Friday, June 23, 2017

Copper Bottom Distillery of Holly Hill, Florida

     East Volusia County’s rum history dating back to the 1750’s. A historical marker at 715 W. Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach is the site of the Three Chimneys, home to the oldest British sugar plantation, sugar mill and rum distillery in the United States.   And in the early days of Prohibition that ran from 1920 to 1933, Bill McCoy used a Holly Hill boatyard as a base for his ships that ran rum and other spirits from the Bahamas up the U.S. east coast. According to New York Times articles, he was arrested in late 1923, pleaded guilty and served nine months in jail.   With East Volusia County’s history of rum, the Craig family wants to add their name to it.  The family has converted an old laundromat into the Copper Bottom Craft Distillery, located at the western base of the Seabreeze Boulevard bridge in Holly Hill, Florida.  It is the first licensed craft distillery in Volusia County.
     Copper Bottom Craft Distillery initially made vodka, several types of rum and also put up bourbon in charred oak casks to age the required two years.   “With this being Florida and the local history with rum, we have to have different rums,” said Jenni Craig,.
Copper Bottom Distillery
    The distillery has tours for tourists and locals that will end in the tasting room where bottles will also be sold, but not for consumption at the distillery.   To grow the business, the Craigs hope to contract with a distributor to sell their liquor in stores, restaurants and other retailers.  Those tales will be part of the story and d├ęcor at Copper Bottom Craft Distillery, said Jenni Craig.   “I think it will help bring people to that area and that’s what’s needed to spruce up that area for redevelopment,” Holly Hill City Manager Joe Forte said. “This could be another incentive there. It’s a step in the right direction.” 
     Their white rum is one that is an excellent example of craft rums that works very well as a base for the cocktail mixologists and I wish the well in their business.  I hope that I get the opportunity to tour the plant in the near future on a trip to the Daytona area.