"From its inception about 9 years ago, ArtsRiot established itself as an iconic watering hole at the epicenter of the South End Arts District. I was a fan since it opened and always thought it was a true Burlington treasure.
And with the slogan - 'Destroy Apathy' – what could be better as I’ve spent much of my adult life avoiding and destroying apathy?"
ALAN NEWMAN, OWNER
"My intent was to find a way to make some renovations that add potential revenue options while we maintain the original vision, survive the pandemic, and then bring the mission back, re-envisioned.
We added a large outdoor deck which proved to be a huge hit last summer; we added 3 large overhead doors to create indoor/outdoor space – but because of the supply chain issues, they were not installed until the end of last summer - just in time for Art Hop."
JOE BUSWELL, HEAD DISTILLER
"In addition to being the first operating distillery in Burlington (hard to believe, but we find no other in our quick search of history), the goal is to produce and distribute a line of canned, low ABV (5 - 8%) cocktails, AND a line of distilled, full ABV spirits that support the mission of the organization.
The world of adult, alcoholic beverages has always been dynamic but the variety and speed at which new products are being called for by the consumers escalates weekly. Today’s consumers want more variety than ever before, paired with convenience.
It is our dream that the distillery will not only add excitement to the ArtsRiot experience, but will also generate business outside of our 4 walls to support the costs of running a small food & beverage business alongside a small event space, all while staying true to our manifesto."
"A GOOD STORY CANNOT BE TOLD; IT HAS TO BE DISTILLED."
- RAYMOND CHANDLER
"When the pandemic cancelled my travel in 2020 (and therefore my west coast consultant gig) I was going a bit stir crazy. I checked in with the ArtsRiot owner only to find out the deal I had heard about had fallen apart – and ArtsRiot was now available.
Given the pandemic was now in full swing, I found it hard to believe they would find someone to actually take it over while the pandemic loomed large. So once again, I jumped in without a lot of forethought – as I had done many times previously..."
"We built a distillery in the old SEABA space that was the old box office, green room and admin office.
After a very tough (second) pandemic winter, the best I can say is: we survived. We are now getting ready to re-open the deck while we line up a summer of entertainment, and expanding our hours.
And, as you may have heard by now, there will be a re-imagined Truck Stop ’22 right across the street from ArtsRiot - and running on Friday nights from Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
"WHY A DISTILLERY?"
I chose to build a small, craft distillery because of (a) my experience, and (b) the opportunity to generate additional revenue for the base business.
(a) - I have 25+ years building multiple businesses in the alcoholic beverage industry, and (b) - low ABV canned cocktails are the fastest growing sector in the alcoholic beverage industry today.