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Christine CorradoSep 13, 2016, 8:28 pmSep 15, 2016, 8:23 am

Port Chester might become the next hub for distilleries and microbreweries

The village drafts proposal to steer alcoholic beverage makers to busier areas

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Village officials have crafted a bill to bring microbreweries and distilleries, which are usually off the beaten path, to the bustling downtown area of Port Chester.

Head distiller Erik Tiedge fixes a label on a bottle of honey-infused vodka called Comb, putting the finishing touches on the alcohol he has been distilling all day. Erik works for Still The One Distillery, a Port Chester-based business that's located in the industrial area of the village.

"We're kind of a hidden gem in Port Chester,” he said.

That’s because zoning drafted back in the 1950s only allows distilleries and microbreweries to be in the industrial zone of the village. Village Planner Eric Zamft plans to change that with a bill that he created to allow the businesses to move into busier areas.

"We really see it as an economic development generator. It's a big trend nationwide and even here in the Hudson Valley. New York State in 2014 adopted craft brewery laws which are really trying to promote this stuff, so we're trying to be ahead of the game and hope this law does that,” Zamft explained.

Tiedge thinks the bill is a great idea, he says moving would really ramp up business for his distillery, allowing the business to sell more of its Westchester County-themed alcohol, like a whiskey named after Interstate 287.

"If we were able to go downtown originally when we moved here, we would get a lot more foot traffic we believe, that's one of our hardest draws, getting people to come back here," he said.

Tiedge, along with others in the business, will be crossing their fingers on September 19, the day the village board plans to vote on the bill.

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