Nevada's 1st Estate Distillery Begins in Fallon - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada's 1st Estate Distillery Begins in Fallon

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Out in Churchill County, the Frey Ranch has been a grain and alfalfa farm for over 150 years. They're not sure of the exact year it started…it's been so long ago. That all changed today (Tuesday), as the historic farm started its spirits distilling operation for the first time. Nevada's first estate distillery officially began operations for making and selling gin, vodka...and coming soon their own brand of bourbon whiskey.

Husband and wife co-owners Colby and Ashley Frey are leading the move. What would their grandparents and great grandparents say about the new direction? Colby told us, “I think that they'd be really proud of us.” Ashley agreed: “I think they would think we're so blessed. We really never have to leave, so we've got it all."

For this new generation of Freys, it only became possible with the passage of AB153, the state's craft distillation bill last year that now allows the sale of local spirits. As Colby told us, "We felt comfortable after the law got passed to go ahead and build this building."

The law was approved so quickly, with no opposition, that to generate revenue until the bourbon whiskey ages long enough to sell, the Freys are starting with vodka and gin to be sold in October. They're hoping to ride the wave of craft industry, using all local ingredients…ingredients that were grown on their own farm. As Colby put it, "That's really important because that means we have total control over the entire process. We know what went into the grains and how they were grown."

Even the huge processing tanks are local, made in Moundhouse. On this first day of business, a huge batch of rye, barley and corn began its journey to end up as 2,500 bottles of vodka by next month. In another room, 50 empty barrels wait to be filled with bourbon, which takes at least 3 to 5 years to age. Colby told us, "I wouldn't be doing a distillery if we couldn't grow our own products."

He's really only limited by the new law, which says distilleries like his can't sell and deliver more than 10,000 cases of spirits a year in Nevada, or export more than 20,000. But Colby sees a bigger future: "Hopefully the state will see how much we improved the economy and how good we're doing, and want to actually increase the limits at one point."

For now, it's small. But it's a start...and it's all Nevada.

The Frey Ranch Estate Distillery will open its doors to the public on October 11th, with their own vodka and gin hitting store shelves by early November. For now they're offering tasting by appointment. To find out how to get there to check it out for yourself, click the link below:

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