MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Officials have broken ground on a Montpelier distillery that represents a fast-growing part of Vermont's economy.

Caledonia Spirits celebrated groundbreaking of the new 26,000-square-foot facility Thursday with a cocktail party attended by city officials, representatives from Vermont's congressional delegation and Gov. Phil Scott.

The new distillery is expected to open in May and create 25 to 30 new jobs paying an average of $30,000 a year.

WCAX-TV reports Vermont product sales increased 5 percent last year, and local companies sold 16,000 cases of alcohol.

Department of Liquor and Lottery Commissioner Patrick Delaney says he considers the craft distilling industry to be an "economic driver" within the state.

Caledonia Spirits says the $9 million distillery will increase total production capacity to more than 200,000 cases a year.

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Information from: WCAX-TV, http://www.wcax.com