Distillery to Open Downtown
The owners of Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, SC, have watched their small-batch operation grow on the community over the last five years. Now, after three years of planning, the group is finally getting ready to open a brand new distillery in the heart of downtown Augusta.
David Long, co-owner of Carolina Moon along with Cal Bowie and Bill Hatch, said the distillery will be similar to the Edgefield one but “with a little bit of polish on it.”
“It’s a niche that is growing across the country,” Long said of a widespread trend of small-batch distilleries. “And now Augusta will be able to say they have one as well.”
Second City Distilling Company (named for Augusta’s status as the second-oldest city in Georgia), will be located at 4 Eighth St, which used to house Cafe 209. The group had initially hoped to open the distillery on Broad Street, but zoning and coding rules became particularly burdensome for a potential distillery. Later, it became clear that the design of the Eighth Street building was the perfect draw.
Long said the nearly 6,000-square-foot building is an ideal space for Second City and will accommodate a tasting room, retail space, mash room, distillation room and bottling room.
“Everything will be done from field to bottle as we like to say, it is all done under that roof,” Long said.
Unlike at Carolina Moon, customers at Second City will be able to enjoy cocktails and flights. The distillery will also have a small bar. Over the years, Carolina Moon has refined its craft, Long said, leading to a larger selection of whiskey, vodka, gin and rum, as opposed to just making moonshine. Second City will still make moonshine, but a lesser quantity than Carolina Moon initially made.
The owners have worked out a lease agreement with Morris Communications, which owns the property. Long said he is aiming to open the distillery by January at the latest.
“I think the community sees that we bring people to Edgefield that wouldn’t normally come,” Long said. “We see that same thing for Augusta. People will drive to come spend some time with us.”
As downtown continues to develop, Long said he hopes the distillery can be an “anchor in the area.”
“They never forget the first, so we’re hoping we have a lasting effect because of being the first,” Long said. “Assuming we get the Augusta location up and running well, this may not be our last stop.”