Alexandrion announces plans to build US distillery

Alexandrion Group, Romania’s largest spirits producer, has announced site plan approval by the planning board of the town of Carmel for the construction of its first US distillery in Mid-Hudson, Putnam County, NY.

The company says the new distillery will produce premium spirits tailored to the US market, such as whiskey, bourbon, gin, brandy and vodka, and will export these new products to the 50 countries that the group says it currently supplys around the world.

The group says it plans to invest more than $100m into the distillery. An initial investment of approximately $40m will be dedicated to the construction of an 118,400-square-foot distillery, visitors’ centre and tasting rooms.

The new distillery should create more than 100 jobs throughout the state, as well as increase tourism in the region through various production tours and premium tastings.

Alexandrion chairman Nawaf Salameh said: “We are happy to announce we have achieved another milestone in our plans for the US, that brings us closer to our goal of opening our new distillery.

"The site plan approval is the first step, and with the support of the US authorities, we expect to finalize this project by 2020."

The group still needs to secure the construction permit and, more importantly, overcome opposition from the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, regarding the Tied House Rule, which is said to be inconsistent with the federal legislation.

“We strongly believe the New York Authorities will stand by us and assist in resolving this issue. We want to be allowed to continue our activities outside the US and not change anything we would like to do within the US. We will need a change in or an exemption from the regulation in order for this project to move forward,” said Salameh.

The project of the US distillery, first announced in July 2017, was developed in connection with New York State, that offered the company $2.7m in performance-based tax credits, through the Excelsior Jobs Program.

The Alexandrion Group is the leading producer, distributor and importer of spirit beverages in Romania. Together, the Alexandrion and Saber 1789 distilleries are said to embody a 200-year in the local spirits industry.

The Alexandrion’ Group's portfolio of spirit brands comprise: Alexandrion Five Star, Seven Star and Alexandrion 100 Romanian brandy, Brâncoveanu VS, VSOP and XO Vinars, Saber Elyzia and Zolmyr fruit spirits, Kreskova vodka, Alexander vodka, Alexander flavored vodka and Alexander gin, among others. Most recently, the group acquired the Halewood Romanian wine and spirits portfolio.