A Distillery at Cold Spring Farm, Vermont
In 2011, Maura Connolly was contemplating planting a vineyard on the farm. Vermont is an unforgiving climate for grapes and her friends suggested that it would be better to produce something from more indigenous fruit. Maura’s husband, John, is a life-long fan of apple brandy and he was intrigued enough to start researching its production. The couple’s friend Brett Little shared John’s appreciation for brandy, and he immediately partnered with them and the idea of starting a distillery at Cold Spring Farm was born.
The Warren property dates from the mid-1800s and was converted into a horse farm in the mid-1900’s. Alex Hilton, a Warren native, renovated the dilapidated old horse barn into a state-of- the-art craft distillery in 2011. Along the way, he became interested enough in the project to sign on as the General Manager of Mad River Distillers. After finishing the renovations, obtaining our permits and firing up our still, we produced our first spirit- Mad River First Run Rum- in May 2013. We have produced over a half dozen different craft spirits since then, including Mad Apple Brandy, our flagship “Wicked Vermont Apple Brandy.”