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Rock Town Distillery — an all-Arkansas business

By: 25 June 2010 2 Comments

Phil Brandon, an Alltel Wireless executive turned distiller, is on the verge of producing liquor from Rock Town Distillery in Little Rock.

The company and its four employees claim the business is the first legal distillery to operate in Arkansas since Prohibition. Brandon hopes the new enterprise will be a hit in Arkansas and beyond, stating that his liquor will be manufactured with grain bought in Stuttgart and bourbon will be aged in barrels made in Hot Springs.

Brandon said he realized his career at Alltel was coming to an end when the Little Rock company was purchased by Verizon Wireless. Rather than continue working for Alltel or finding another corporate job, Brandon said he decided to do something “fun” and indicative of his Arkansas roots.

A love of single-malt Scotch caused him to consider building a distillery. Brandon said his emphasis on using Arkansas ingredients means Rock Town won’t make Scotch (there’s no Barley to be found in the Natural State) or rye whiskey (for want of a suitable native supply of rye), so the company will initially stick with bourbon, gin and vodka.

He said gin will be the first product available and the company should start shipping it to Arkansas liquor stores in August. Bourbon and vodka will follow and tours of the distillery should commence in September. Brandon said to expect some seasonal items in the future, such as strawberry vodka and peach brandy.

The facility is located in downtown Little Rock near the River Market at 1216 E. 6th Street. Visit the company on the Internet at RockTownDistillery.com and stay up with the latest developments at the  Rock Town blog.

Consider this article a mere brief — the full, detailed report will be available the week of July 5 in Little Rock’s Daily Record. Don’t miss it!

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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