Georgia and distilling go way back, before the prohibition. So it’s no surprise that spirit making continues today. Generations from the same families own many of today’s Georgia booze making establishments, while many still use the same recipes from over a century ago. The very top-rated distilleries are sprinkled all over the state, from the tip-top in the mountains, to down by the coast in Savannah. Ready to start sipping some of the best whiskey, moonshine and gin around? Follow our list of awesome distilleries.
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Moonrise Distillery, Clayton (Nearby Hotels)
Travel far into the North Georgia Mountains to reach this popular distillery in Clayton— you’re going to melt over their caramel and vanilla noted bourbon and rye whiskey. For nearly 70 years they’ve been using the same double distilling techniques, and they don’t just roll a barrel out for consumption after a wait time is up, it’s carefully assessed and tasted to be sure the aging process has come full circle. This practice, along with using a variation of charred American oak barrels, has earned Moonrise much deserved praise.
R.M. Rose and Company Distillers, Dillard (Nearby Hotels)
Another Georgia mountain location, but in lovely Dillard, R.M. Rose and Company Distillers has been family-run for 150 years. History oozes from the informative tour that immerses guests in history, along with distilling practices—the stone building in which it resides is so cute and fitting. Distillers here roll out an old school grain spirit, which is cool to at least try, but the lightly flavored whiskeys and smooth rye are the stars.
Rivers Distillery, Jackson (Nearby Hotels)
Who would’ve thought that little Jackson, Georgia, a charming small town no one really knows except in reference to the Netflix hit “Stranger Things,” would house a top-notch distillery? Inside is an impressive still which you can take a close peek at via the tour. And at the end, you’ve got to try the pleasantly noted peach brandy, which goes down super smooth.
Midnight Run Distillery, Bartow (Nearby Hotels)
Located in quaint Bartow Georgia, southeast of Atlanta is a little moonshine distillery in an appropriate, country feeling building. Midnight Run will take you back in time as you taste a variation of wheat and corn, small batch moonshine from mason jars. Of all the flavors, visitors gush about the apple pie and blueberry the most. Peach comes in second and is a must because you are in the Peach State.
Richland Distilling Company, Columbus (Nearby Hotels)
Richland Distilling Company is located slightly outside of Columbus, where you’ll find an abundance of things to do, from outdoor activities to historic attractions. So, a stop by this distillery can be a great addition to a full-blown Columbus trip. Sugar cane is grown at Richland’s estate and is the one single ingredient used to make their smooth rum. According to the site, this is the only single estate made rum in America, and you can learn more by touring the facility.
Ghost Coast Distillery, Savannah (Nearby Hotels)
First of all, that has to be the coolest distillery name ever, and if it didn’t already give it away, the award-winning booze is made along the coast, in downtown Savannah. Touted as “Savannah’s first legal distillery since prohibition,” this place has some stories to tell. For just 10 bucks you can sip four different spirits, and the tour of the facility is on the house. Be sure to try one of the craft cocktails, along with cinnamon and honey whiskey variations. And of course, you’re in Savannah, so there’s a boatload of other activities to fill the night.
13th Colony Distillery, Americus (Nearby Hotels)
The Southern Rye Whiskey is where it’s at here, at the small batch focused distillery that uses wholesome local ingredients to cultivate a variety of spirits. Visiting the Americus, Georgia location is fun and informative, creating a deeper appreciation for the preparation of these top-notch whiskeys and such.
ASW Distillery at American Spirit Works, Atlanta (Nearby Hotels)
The atmosphere and ambiance allure visitors to this rustic bar and distillery in exciting Atlanta. Tours are held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Whiskey connoisseurs will flip because a variation of experiences is centered around a vast selection of products like the oaky, apple brandy made from local apples, the famed high wheat Fiddler Cask Strength GA Heartwood Bourbon and Appalachian Style Rye. One of the tours includes an authentic Glencairn Glass, and all tours include wooden tokens which can be exchanged for tastings and cocktails.
Lazy Guy Distillery, Kennesaw (Nearby Hotels)
Travel northwest of Atlanta and you reach Kennesaw, where you’ll taste some of the best bourbon and whiskey in the state. Side note—they might have the best Old Fashioned ever, as it’s perfectly balanced and finished off with local ingredients. Tours are free and include interesting historical facts elaborating on the rich history dating back to the 1800s. Only on Saturday’s will you be able to browse the grounds.
Old Fourth Distillery, Atlanta (Nearby Hotels)
The rustic modern atmosphere is downright stunning—lots of brick wall accents and big copper stills truly round out the experience. While whiskey sometimes is featured, the focus is incredible vodka and gin which is all handcrafted. Some say the gin is so good it needs nothing else and can be tossed back straight! Come in and just taste for five bucks, or do the full tour and get a bottle of some deliciousness for 20 dollars. Historical facts and little “secrets” make things even more engaging and interesting.
Dalton Distillery, Dalton (Nearby Hotels)
Appropriately located in historic downtown Dalton, their moonshine has been made the same way for generations, since the prohibition era. Visitors say that while this isn’t like the refined mainstream distilleries, the craftsmen here focus on the true art of it all while sharing it with others. There’s something to be said about the authenticity of Dalton Distillery. Moonshine is smooth, and the sunflower variation a rare treat. Two variations of TazaRay sunflower seed spirits are produced, one in bourbon barrels and the other in wine—and it’s an incredibly unique flavor to experience that also happens to be gluten-free.