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Black Button Distillery Grand Opening 13

Black Button Distilling Opens New Tasting Room and Distillery at 1344 University Avenue, Rochester

Black Button Distillery Grand Opening 13

Black Button Distilling Opens New Tasting Room and Distillery at 1344 University Avenue, Rochester


Written by Thomas Adams 
September 27, 2013

Local and State Elected Officials Join Black Button Distilling for Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Today; Grand Opening to the Public on July 15, 2023

Grand Opening Comes on the Heels of Gold and Silver Medals for Whiskey at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (JULY 11, 2023) — Black Button Distilling, the first grain-to-glass craft spirits producer in Rochester, N.Y. since prohibition, today announced the opening of a new, expanded tasting room and distillery at 1344 University Ave., Rochester, with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Founder/Master Distiller Jason Barrett.

Elected officials from local, state, and regional offices joined Black Button Distilling to commemorate the opening. Rochester Deputy Mayor Patrick Cunningham; County Executive Adam Bello; NYS Assemblymember Harry Bronson; NYS Assemblymember Sarah Clark; Bob Duffy, President & CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; and Don Jeffries, President & CEO of Visit Rochester will present remarks.

“We’re very proud to be joined by Rochester’s leaders and our hard-working partners who made this endeavor possible,” said Jason Barrett, Black Button Distilling Founder/Master Distiller. “This day officially marks the next chapter of Black Button Distilling and without these very people and the support of the local Rochester community, this project would not have been possible. The creation of this distillery in this historic building shows our commitment to the City of Rochester, its economic growth and the people who live and work here,” said Barrett.

Black Button Distilling, a locally founded and owned business, has operated for over a decade in Rochester. At 28,000 sq. ft., the new distillery and tasting room at 1344 University Ave. is quadruple the size of the former location. Average annual spirits production will increase from 1,000 barrels of spirits per year to as much as 4,500 barrels in the first few years. This move is anticipated to add 10- 20 jobs to the company within the first year, and up to 50 jobs in the years to come.

The Tasting Room’s retail space has grown to 4,500 sq., allowing for significantly increased seating capacity, private event space, distillery events and expanded hours of operation for the public. It joins numerous restaurants, breweries, a winery and a cidery to the Rochester’s growing East Side Culver-University-East (CUE) neighborhood adjacent to the popular Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) area and North Winton Village.

Black Button Distilling is the story of Rochester area family businesses that span generations. Barrett’s grandfather owned a button factory in Rochester, and as a kid, Jason imagined himself running the factory one day. But, Jason is colorblind. Since making only black buttons wasn’t an option, he decided to honor the values of hard work, entrepreneurship, and community that his grandfather taught him by pouring them into his passion for crafting handmade spirits. That passion has earned the distillery countless accolades, including landing on the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies four times in the past five years.

Today, Black Button spirits are going head-to-head with Kentucky’s finest. Most recently, Black Button’s Cask Strength Bourbon was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Empire Rye Whiskey won a silver at the same competition. Over the years, Black Button Distilling has earned dozens of medals from spirit competitions across the globe, including winning Best in NY State from the 2021 Heartland Whiskey Competition, while also tying for best bourbon in the same competition with a Kentucky made Bourbon. In 2021, Black Button Distilling also received a 90-point rating by Whiskey Advocate for its Cask Strength Four Grain Bourbon, a true accomplishment for Rochester’s first bourbon produced since prohibition. Whisky Advocate gave Black Button’s Cask Strength Straight bourbon (Batch 4) 90 points, calling it “complex and layered on the nose.” Larry Olmsted of Forbes said, “The Four Grain Straight Bourbon from Black Button Distilling is one of the best whiskies I have recently tasted.” 

And, as one of the six founding distilleries of Empire Rye, Black Button Distilling is part of a push to bring New York State’s unique rye whiskey tradition to the world. Today, this group is committed to the Empire Rye designation and seal of authenticity, which requires the use of local grains and other standards. Forbes called Black Button’s Empire Rye “extremely good.”  

Black Button Distilling’s new tasting room and distillery will open to the public on July 15th with a grand opening celebration from noon to 6 p.m.

  • Black Button Distillery Grand Opening 13

ABOUT: Black Button Distilling was founded in 2012 by Master Distiller Jason Barrett and was the first distillery to operate in “The Flour City” since prohibition. As a grain-to-glass craft spirits producer, Black Button is a licensed New York State Farm Distillery and uses nearly 100% New York State grown ingredients that come from within 50 miles of the distillery. Best known for its Four Grain Straight Bourbon, Bespoke Bourbon Cream and botanical gins like Citrus Forward and seasonal Lilac, Black Button’s spirits are available at its new location at 1344 University Avenue in Rochester, in liquor stores throughout New York State and online at

Links to press articles:

Black Button Distilling cuts ribbon on new location on University Avenue –

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Black Button is growing, again.

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Upcoming Event


Join us in celebrating all things Rye with a special screening of Fire, Water & Grain: The Story of Empire Rye while sipping on a Rye Old Fashioned and nibbling on Rye Ravioli!

Fee Brothers Bitters Event

Upcoming Event

Meet the Makers

Black Button Distilling and Fee Brothers Bitters proudly present our first ever collaboration: Citrus Forward Gin Barrel-Aged Citrus Bitters.