They might have dried up the supply, but they couldn't break our spirit. Or spirits, that is. Nearly 80 years after the repeal of Prohibition, a motley crew of gents has decided to pick up where our forebears dropped the bottle so long ago. How, you say? Why, by building a distillery in the Old Fourth Ward (aptly named Old 4th Distillery) to churn out locally-produced gin and vodka. (!) We know. Catch your breath, it's slated to hit the shelves (and our gullets) next fall.
If we can't slake our thirst just yet, we'll at least satisfy our curiosity by talking to the four gin-iouses behind it all. Jeff Moore and his brother Craig are working alongside three friends to make this (long-overdue) distillery a reality. The building is right on Edgewood, the bottles are American-made, and the gang is working with local farmers as much as possible for fixin's like juniper berries, anise and lemon peel.
Jeff explained: "We're really hoping to create a cohesive cooperative of people crafting this product together." And a craft is precisely what it is. Many other small distilleries purchase the base for their beverages, only adding their own flavorings. But here, the libations will be produced from start-to-finish, using super-efficient fractional distillation—which it only requires one round, Jeff says. "Around here, vodka that has to be distilled four or five times is a dirty word."
Be still my heart. Schematics for the stills.
As they start out, they'll produce traditionally crafted gin and vodka. The gin is meant to be something the fellows would imbibe themselves. A classic, stand-up sort of concoction. And the vodka is distinctive, with body. You'll notice that it doesn't have the medicinal aftertaste of others, and that's because this is crafted not merely for mixing. "For the first few years we'd like to stick with two very high-end, impeccably produced, thoughtful products," Jeff described. But that doesn't mean they'll be at top-shelf cost—you can expect to find them, at reasonable prices, on shelves and at some of our favorite restaurants next fall.