News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

Gene Marra

Construction Underway For Distillery Expansion

Construction Underway

For Distillery Expansion

Excavator Jesse Boest operates a backhoe behind the Cooperstown Distillery, where a $400,000 expansion is underway. The project, which began approximately two weeks ago, is headed by Tom Howard Construction. Among the plans are a large addition to the facility, including the installation of a “rick house,” a warehouse used for the storage and aging of whiskey. (James Cummings/
$100K Grant Spurs 2-Story Addition On Cooperstown Distillery Work To Begin This Month, Says Owner

$100K Grant Spurs

2-Story Addition On

Distillery Building

Work To Begin This Month, Says Owner

Flags behind Cooperstown Distillery at Railroad and Leatherstocking mark the extension of a two-story, 7,500-square-foot addition.  Distillery President Gene Marra expects work to begin this month.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Gene Marra

COOPERSTOWN – Having received word of a $100,000 grant, Cooperstown Distillery President Gene Marra says construction will begin, perhaps as soon as next week, certainly this month, on a 7,500-square-foot two-story addition off the back of its Railroad Avenue plant.

“These funds will accelerate the construction of a new storage facility adjacent to our existing distillery in Cooperstown, as well as facilitate the hiring of new employees to staff the facility and support our expansion,” Marra said.  “We believe this project will be a true win-win for both the company and also for the Village of Cooperstown and the community.”

NYSEG Adds Power At Cooperstown Distillery


NYSEG Adds Power At

Cooperstown Distillery

Two NYSEG crews have been at the Cooperstown Distillery all morning, increasing the power flow to the expanding manufacturing operation. “They’re giving us the amps we need,” said distillery proprietor Gene Marra. In the past few months, the distillery has expanded from one to four stills, which require heat to create a range of products from Glimmerglass Vodka to Beanball Bourbon. The distillery is planning expanded parking and adding a second floor of the building at Railroad and Leatherstocking to meet the demand. (Jim Kevlin/
Cooperstown Distillery Unveils Plan To Double Its Plant, Hired 10 More

Cooperstown Distillery

Unveils Plan To Double

Its Plant, Hire 10 More

Cooperstown Distillery proprietor Gene Marra poses by one of two new stills installed in February in anticipation of doubling the size of the Railroad Avenue plant. (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta

COOPERSTOWN – With five years of success behind it, the Cooperstown Distillery is looking ahead and planning to more than double the size of its plant on Railroad Avenue.

“We outgrew our space many years ago,” proprietor Gene Marra told the Village Board on Monday, March 25. “Our production has been limited by our physical space.”

The planned 7,500-square-foot expansion will more than double the building’s existing footprint on the back portion of their Railroad Avenue lot, adding a “rackhouse” for storing barrels of whiskey and bourbon, as well as second-floor production space.

Cooperstown Distillery Plans To Double In Size

Cooperstown Distillery

Plans To Double In Size

Gene Marra, proprietor, Cooperstown Distillery, explained his plan to double the size of his distillery and add as many as 10 full-time jobs. The expansion, from 3,500 square feet to 7,500, including second floor production space. Marra, along with partner Andrew Gilcrest and Jody Zakrevsky, CEO, asked for “pre-pre-approval” from the Village in hopes that they would assist him in applying for a $60,000 grant to create jobs for “low-to-moderate income level” employees, meaning that the jobs created do not require a college degree. The board agreed to support the project, and asked him to give them a project outline to begin the application process. (Libby Cudmore/
Cooperstown Distillery Adds 2 New Stills, More

Cooperstown Distillery

Adds 2 New Stills, More

Cooperstown Distillery Distiller Daran Bottger, center, directs installation of a new 500-gallon still this morning at the Railroad Avenue plant. The still was one of two – the second is 150 gallons – installed to help meet demand, according to proprietor Gene Marra, at left.  The distillery also installed three new fermentation tanks.  Two lines in particular – Legacy Bourbon and Legacy Rye – sell out every year, Marra said. “It’s going to be a big turning point in who we are, what we are,” he said. The distillery celebrated its fifth anniversary in October. (Larissa Ryan/
Business Owners To Trustees: Bring Back Sandwich Boards

Business Owners To Trustees:

Bring Back Sandwich Boards

Gene Marra, owner of Cooperstown Beverage Exchange and the Cooperstown Distillery, reads a letter from his wife, Montell, asking the Cooperstown Village Board to reconsider their ruling making sandwich boards illegal. “If not for the ‘open’ flag, a pot of flowers and a sandwich board stating ‘complimentary tasting/ tours, a passerby might merely think our building was only a factory,” she wrote. “Please allow us a real-time way of attracting business.” Several local business owners spoke, and the board agreed to hold a public hearing on the law at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8 (Ian Austin/
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103