We live in a world where follower base is more important than basic morals. Where money is power and knowledge is powerless. Where we judge and ridicule each other for the opinions we voice and the shoes on our feet. Where the newspaper headlines are bigger and bolder and sadder. Where we yearn for better.
Yet in this swirling chaos, there’s always one thing you can improve – yourself. One person at a time, one community at a time, one country at a time, we can lift our spirits.
Founder, Anthony Gruppuso, was not just a man who loved spirits. He was a man who read every book written on the subject, special ordered bottles from overseas, mastered the art of cocktail making, and aged his own negronis. He was a man who wanted to make spirits. From grain to glass with the highest quality ingredients, he wanted to crank up the still and create his own fire water, Mother Genever, eau-de-vie, kill-me-quick.
The journey from dream to still was long and difficult, but we kept marching forward, barreled through obstacles, and made it to where we are today. We are a team of dreamers - people who want the most from life, who are constantly striving to better themselves and the world around them. We want to share our passion and spread our mantra. We are not promoting being better through spirits, rather promoting being better through community events, being kind to your neighbors, sharing a drink with a new friend, following your dreams, and building a world full of love. The vibe of our tasting room, combined with our events and community outreach will help us become an epicenter of love and change, the effects rippling out through the community, the country, and the world.
Craft distilling in the US is where craft brewing was 20 years ago. Americans, most of them young adults, have found a fascination with the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into craft spirits and cocktails. There are many reasons for this newfound interest – the science behind distilling, local pride, small business support, the Instagram-ability of colorful or flaming cocktails, the search for something unique in a world of sameness, the high-class feel of cocktail culture. We are on the brink of a major change in drinking culture. Interest in craft spirits, and thus craft cocktails, is high in the five boroughs, where there are multiple successful craft distilleries. This interest is moving out to Long Island, and especially in up-and-coming, young areas such as Patchogue Village.
Craft distilling is in its infancy on Long Island and we are at the forefront of the trend, becoming Long Island's first urban craft distillery. Situated in a constantly developing town, on the way to the Hamptons and Fire Island, we are at an ideal location to drive tourism to Patchogue Village and the island as a whole. The experience of the distillery establishes us as not just a bar or local hangout spot, but as a destination for craft spirits and education that people will travel to from far and wide.
As a successful auto repair shop owner of 20 years and internationally published sports photographer of nearly 10, I feel I’m in a unique place to launch The Better Man Distilling Co. I pursue my passions until mastery, and this distilling venture is no exception. Outside of work I am an avid car enthusiast and lover of vinyl records. I’ve also started playing the guitar after a 40 plus year hiatus. I can’t keep still; retirement to me is a slow passing of time and I still have so much left to do in life. I look forward to what The Better Man Distilling Co will bring as far as challenges and successes and I'm excited to be a part of the vibrant Patchogue Village life and community.
HEAD OF OPERATIONS
I am a proud Wesleyan University alum, crediting my time there as the starting point for many adventures. I studied Chinese, which lead me to Beijing for a semester, and Taiwan for a year after graduation to teach English. While running a popup restaurant during my senior year, I realized my passion for baking and hosting events. This led to my own small baking adventure under my mom-given alias, Pollyanna. I was taught to love many things, and to shamelessly be myself. I am a lover of mac and cheese and Elvis. I think Borat is a cinematic masterpiece. I enjoy crocheting, stand up comedy, karaoke, and naps. I'm the type of person who always puts the shopping cart back in the return area and cries at concerts. Life has been an unexpected adventure, but the distillery is the perfect venue for me to channel all of my passions, random experiences, and varied skills. It’s thrilling to run a fun, exciting, and ever-changing business that impacts Patchogue's social culture, helps drive Long Island tourism, and bolsters agriculture in New York.
Born and raised in the hellfires of Motown. Making booze has been in my blood for generations, from my great-grandfather coming to Ellis Island from Belgium and getting his first job in a brewery in Detroit, to my grandfather on my mother's side making wine from Pennsylvania grapes every fall in his basement. I went to Wesleyan University for rowing and majored in political science. Both of these gave me the push I needed to start my journey into alcohol. I became president of the home-brew club, and upon graduation I moved back to Detroit where, while waiting for the distillery to get closer to opening, I worked at several breweries and immersed myself in the science of industrial alcohol production. I also drank enough beer to become a Certified Cicerone® In my downtime I love to garden, dabble in carpentry, hike, bike, and play recreational sports. At night you'll find me at a quiet bar trying wine, beer, or cocktails. When I travel I try to stay off the beaten path and I firmly believe you can't say you've been somewhere unless you've eaten the local food. I'm excited to make some fantastic spirits and be able to explore Long Island even more.
COORDINATOR OF CUDDLES
Hello world! I think my name is Winnie. Sometimes I forget. I’m the goodest boy ever. I know how to sit and paw and lay down and I always get a treat when I do it. I LOVE outside. I eat all the things like mulch and leaves and dirt. Cars are really scary, though. Inside is fun too. Dad likes to spin me around on the floor and I get big bowls of food and I chase my ball and that’s where my best friends Mr. Frog and Santa live. I also get to go to work with mom every day! There are so many people here and maybe I'll get to meet you too!
DIRECTOR OF SNUGGLES
Hi friends! I'm Ollie. I am the smushiest little puppy you'll ever meet. I love attacking my brother Winnie. I mean...playing with him. I always have so much energy. I can run really fast and crawl under things and jump on the couch. My brother can never catch me! My favorite thing to do is lie down on mom and dad's faces. It's my way of saying I love you. I'm very protective of my family and am suspicious of new people, but once you give me a treat I know you're a friend. Sometimes I get to visit Winnie and his mom at work, so hopefully I can make more friends when I go!