HALL ISLAND DISTILLERY
Hall Island is an artisan craft distillery located on an “island” among the bogs and reeds deep in the swamps of Cicero, NY. Born from a collective idea shared by close friends, Dave Benton and Andy Casey, the two officially began their operation in 2017 with Dave hand-crafting the stills and working with Andy on the creation of their first batches of pure spirits. After a year of perfecting their recipe through small batches, Triple E Vodka was born, and the rest is history.
Hall Island spirits are proudly distilled in the United States using 100% New York State corn. This creates an attractively smooth and clean taste. The spirit is soft on the palate compared to their harsher counterparts while still allowing that warm feeling one would expect from quality vodka. Hall Island spirits lend well to both sipping straight as well as imbibing with a variety of mixers.
Ann Benton, the organizational balance to the artistry of her husband, Dave, actually grew up on the property known as Hall Island. Her grandparents purchased fifty acres of land in the mid 1930’s at the height of the Great Depression and, subsequently, farmed the land for the next fifty years. The land was then handed down to their descendants, the latest of whom is Ann. Various family members resided on the acreage including aunts and uncles as well as Ann’s parents. Ann has resided on the property her entire life with only a brief exception of her stay in Charleston, SC while Dave served in the U.S. NAVY, and upon their return, they established Benton’s Refrigeration, Inc. on the land which has operated since 1995.
This rare opportunity to inhabit the family parcel has given the Benton’s a spirit and sense of pride that could only be understood through several generations of living and working here. Hall Island itself is an area of land in the heart of Cicero Swamp in Central New York. The property, once agricultural, provided for the family, and Ann and Dave felt a need to return to their roots by creating a distillery to keep the essence of the family’s origins alive.
It is a source of pride that the family survived the Great Depression, wasting nothing and working many jobs in addition to farming. With this spirit of historical tradition, Dave repurposed a soup kettle from Syracuse University dating back to 1967 as the base for one of the stills that produces Triple E Vodka today. Likewise, the rough-cut lumber used throughout the tasting room is also repurposed from Central New York. The family likes to think Babcia (Grandma) and Dziadek (Grandpa) look down favorably upon this venture continuing their ethics of hard work and thriftiness.