If all goes according to plan, Atlanta’s first distillery since Prohibition will open next May. Brothers Jeff and Craig Moore—who own a technology company, as well as several real estate properties—have secured a twenty-year lease on a 2,500-square-foot building, 487 Edgewood Avenue, in the Old Fourth Ward. There, they plan to distill vodka, gin, and, eventually, whiskey.
Old Fourth Distillery, as it will be called, will offer tours and tastings a couple of times a week and sell its alcohol to restaurants and retail stores. Though the tour and tasting details have not been worked out, Jeff says they will likely require a nominal fee, similar to that at SweetWater Brewing Co.
“For years some friends and I have had this idea of making our own liquor,” Jeff says. “I have a garage where we hang out and have these parties, and occasionally brewers come in to brew beer for the parties. It was the natural progression to make alcohol ourselves.”
The Old Fourth founders recently secured a federal license for distilling and are working on acquiring the necessary city and state permits.
They’ve also been visiting distilleries across the country and learning about different distilling techniques. They decided to use a traditional copper potbelly still; it will be installed in November.
Jeff says they hope to begin manufacturing in December (with plans to open to the public mid-2014) and are trying to source ingredients locally, including non-GMO sugar, but no firm decisions have been made yet.
“We want to get back to the American style of gin from before Prohibition,” he says, adding that Old Fourth Gin will have juniper berry and a little citrus in it.
He says his team is “trying to bring a taste profile back to vodka” but has not yet determined exactly what will go into it.
Since the distillery was originally projected to cost $250,000 and is now on track to cost about $1 million, the founders will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in October. To do so, they are creating a documentary-style video featuring Old Fourth Ward artisans and offering some of their products as incentive for contributing to the distillery fund.
“We believe in this community,” Jeff says. “We’re getting very micro about where things come from.”