Alabama’s first legal distillery since Prohibition has opened in a county famous for producing illegal whiskey.
High Ridge Spirits operates in a former horse barn in rural Bullock County. Its shiny metal tanks and spotless concrete floor look like any food processing facility. Employees’ relaxed pace indicate there are no worries about a raid by state liquor agents.
Head distiller Jamie Ray says it’s a little different from the way it’s been done in the woods of Bullock County for decades. A creek behind High Ridge Distillery even has the remnants of a still that got raided years ago.
Jamie Ray, High Ridge Spirits master distiller, is the first man to elevate Alabama’s game. After years of designing award-winning craft brews, Jamie rolled up his sleeves and began the long, arduous process of making Alabama-made whiskey legal. He did his homework, and along with his four partners – three homegrown Union Springs folks and a country boy from Georgia – created High Ridge Spirits. With the blessing of the state, our company started producing fine, hand-made spirits in late 2013. Ray delivered the first 37 cases of his Stills Crossroads Alabama ‘Shine to the state liquor agency Oct. 24.