Ralph brings 35 years of production and development experience to the distillery. Prior to starting Tuthilltown Spirits, his business ExtraVertical Inc. provided technical services to corporate and media clients for projects that required technical skills developed over his 25 year rock climbing career. Ralph built and managed New York City’s first public climbing gyms including The ExtraVertical Climbing Center on Broadway. His dream of a “climbers ranch” near the largest rock climbing area in the East were set aside in favor of producing high quality spirits.
Ralph’s writing and commentary have been featured in national media including Op Ed columns for the New York Times. His work at the State level has resulted in the passage of the Farm Distillery Act which permits New York farms to establish distilleries on site and sell their agricultural spirits at the farm. Born and raised a New Yorker, he has realized a lifelong dream of settling in the Hudson Valley.
Brian has designed and built the technical facilities for Tuthilltown Spirits. He is responsible for engineering and all technical aspects of fermentation and distillation for the company. Brian serves as CFO for the company. Prior to his work with Tuthilltown Spirits, Brian was a senior technical designer for a company building high-end broadcast television facilities. His clients included SKY Latin-America, CBS, and NBC. He served as the on-site technical consultant for ESPN’s conversion to High Definition Television (HDTV). Brian’s technical and mechanical skills ensure all the systems at the distillery continue to function and we are constantly on the search for more efficient methods. He is currently using waste alcohol and installing solar power as supplemental energy sources.
Distiller, Brand Ambassador
As Distiller and Brand Ambassador, Gable divides his time between production and the national roll out of Tuthilltown Spirits. With over 15 years in production and national event management, an associate’s degree from CU, and a BS in Business Management from SUNY New Paltz, he brings considerable business knowledge and experience to the company. Gable’s prior position as Head Distiller and Production Manager at the distillery educated him about all aspects of the Tuthilltown Spirits production process, preparing him for his current role as Brand Ambassador. A rock climber and outdoor enthusiast from the very start, Gable has been climbing in the “Gunks” for over 20 years. He is happy to be working at something he loves, surrounded by friends and family.
Distiller, Production Manager
From out of the legendary dirt bluffs of the wild Missouri Territory and into the sublime Hudson Valley comes the inimitable Joel Elder, Tuthilltown’s Production Manager and Head Distiller. Joel is responsible for all phases of production from grain to bottle including fermentation, distillation, barreling and batch selection. After a term with the US Army Air Defense Artillery, Joel attended Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri before setting off on his true calling: sustainable progressive agriculture. The following 6 years were spent working with and on various farms in California and New York and a few friendly pubs. Joel brings a commitment to setting new standards of production quality and ecological husbandry to the nascent artisanal spirits industry and the small farms that keep it running. Along with his partner Shabbat, he is now the proud father of a most impressive pair of geminids, Violet & Theodore. He continues to pursue the ideals that initially brought him halfway across our great continent: sustainable lifestyle and livelihood.
Tony is a transplanted New Yorker who has lived in Paris for the last ten years working as an actor, writer and director. A friend of Ralph Erenzo’s for more than forty years, he found himself in the right place and at the right time to represent Tuthilltown’s penetration into the European market. Tony brings his artistic skills (and his love of whiskey) to the promotion of our products at trade shows and tastings in high-end luxury restaurants, hotels and cocktail bars throughout Western Europe. What a job!
Luz M. Reid
Tasting Room Manager
Born in Sturgis, Michigan and raised in the Hudson Valley, Luz’s addition to the Tuthilltown family came with the opening of the retail store and tasting room in the Spring of 2009. With a background in retail merchandising which began Chicago in 1996, Luz runs the store, educates customers, and helps everyone who makes the trip to the distillery leave with the best spirits possible.
Marketing and Administrative Management
Cathy joined the Tuthilltown Spirits team in spring of 2008. Her professional contributions to the company are strengthened by a wide variety of skills gained through managing several small organizations and producing financial reports for a prominent marketing company based out of New York. Cathy’s current position involves working in collaboration with the State and Federal government on monthly production reports, excise taxes, and various legal tasks related to the advancement of the distillery. In addition to managing compliance related responsibilities, she oversees the tasting room, takes care of HR , assists with marketing, and manages the general administrative aspects of the company. Cathy is thrilled to be part of a small company with a family feel and a focus on spearheading the industry’s movement towards environmentally sustainable business practices. Her background working with charity organizations keeps her open to volunteering and she welcomes local non-profits to contact her about ways that she and Tuthilltown Spirits can get involved in the community.
