Distill Atlanta’s beating heart. Old Fourth Distillery has teamed up with Atlanta United FC for a bottling of soccer spirit. The mission statement on the back of the new bottle reads, “Together we raise a glass to what’s possible with the passionate spirit of the fans and the collective spirit of our city.”
Limited-edition bottles of O4D Atlanta United 2018 Season Gin reached Atlanta retailers in late July, coming at a time of historic achievements for the team. The July 15 Atlanta United match had the largest single-game attendance in Major League Soccer history (72,243). The next four games on the top five attendance list also belong to Atlanta United. And, Atlanta striker Josef Martinez has obliterated an MLS record for the most hat tricks — six in just 42 appearances.
The bottle design for the gin is as striking as Martinez’s stat sheet. It takes a departure from the clean, etched bottles of O4D’s usual line. “The label is actually a full wrap rather than silkscreen, so that maximized the real estate we had to play with,” Director of Sales Jessica Luna noted.
There are five red and black stripes, representing the tenets of the team (unity, determination, community, excellence and innovation). The Atlanta United logo is prominent at the top, and the O4D logo is placed on the lower portion. It’s spiked with a golden cap above the cork.
“It’s everything we wanted in a super fun and classy design, and I think it showcases the collaborative nature of the project really well,” Luna said.
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O4D is steeped in history, both creating and preserving it. Brothers Jeff and Craig Moore opened O4D in 2014, Atlanta’s first legal distillery since 1906. Situated on Edgewood Avenue, it’s just a 5-minute walk to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home. Much of the 1,100 square feet of space is taken up by a custom-built Carl pot still, from Germany’s oldest fabricator. There are two side columns and an incorporated chamber where botanicals are suspended.
Tastings are poured over a marble countertop, repurposed from former John B. Gordon Elementary. “This was between the stalls. You can see where the toilet paper holder was,” Jeff Moore added. Shelves full of jugs, and walls of distilling memorabilia pay homage to R.M. Rose, the last local legal distillery before Prohibition.
Rufus Mathewson Rose is interred nearby at Oakland Cemetery, where O4D sources juniper berries. The distillery team said this adds “a little extra spirit.”
While the Atlanta United bottle is unique, the contents hold O4D gin. That formula a classic London dry profile, clear and unsweetened, with Southern aspirations through a process of vapor-infused botanicals. “With juniper as the backbone, but dialed back just enough so our other botanicals and citrus really shine too,” Luna noted. Those other Southern-sourced botanicals include: grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, cardamom, pink peppercorns, angelica root and coriander. The resulting cut-to-94-proof gin is bold, complex and aromatic. The addition of those fresh Oakland berries, post-distillation, lends a light and bright juniper note that is unique.
The aim is for each season’s bottle to be a collector’s item. The design will change from year to year, something for fans to anticipate.
Another bottling to look forward to is O4D bourbon. Forty-five barrels have been aging in an East Atlanta facility for a planned January release.
You can find Atlanta United gin at local retailers, and during games at the team’s home base, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Restaurants and bars across the city also are showcasing the spirit in cocktails.
Purchasing bottles at the distillery allows you to see the space where it is made, as well as helping out a family in need. Fifty percent of sales there benefit the family of Christian Broder, who was shot on July 8 in a robbery attempt while leaving a wedding in Brookhaven. He later succumbed to his wounds. He was the brother of William Broder, O4D’s head of operations.
“Team” is a truism with O4D, and their pretty new bottle is a tangible keepsake of the spirit.
Suggested retail price: $34.99.
Old Fourth Distillery. 487 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 844-653-3687, o4d.com.
5 places to enjoy Old Fourth Distillery’s Atlanta United 2018 Season Gin:
Georgia Beer Garden. 420 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-458-5690, georgiabeergarden.com.
Bottle Rocket. 180 Walker St. SW, Atlanta. 404-574-5680, bottlerocketatl.com.
Smith’s Olde Bar. 1578 Piedmont Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-875-1522, smithsoldebar.com.
Variety Playhouse. 1099 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-524-7354, variety-playhouse.com.
Molly B’s. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 1414 Andrew Young International Blvd., Atlanta. 470-341-5050, mercedesbenzstadium.com/molly-bs.