Posted by James Catone on Nov 06, 2019
President Eddie Opens the Meeting Among the Spirits
 
Dispensing with rituals, ten Rotarians sat down to a bag lunch in the tasting room of the the Old Route Two Spirits, a distillery in Blair Industrial Park. President Eddie began the meeting by announcing that the cabinets for the Wheelock House have been painted. Bruce reported that the Norwich students were excited to have a project and will be back on Saturday. President Eddie said that he had a request from the Barre Figure Skating Club for us to sponsor them, but he informed them that we don’t do sponsorships. He also will get back to the teacher who requested outdoor clothing for her nature classes. He gave a Happy Dollar because his daughter won the Robert Burdett Award and was named one of the captains of the Spaulding Field Hockey Team. Ted gave a Happy Dollar in thanks for Karl’s helping him move stones.
 
Since Last We Met
 
No birthdays or anniversaries to report.
On this day in history: Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860.
Least We Forget: From The Bulletin October 30, 1925: “A new Rotary sign has been placed on the Blanchard Block and it did its first duty last Wednesday. Rotarian F.J. (Pep) Pepper of Miami, Florida was driving by, saw the sign and stopped just in time for luncheon. Let’s hope it will be a “stop” sign for many, many others in the Wednesday’s to come.”
 
 
What is Rotary?
 
President Eddie led a discussion on “What is Rotary?” for the Old Route Two Spirits owners Adam Overbay and Ryan Dumperth. Several Rotarians described our local and international projects and fund raisers and shared Rotary stories to provide a sense of the nature of the fellowship that we enjoy and the good works that we do.
 
Get Thee to a Distillery
 
After the brief discussion, President Eddie turned the floor over to Adam and Ryan. Adam began by describing the first time that he made spirits.  He was in serving in the army in Iraq and no alcohol was allowed on base and so he and the chief of the motor pool decided to build a still and make rum behind the motor pool. Later when he was attending college in Boston, his moonlighting job was in a liquor store. In the early years of this century new distilleries were popping up all over and he began to think that he could create a business from his interest in spirits. He talked to his longtime friend Ryan in 2010 and they agreed to pursue the idea. They ruled out Massachusetts as a base of operation because of a $10,000 license fee. They chose Vermont because of the combination of a beneficial regulatory structure and a good agricultural fit.  Adam and his wife (a UVM grad) moved to Cabot in 2014. In 2015 Adam and Ryan secured the building they are now in and started renovations that year. In order to start producing they had to obtain a license from the State of Vermont and file federal papers as well. They began operation in March 2017. Adam told the story of rum production in New England which for many years was one of the world’s largest suppliers of this spirit.  He noted three reasons for this: stills made of copper; an abundant supply of molasses; and the availability of oak barrels. In 1812 a tax on molasses dealt a severe blow to rum production. Many distilleries switched to producing whiskey. He went on to tell us that the kind of barrel (maple, oak, ash, etc.) and how many times that it is used determine if the spirit can be called whiskey, scotch, gin, bourbon, etc. He also explained the origins of gin. It began in the Netherlands, made with juniper berries, and it was called jenever. Later a version was made in London and became known as “London dry gin” (Gordon’s, Tanqueray and Beefeater). Adam and Ryan make a sipping gin with a rum base and ten botanicals. After their presentation, they invited us to sample several of the spirits and then conducted a tour of the facility. For those interested, tasting and tours are conducted weekdays 10-4 and by appointment weekends. Call ahead @ (802) 424-4864. You too can mingle with the spirits.
 
 
Until next time...that's all folks.