Craft distillery coming to Washington County

Construction is expected to begin next year on a craft distillery in Vernon.

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners and the Washington County Planning Commission have each approved amendments to the Future Land Use Map for the two-acre tract on which the distillery will be built. The amendment will change the property at 4234 Highway 79 from Agriculture/Silviculture to Industrial (light).

Barrington Hills Distillery is an established business previously considered for Chicago, Illinois. Owner Borys Gronkowski says he looks forward to bringing the business to Washington County in part due to warmer weather. Gronkowski also says the operation will produce “high-end rum”, but the spirit will not be sold locally. 

“We will produce a high-end rum that we will sell to private clubs, yacht clubs and the like,” he said. “There are no current plans to market or sell the product locally.”

Construction on the distillery is not expected to begin until 2023, once all permits and other required services are procured. 

As of now, there are no plans to have a tasting room attached to the plant; however, Gronkowski is not ruling out the possibility. 

“A lot of distilleries have tasting rooms, but we are not planning on that in the beginning,” he said. “Should we decide to have one in the future, we will go through the necessary steps to make that a reality.”

Gronkowski went on to say that while Chicago’s Barrington Hills area inspired the distillery’s name, the landscape surrounding its new home reminds him of the Barrington Hills neighborhood with its white fences and horses grazing in fields. 

“The name fits Washington County,” said Gronkowski. “When we decided to move down to Florida instead of building in Chicago, the name fit so well that we decided to keep it.”

The business is projected to create between 15 to 20 new jobs with the possibility of more depending on future expansion.