Atlanta's First Legal Distillery in 100 Years

Last month Old Fourth Distillery opened its doors, nearly 100 years after the temperance movement booted R.M. Rose Company Distillery out of Atlanta. Old Fourth is the first legal still to open in the city since R.M. relocated to Chattanooga in 1907, and it marks another notch for Atlanta's growing spirits scene. Aside from an upgrowth of lauded bars and bartenders that are making waves for the city's drink culture, the Big Peach adds another distillery to its roster when American Spirit Works opens its operations near hometown beer heroes SweetWater Brewing Company later this year.

Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, which raised $40,372 for the project, and more than 6,000 pounds of Dixie Sugar, brothers Craig and Jeff Moore debuted its first product, Old Fourth Vodka last month, just in time for holiday reveling. Next up, the guys venture into gin and bourbon, but that last one will take some time as the aging process is longer. “We want to do things the right way,” Jeff says. “The way they were done before the temperance movement in Georgia. We want to get as close to that process as possible, but with the best modern equipment.”

Old Fourth hosts free tours and tastings (up to half an ounce, per state laws) weekly. For now, you have to go to Atlanta for a bottle of Old Fourth Vodka, but that will change as distribution spreads across the South.

Georgia-based photographer and blogger Caroline Fontenot (she and her husband run the popular Southern lifestyle blog, Back Down South) shares a look at Old Fourth's operations.

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