Top Hat Vodka from Hope Springs Distillery
Paul Allen and Betsey Dahlberg are making a wide range of spirits in Lilburn at Hope Springs Distillery, named for Hope Springs Farm, Betsey's family farm in Stone Mountain. They make Garner Creek gin (soon to hit store shelves), Jetty Absinthe (the first absinthe produced in Georgia) and Top Hat Vodka, distilled from wheat. We love the label with its photo of top-hatted Lilburn Trigg Meyers (the town of Lilburn is named for him), and we really like the vodka itself. The whole project is a labor of love for the retired engineer and retired lawyer who turned a passion for brewing beer, wine and mead into an exciting business venture. The distillery is in downtown Lilburn and their tasting room is open Friday and Saturday afternoons.
$20 to $25 per 750-ml bottle. Available at Royal Package, Branded Barrel and Lilburn Bottle Shop in Lilburn and at Smoke Rise Bottle Shop in Stone Mountain. Or at the distillery, 4839 Railroad Avenue, Lilburn. http://www.hopespringsdistillery.com/
Vodka from Old Fourth Distillery
I still find it hard to believe there's delicious vodka (and gin) (and a lemon-ginger liqueur called Lawn Dart) (and now bourbon) being made just inches from downtown Atlanta. A tour of Old Fourth Distillery's original location on Edgewood Avenue nets you a taste of their products but also a glimpse into Atlanta's distilling history with artifacts from the pre-Prohibition era distillery of Rufus M. Rose and his Old Georgia Corn Whiskey. Old Fourth's vodka is distilled from sugar cane which gives it a sweeter profile and rich aroma. We love the bottle, too, with its pale blue glass and the image of the old Fulton Cotton Mill in Cabbagetown. The tasting room and cocktail bar is open for varying hours Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can even volunteer to help out with the bottling.
$28 per 750-ml bottle. Available at Ansley Wine Merchants, Buckhead's Best Wine & Spirits, Capital City Package Store, DeKalb Bottle Store, Doraville Liquor Store, East Cobb Liquor, Green's Discount Beverages, Roswell Beverage Depot, Toco Giant Package, Total Wine & More and Tower Beer & Wine. http://o4d.com/.
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