By Cleve Bryan
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, N.J., (CBS) — If you like New Jersey produced wine and craft beer get ready for the next round of locally made alcoholic beverages.
The Lazy Eye Distillery in Richland began operations this week as one of first craft spirit distilleries in New Jersey.
A law that went into effect in December 2013 allows for craft distilleries to obtain licenses for the purpose of promoting a new niche industry.
“With the new law in the state of New Jersey we jumped on it immediately and decided let’s open up a business that we can pass down to our two sons,” says Carol Kafkalas who opened Lazy Eye with her husband Nick and their sons Nick Jr and Anthony.
The Kafkalas’s started distilling cordials and vodka as a hobby after a family trip to Greece.
They are one of three craft distilleries to obtain full or temporary licensure in New Jersey and the first to specialize in small batch vodka.
“We picked grapes as the base for our vodka cause it’s gluten free,” says Nick Kafkalas.
The family is happy to be a first in the state but they actually welcome competition.
“As more people are licensed and they open up their facility it’s going to raise awareness for the public just like the wineries and the breweries. They’re doing incredibly well,” says Carol.
Over the last 5 years the number of local wineries has doubled in New Jersey.
Lazy Eye is in the process of selling their vodka to restaurants and liquor stores but they will start selling bottles on premises in conjunction with tours by the end of October.
To find out more about tours and their products, visit: www.lazyeyedistillery.com.
And good luck asking about the origin of the name – it’s a secret.
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