Michael Anderson, Independent Distilling Company (corn whiskey, bourbon, white rum)
“The cocktail aspect [of SB 85] allows us to showcase what our spirits can do. With our white rum, for example, I can give you a half-ounce sample neat to try and tell you how great it is in a classic daiquiri or I can serve you the actual cocktail and make you a believer.”
“From a business standpoint, the new law provides us with a revenue opportunity that will allow us to grow our production, add staff and grow our reach in the marketplace. As with any business, cash flow is our lifeblood, and when you are putting spirits in barrels to age, that is even more critical to our operations.”
Independent Distilling will offer bottles for sale in their tasting room as well as samples of their spirits and a few select cocktails beginning Sept. 1.
<span style="font-weight:400;">731 E. College Ave. Decatur. 678-576-3804, independentdistilling.com. Tasting room and tour hours: Thursday - Friday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.</span>
Old Fourth's Lawn Dart is a vodka-based liqueur is vapor-infused with lemon peels and cold-pressed ginger juice. Photo courtesy of Old Fourth Distillery
Credit: Beth McKibben
Credit: Beth McKibben
Craig Moore, Old 4th Distillery (vodka, gin, ginger-lemon liqueur)
<span style="font-weight:400;">e will have the ability to offer a wider variety of tour packages and will most likely offer a rotating menu of cocktails on tap. It is difficult to know how consumers will change their purchasing habits [with SB 85] but we are hopeful we can encourage more tour attendees to grab a bottle or two on their way out."</span>
According to estimates from the American Distilling Institute, Moore says the average Georgia distillery will need to sell approximately 30 percent of their products from direct sales to see a profit.
“We are hopeful with the laws changing in our favor coupled with the pending release of our bourbon we can set ourselves on a path toward profitability and long-term sustainability. The new location [Decatur Street] looks to play a pivotal role in those plans.
The distillery has procured property at 536 Decatur Street and plans to expand its bottling operations and provide the public with a gathering spot and event space.
“Be on the lookout for new tour and cocktail offerings at our Edgewood location. Tour and cocktail hours should change in the coming months.”
<span style="font-weight:400;">487 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta. 844-653-3687, o4d.com. Bottles can be purchased Monday - Saturday, 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tasting room and tours: Thursday - Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.</span>
Jim Chasteen, ASW Distillery (white whiskey, bourbon, rye, apple brandy, single malt)
“The educational component for distilleries (even with the new law) will still be a huge part of the experience. The tours are incredibly important to understanding a distillery’s spirits and how they are made. We’re going to be able to engage with consumers longer and in greater depth and offer them a real experience beyond the tour now.”
Chasteen is the incoming president of the Georgia Distillers Association and says he is proud of what distillers have accomplished under the state’s former liquor laws which were some of the toughest in the nation.
“This law is absolutely transformative for distilleries. It opens up so many possibilities and that includes the ability to actually make a profit.”
Like Anderson and Moore, Chasteen says ASW will continue to evaluate how the law will affect the guest experience and adjust its tours and hours accordingly. He says ASW will be ready on Friday to sell bottles from their tasting room and samples of their spirits.
“Come have a cocktail with us on Friday to celebrate.”
On Sat., Sept. 2, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ASW Distillery will be unveiling their new Fall cocktail program to include classics like the Old Fashioned and Sazerac using Atlanta's 18.21 Bitters. In addition, 25 percent of the proceeds from Saturday's tours, cocktail and bottle sales and the Terminus City BBQ pop-up will be donated to the American Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
<span style="font-weight:400;">199 Armour Dr. NE, Ste C, Atlanta. 404-590-2279, aswdistillery.com. Tasting room and tours: Thursday - Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, tasting room, tours, Kevin Gillespie's Terminus City BBQ pop-up, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.</span>
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