Savannah Spirits Group is to open a 12,000 square foot distillery in Savannah, Georgia next year, with plans to release two rums. The distillery will open in Savannah’s National Historic District in March 2018. Savannah Spirits Amber is now available in Savannah at retailers, restaurants and bars. The distillery will also include an “upscale” chophouse next door with a private event space. Both the distillery and restaurant will be located along Whitaker Street in several renovated buildings that date to the late 1800's, there will be multiple dining rooms, a full bar and a terrace on the upper floors. The rums are said to reflect the “distinctive character and provenance of the city”, which is notorious for its history of bootlegging rum.
“This has been a long time in the making and to introduce Savannah Spirits to the Low Country starting with our rum, we feel, is the most apropos way to honor the bustling spirit of the region and its people, and to celebrate Savannah’s fanciful history,” said co-founder Dean Bell. Tunnels were dug beneath the city for smuggling liquor into the once dry town. Following statewide prohibition in 1907, the city petitioned to secede from Georgia in order to allow its citizens to drink. Savannah was soon referred to as the “Bootleg Spigot of the South” for the amount of illegal booze being smuggled into its port. “It’s all about the history. Our concept is, taste the history. A lot of people don’t really know how associated Savannah is with rum running and the craziness that went on, so we’re taking advantage of that.”
Savannah Spirits rums are currently being distilled off-site in partnership with Charleston’s Striped Pig Distillery while renovations continue on the buildings. “We worked out a collaboration that allows us to work in their distillery. Our distiller goes up to Charleston several days a week,” Dean Bell, co-founder of Savannah Spirits said of the temporary partnership.