The Way Back
Seven years ago, we kicked our journey off in the humble confines of an Atlanta kitchen. We didn't know it then, but our first product, American Spirit Whiskey, was Atlanta's original Post-Prohibition whiskey brand and would soon gain a following around Atlanta as a perfect whiskey for those just getting into the category and others looking for an alternative to the common vodka. As the winds of change started to move Georgia's distillery laws in a favorable direction, we decided to start looking for a place to call our own - a place to locate our own distillery in the heart of our hometown making the spirit we'd loved since our days at the University of Georgia.
Our search took us all over the city: from West Midtown to Buckhead to, eventually, Third & Urban's Armour Yards, where we settled on a space in the same neighborhood that had originally attracted SweetWater Brewery, the Atlanta Track Club, and Fox Bros. BBQ. For the last year and with Athens, Georgia's craft booze legend Justin Manglitz at the helm, we've been distilling at our 199 Armour Drive distillery, combining traditional, Scottish-style copper pot stills with the Appalachian innovation of grain-in distillation - one of the few distilleries in the country taking such an approach.
The Westward Expansion
The last seven years since those humble days in an Atlanta kitchen, and the last year in our Armour Yards digs have brought with them untold sweat, stress, and the sacrifice known as sipping whiskey. Now, with our distilling maestro Justin Manglitz at the helm and the incredible support you've provided us since our Grand Opening last year, we've decided to set off headlong into the next leg of our whiskey expedition: a westward expansion.
As of this week, we have come to terms with Stream Realty to open our 2nd Atlanta location, The ASW Rickhouse, joining our craft brewing friends Monday Night Brewing and Wild Heaven in Atlanta's vibrant West End neighborhood. Not to mention, we'll also be able to stave off the type of hunger known to occasionally accompany whiskey consumption with Atlanta icons Honeysuckle Gelato and Doux South Pickles as neighbors.
Wes Jones, Honeysuckle Gelato's co-founder, had this to say about us joining the fun:
I’m thrilled that ASW Distillery will join the fun at Lee + White. Jim and Charlie have put together an incredible team, a group that will enhance the collaborative environment being created at Lee + White. We at Honeysuckle Gelato are looking forward to welcoming ASW to the West End's burgeoning food family.
When our current barrel house gradually then suddenly became saturated with barrels of delicious whiskey, we sought a space that would allow us to continue to play a role in Atlanta's spectacular resurgence, while expanding our storage capacity to help us in our endeavor to put Atlanta on the map for craft distilling. With Monday Night Brewing and Wild Heaven - the founders of whom we've been friends with for over a decade - joining the Lee+White development, the choice was easy, and obvious. Like deciding between whiskey and V8.
Monday Night’s Jonathan Baker expressed enthusiasm for ASW Distillery’s decision:
We’re excited to continue our friendship with ASW, in no small part because we’ll have a perfect spot to walk to after work for a whiskey or three. We started out as neighbors, living next door to each other and brewing in the garage, and now we get to be literal neighbors again.
Meanwhile, ASW Distillery’s Head Distiller, Justin Manglitz, has known Wild Heaven’s Brewmaster Eric Johnson for years, since Manglitz’s days owning downtown Athens, Georgia’s home brew supply store, where Eric was one of his biggest customers. Of ASW Distillery’s westward expansion, Wild Heaven’s Johnson noted:
We are thrilled that ASW has decided to officially become our neighbor in the exciting Lee+White development on the new West End Beltline. They are a perfect fit with the growing community of creatives who have decided to make L+W their home. They are long-time friends who make amazing spirits and we look forward to continuing our many collaborations with them in the years to come.
As such, The ASW Rickhouse will increase our total barrel storage capacity to nearly 1,500 barrels and will provide a convenient spot for our CEO Jim to take a nap, away from the watchful eyes of Justin.
The Other Great News
The timing could not be more right, either. Earlier this week, Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 85 into law that, among other things, allows distillery guests starting this September to sample any of our whiskies in either flight or cocktail form. So no more difficult choices as you peruse our six (and growing) spirits offerings.
The law represents a true game-changer for us and our craft brewery cousins, allowing us to thrive and continue to provide Georgians with a plethora of local craft options.
With all of these incredible encouraging developments fueling us forward, we could not be more excited to share this next, pioneering chapter in our history with you.
To that end, we would be most honored if you would kindly share this exciting news with your friends, on any of the below mediums:
Thank you so much for your ongoing support. We absolutely cannot do it without you and hope to continue to be able to share our journey with you over the weeks, months, and years to come.