Owner and distiller Monte Sachs grew up on a dairy farm in coastal Connecticut and first encountered the art of distilling while attending veterinary school in Italy at the University of Pisa. There, while traveling through Italy, he learned the art of distilling traditional grappa from an 80-year-old farmworker named Bernardini.
With the 2008 passage of the New York State Farm Distillery bill, Monte decided to turn his attention from the practice of equine medicine to the art of fine distillation. Monte and his wife Stacy opened the micro distillery in Bethel, NY, very close to the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, along with an adjunct restaurant, the Dancing Cat Saloon.
Catskill Distilling uses water from the Catskill Mountains and New York-grown grains are purchased at a nearby mill, the spent grains of which are used to feed to local farm animals. Catskill Distilling Company grows a number of botanicals on site and was the first distillery to produce a buckwheat spirit, a cover crop used by many local farmers.