Savannah is getting its own rum distillery

Savannah Spirits amber rum. Courtesy of Savannah Spirits Group

A rum distillery in the heart of historic Savannah is set to open next spring.

Savannah Spirits Group announced last week it will be opening a 12,000-square-foot distillery in the city’s historic district. Production is anticipated to begin in March 2018.

Initially, the company will produce silver and amber rum. Vodka, gin and, eventually, whiskey are planned for the future.

The distillery will also include an “upscale” chophouse next door with a private event space. Both the distillery and restaurant will be located along Whitaker Street in several renovated buildings that date to the late 1800s. 

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Savannah Spirits rums are currently being distilled off-site in partnership with Charleston’s Striped Pig Distillery while renovations continue on the buildings.

“We worked out a collaboration that allows us to work in their distillery. Our distiller goes up there [Charleston] several days a week,” Dean Bell, co-founder of Savannah Spirits said of the temporary partnership.

Bell hopes to bring production in-house after the new year and plans to open the distillery and chophouse to the public next March. A chef has already been chosen for the restaurant but will not be announced until December.  

Savannah Spirits products are due to be released in Atlanta this December. It has not been announced which metro stores will carry the distillery’s products.

Savannah has a long history of rum-running and bootlegging. Tunnels were dug beneath the city for smuggling liquor into the once dry town. Following statewide prohibition in 1907, the city petitioned to secede from Georgia in order to allow its citizens to drink. Savannah was soon referred to as the “Bootleg Spigot of the South” for the amount of illegal booze being smuggled into its port. Bell stated that he wants Savannah Spirits and its products to pay homage to the city’s 284-year history, most of which centered around rum.

“It’s all about the history. Our concept is, ‘taste the history.’”

116 Whitaker Street (corner of Whitaker and State Streets), www.savannahspirits.com.

 

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