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Black Button Distilling to open tasting room in former Handlebar

Rochester's first distillery since Prohibition has announced an expansion into the Buffalo market, as Black Button Distilling will open a tasting room in the former Handlebar space, at 149 Swan St., in June.

Black Button was established near the Rochester Public Market in January 2014 by then 24-year-old Jason Barrett, and the small-batch distillery has surged quickly due to a diverse product line that includes bourbon, gin, moonshine and vodka.

“Buffalo, like Rochester, has a growing food and beverage community, and it features our largest base of consumers outside of Rochester, so it’s a natural extension for us to grow west,” said Barrett, the company's president and head distiller, in a release.

Within the last year, Black Button has captured a notable award - New York International Spirits Competition's New York Liqueur Distillery of the Year for 2016 - and earned major press in USA Today's Readers' Choice section.

The business follows the grain-to-glass trend - distilleries' version of restaurants' farm-to-table process - starting with whole grains, executing the distilling process and finishing with bottling spirits, all from the same location.

Although the Swan Street location will not be a production facility, it will carry Black Button's seven major products:

*Four-Grain Bourbon
*Citrus Forward Gin
*Bespoke Bourbon Cream
*Apple Pie Moonshine
*Lilac Gin
*20-Plate Vodka
*Port-Finished Bourbon

The distillery also plans to feature other New York State-produced beverages, including Eastern New York beers rarely found in Buffalo, Heron Hill wine and Leonard Oakes' Steampunk Cider. Tapas-style food, a patio and roof deck, and cocktail gadgets are expected, too.

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