People in Kentucky, Georgia will soon be able to try Richmond’s Reservoir Distillery

Business

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been roughly a year since Richmond-based Reservoir Distillery switched gears to produce hand sanitizer at a time when it was in high demand and short supply.

This spring, the demand is for its bourbon and whiskey products, which are being shipped out to new markets in Kentucky and Georgia.

“Kentucky, in particular, is very exciting,” Head Distiller and Production Manager Mary Allison said. “It’s a good feather to have in your hat to be in that state.”

According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the state crafts 95% of the world’s bourbon supply. In fact, when Reservoir Distillery opened in 2008, it was only the nation’s third distillery making bourbon and whiskey outside of Kentucky.

Soon, residents in Kentucky and Georgia will be able to taste spirits with a flavor that’s entirely unique to Richmond, thanks to Reservoir Distillery’s open-top fermentation method.

“The coolest thing about that is then the mash gets to interact specifically with the environment that is here at Reservoir Distillery and the greater environment in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood,” Allison said. “You couldn’t really replicate it no matter where you went, even if you were doing exactly our same process, exactly the same steps and the same ratios.”

(Photo: Olivia Jaquith)

Reservoir Distillery’s core five products will be available in both Kentucky and Georgia: 100% Wheat Whiskey, 100% Corn Bourbon, 100% Rye Whiskey, Hunter & Scott Bourbon and Hunter & Scott Rye Whiskey.

“It really allows those grains to speak for themselves,” Allison said. “You get to really experience what each grain tastes like on its own.”

Heritage Wine and Spirits will oversee distribution in Kentucky, and beginning April 1, Georgia Crown will handle distribution in Georgia.

“There’s what’s called a three-tier system in America where you have a distillery, and then you have a distributor, and then you have a retailer, and you have to go through all three of those steps,” Allison said. “Every state you go into, you have a new set of challenges, a new set of licensing issues you might come into.”

For now, the only Reservoir Distillery is in Scott’s Addition. Opening up a new market in another state simply means that the business will be able to sell its products across state lines.

“It’s really a pretty complicated process, which is why it is exciting when we can go in and open a new state,” Allison said.

She was bottling Hunter & Scott Rye Whiskey as she spoke with 8News, and said that she is most excited that the demand for this local product exists in such a capcity.

“We’re going to be able to push things out the door,” Allison said. “It’s nice to just have that flow to keep everything moving along.”

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