Westford Hill Distillers, located on Chatey Road in Ashford, was among the first craft distillers in the United States. It produces and markets a line of clear and aged brandies, Rime Vodka, and Westford Gin, with other products in development. Owners Margaret and Louis Chatey established the business in 1998.
As early as 1999, Saveur 100 recognized Westford Hill Distillers spirits, calling them “The best thing to do with fruit.” Other noteworthy awards included selection as Eau de Vie of the Year at the Berlin International Spirits Competition for work with Pear Brandy, and numerous gold medals in domestic competitions. The distillery has also been included in articles in national publications such as the New York Times, Food & Wine, Business Week and Bloomberg Markets, and was recognized by Bon Appetit in their “Best of the U.S.” issue.
Westford Hill Distillers has been selected by producers who contract to distill and custom produce Vermouth, liqueurs and medicinal tinctures, and local wineries utilize their services in brandy production as well. Westford Hill was originally permitted as a spirits manufacturer for wholesale distribution exclusively, but changes in state law now allow craft distillers open to the public for direct sales and tastings with tours. In 2019, Westford Hill Distillers opened its grounds to welcome visitors on weekend afternoons May through December and is now a destination in Ashford to enjoy creative craft cocktails, to sit and enjoy the view, and to find special gifts. The distillery also hosts events and weddings, and has hosted Walktober hikes with the Last Green Valley for many years.
The distillery is located on a 200-acre property first settled in 1711, and where the Chatey Family has maintained stewardship since 1919. Westford Hill Distillers was selected by the Town of Ashford as Business of the Year, and was honored at a ceremony hosted by the Windham Chamber of Commerce.