Whiskey Production Manager and Co-Creator of Basement Bitters
When Michael joined the team in early 2009 he quickly realised just how uniquely driven and progressive the family distiallry truly is and has since been compelled to bring every skill he posseses to the table. He has worked in many fields, from retail, to maintainance, aquatics, and the cullinary arts, but has found the greatest sense of craft and community at Tuthilltown Spirits. Originally from Rockland County, Michael is a Visual Arts major with a concentration in Graphic Design at SUNY New Paltz. At the distillery, he performs a plethora of tasks ranging from managing the bottling line, assisting with the many stages of production, and contributing his love and expertise of visual aesthetics wherever it is needed. When he isn’t producing the best whiskey you can get, he enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, playing music and working on various illustration and photography projects.
Brand Ambassador and Administrative Coordinator
Robin Hayes has a background in Spanish teaching, paralegal work, and small town revitalization. She is a born and bred Hudson Valley girl who has spent lots of time in California. She resides in scenic Gardiner with her husband Joe and three kids. Robin’s Tuthilltown Spirits favorite is the Heart Vodka. She’s thrilled to be part of the Tuthilltown Spirits Team!
Scott joined the team in January of 2011. His experience includes various financial roles at both large and small organizations. Scott’s current position involves working with the State and Federal government on monthly reporting, excise taxes, as well as other compliance related responsibilities.Scott feels very fortunate to be a part of the Tuthilltown family.
Sales and Marketing
Aja holds a BA in Media Studies & Public Relations. Upon graduating, Aja worked for a newspaper publishing company, a radio station and with a couple of non-profit organizations before landing at Tuthilltown, where she handles all things related to sales, marketing and PR. Aja is a full-fledged music junkie who loves to cook. Any activity that will put a smile on her face will always include her family, her friends, and a good drink!
As an integral part of the production crew, Matt assists with cooking the fresh milled grains, fermenting the mash, distilling, and barreling whiskey. Matt’s background in agriculture, his experience in construction work, and his certification in solar energy allow him to make strong contributions to Tuthilltown’s 2013 goals.
A somewhat nomadic, transplanted Hoosier who’s studied, lived and worked in Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, London, New York City, San Miguel Allende (Mexico) and small-town Colorado over the past 2 decades, Elizabeth joined the tasting room team in November 2010. Now thoroughly over moving, and happily settled in the gorgeous Hudson Valley with her dogs (Julio and Arrow), her cat (Veselka), and one hive of approximately 35,000 honeybees, Elizabeth is a freelance footwear designer during the week and an enthusiastic pourer of Tuthilltown’s tasty artisanal spirits on weekends.
Justin is a recent transplant to the Hudson Valley. Hailing from a small town in western New York, Justin moved to the Hudson Valley with hopes of finding his dream job amongst the natural beauty of the ‘Gunks. As an avid beer brewer, Justin jumped at the chance to learn the craft of distilling. His background as a chef as well as his love for nature and physical work led him to Tuthilltown, where he is now involved in many aspects of production and distilling. In his free time, Justin can be found working on his motorcycle, going on long hikes with his yellow lab Morgan and experimenting with new beer brewing techniques and recipes.
Greg was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. He later pursued his bachelors in History at SUNY New Paltz. After graduating he fell in love with New Paltz and the surrounding area. Greg can’t imagine living or working anywhere else.
Packaging Manager and Co-Creator of Basement Bitters
Brendan joined the Tuthilltown team shortly after completing his bachelor’s degree at The Culinary Institute of America. He was lured away from the kitchen by the hand-crafted nature of our artisanal products. Brendan is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the Catskill Mountains.
Growing up in the Hudson Valley region Paul fell in love with the area and enjoys spending his time outdoors enjoying all the seasons the region has to offer. After graduating from SUNY Oneonta, Paul moved to the “Gunks” where he can be found enjoying the wonders of nature when he is not working at Tuthilltown.
Tasting Room Associate
By day, Barbara is a legal assistant – by weekend, she is a newbie bourbon and whiskey pourer at Tuthilltown Distillery. Born and raised in Dutchess County, New York, Barbara lived in New Orleans and Chicago before returning home to the Hudson Valley. Barbara’s background is in wine where she has worked since she was 18 – not only as a field hand at a New York vineyard but also in two family-owned wine shops. She lives with her finacee, her 2 sons and 3 step-children.
Brian is a Hudson Valley native. With a background rooted in both military service and chemical manufacturing, he brings with him a special zeal for learning the craft and business of distilling. If he’s not here, you can usually find him and his trusty K9 companion in the Shawangunks, either hiking the ridge or working his backyard farm. He has never seen Jurassic Park or any of the Star Wars movies, despite the protests of his wife and coworkers.