Southern Distilling Company, now the largest craft distillery in the Carolinas, is now in production and open for informative tours and spirits tastings in Statesville. The town is said to be home to the first copper still set up in North Carolina, dating to 1755. Now it is home to the biggest distillery in North and South Carolina, with a capacity of 500,000 proof gallons. That is far more than what any standard for a craft or micro-distillery allows, and is comparable to the mid-sized operators in Kentucky.
The distillery is both family- and locally-owned, by Pete and Vienna Barger, and housed in a modern two-story glass-fronted destination distillery that houses innovative, state-of-the-art equipment in 25,000 square feet on 20 acres of agricultural farmland. Located at Exit 54 on Interstate-77, one exit north of the Interstate-40 crossing in Statesville, the 40-feet-tall, the custom-designed copper and stainless steel column still is both the most productive and tallest in North Carolina. Locally-sourced grains are used to produce high quality bourbon, rye whiskey and other tasty products. “We are very happy to have established relationships with local farmers who can supply our source materials,” said head distiller, Susan Sigmon.
The distillery’s specialty gift shop is open seven days a week and tours are given daily. Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and tours are given every hour, beginning at 11:00 a.m. and the last beginning at 5:00 p.m.. Sunday hours are from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., with the last tour being given at 4:00 p.m..
Southern Distilling Company also offers contract bulk whiskey production services, private label production and co-packaging for other spirits brand owners, wholesalers and retailers. The spacious distillery is available for special event and corporate meeting rental. The 3,000 square foot tasting room offers a unique backdrop for entertaining and easily accommodates up to 130 guests. The networked conference room and lounge suite is also available for rental for workshops and meetings, and includes access to the catering kitchen.
The distillery’s first Southern Star Straight Bourbon Whiskeys (10-year Reserve, Cask Strength, Single Barrel and Standard) along with a crystal clear Whiskey Distilled from Bourbon Mash are scheduled to be released Summer 2017, followed by rye whiskeys and a flavored whiskey product line, including a bourbon cream liqueur.