Onyx tasting room opens today; spirits co. co-owned by Bristol resident

Connecticut liquor distillery Onyx Spirits Company announced Monday the official opening of its “speakeasy” themed tasting room to the public.

The tasting room is located in the distillery where Onyx Moonshine is produced and Connecticut’s first whiskey, Secret Stash, is aged in barrels.  The room is entered through a secret bookcase doorway and features a bar originally used in a Connecticut speakeasy during prohibition.

The space features historic items from Onyx co-founder Peter Kowalczyk’s family farm in Wethersfield, Conn., including a pre-prohibition era still. The Kowalczyk farm currently grows corn used in part to produce Onyx Moonshine.

“Our family run speakeasy at the Chafee Hotel in Middletown, Conn. was closed 83 years ago with the end of prohibition,” said Onyx Spirits co-founder Adam von Gootkin of Bristol in a press release. “We’re looking forward to hosting people at our distillery and having some fun with our family legacy that goes so far back in Connecticut,” he added in the press release.

The Connecticut Small Brand Council worked with Onyx Spirits Company during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions to introduce laws allowing Connecticut distilleries to offer tours and tastings.

The space will be open to the public today Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. as well as regular weekly hours Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 12 to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. A grand opening party will be announced soon.

The entrance fee is $10, and includes an educational tasting of Onyx products. The speakeasy tasting room will be available for private bookings during the week.

For more information, go to www.onyxmoonshine.com

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