A secret blend of local apples is used to create One Foot Cock brandy. The fermenting, distilling and bottling takes place by hand on the whiskey farm in Bennington, an 8-acre gentleman’s estate owned by Frank Weber.
One Foot Cock apple brandy starts as raw cider from Smith Orchard in Wheatfield that’s fermented into a hard cider and then distilled using a custom pot still that’s designed, engineered and built (including custom copperwork) in Buffalo by Koch Metal Spinning.
“We became interested in distilling in 2007, when we were introduced to a more backwoods style of mash from the Appalachia of North Carolina,” said Andy Wegrzyn, one of the owners and distillers. “The Webers had a keen interest in hard cider, which piqued our interest in brandy. We started with the brandy because it required simpler equipment. The apples in this area are second to none, and we were really enjoying the taste of a true brandy.”
What’s with that name?
Wegrzyn explained the original Buffalo Distilling Co. existed from around 1895-1914. The group chose to bring back the name to pay homage to the original, and plan to locate the distillery within city limits in the next 12-24 months.
No, that other name
Weber’s father (“Big Frank”) had a wooden rooster wind chime that had lost a leg; he really enjoyed asking folks if they had ever seen it. Wegrzyn also said that historically, many whiskies used the rooster image and moniker.
One Foot Cock bourbon, to be released this summer. Moving forward, the owners are thinking of adding a single malt whiskey, a potato-based vodka and a custom line of bitters called Cock Bites.
Where to buy
Colonial Wine & Spirits, 3211 Southwestern Blvd.; McKinley Wine & Spirits, 3820 McKinley Pkwy.; Global Wine & Spirits, 4900 Harlem Road; Caputi Wine and Liquors, 3015 Sheridan Dr.; Straight Up Wines & Liquors, 2534 Elmwood Ave.
Andrew Wegrzyn, Owner/Distiller
Frank J. Weber III, Owner/Distiller
Eric “The Chief” Kempisty Owner/Distiller, Chief Engineer
Daniel “Drigz” Ricigliano Jr., Distiller/Head of Craft Cocktail
and Bitters Development