whiskey, is sourced from New York State. They also serve craft beer from Farmhouse Brewery and wines from Americana Vineyards.
Waterman’s also hosts both private and public events including live music and comedy. Plus, it’s getting ready to debut its new bocce ball courts.
Waterman’s is open from 4 to 8 Wednesday through Friday and from noon to 5 on Saturdays and Sundays.