South End is about to become Charlotte’s craft distillery hub.
Doc Porter’s, located at 232 E. Peterson Drive (around the block from OMB) is jumping through the legal licensing hoops necessary to start producing North Carolina wheat vodka by late summer or early fall. Meanwhile, fellow local craft spirits purveyor Great Wagon Road Distilling Company, currently producing down in Pineville, is already in the process of relocating to its new permanent spot across the street.
Something of a Charlotte craft distillery district is brewing… or distilling.
Doc Porter’s is run by husband and wife duo Andrew and Liz Porter. They both work full time (he’s a chemical engineer and she’s in marketing) and have a 10-month-old baby. Pile that on top of the complexities of opening a distillery in the city of Charlotte, and it’s safe to say they’ve got their hands full. Assuming all the paperwork and inspections pull through, the couple expects to be producing Charlotte craft spirits by August. Seriously can’t wait.
They’ll roll the brand out with a vodka made from North Carolina wheat and follow that up with gin, the recipe for which they’re still perfecting. (Fun fact: Did you know gin is just vodka infused with juniper? Neither did I until Andrew told me.) They’ve also invested in the equipment necessary to make whiskey, which they’ll produce now and then age in barrels for two years before it’s available to customers.
I strongly and selfishly recommended they add a tequila to the line up and was promptly informed tequila can only be produced in Jalisco, the official tequila region of Mexico. Oblivious. They could, however, make a generic “agave spirit” and I’m in favor of this.
The whole distilling process makes my head spin but Andrew navigates the intricate equipment like it’s nothing, noting that the equipment he works with as a chemical engineer is much bigger and far more complex than what they’ve got in the distillery.
He started out as a home brewer, following in his dad’s footsteps, and actually wanted to open a brewery first. But with so many popping up around town he saw even more opportunity to blaze a trail in Charlotte’s craft spirits scene instead. So that’s what they’ve set out to do.
The couple plans to have the tasting room open by October to take full advantage of the new law that will allow them to sell bottles to customers that come for a tour.
As a non-beer drinker, I could not be more thrilled for this addition to the city. Cheers.
Connect with Doc Porter’s