Sugarlands Distilling Company hosted a Pot Still Capping Ceremony, offering a sneak-peek of the company’s newest distillery, barrelhouse, and production center in Kodak, Tennessee. Following a barbecue luncheon, attendees gathered to see the copper “helmet” of the largest pot still in the U.S. permanently bolted into place. The new still has capacity to distill 4,500 gallons of whiskey mash and will be used to make Sugarlands’ celebrated Roaming Man Whiskey. The new facility will complete phase one of Sugarlands’ Kodak footprint, and will serve as one of the largest distilleries in Tennessee.
“Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey has won dozens of international awards, including ‘Best Whiskey’ from the American Craft Spirits Association in 2019 and the Double Gold from the San Francisco International Spirits Competition in 2021,” said Ned Vickers, President and Founder of Sugarlands Distilling Co. “Featuring the largest copper pot still in the U.S. and set against the backdrop of stunning Kodak, Tennessee, we are looking forward to opening this new facility to our customers, partners and friends.”
Sugarlands Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey is pot-distilled and aged in premium barrels. Bottled twice a year, the whiskey has historically sold out within hours of release. The new distillery and barrelhouse will expand distribution of Roaming Man Whiskey nationwide over the coming years.
During the ceremony, master distiller Greg Eidam provided a guided tour through the new distillery, which is expected to open in late 2021 and will offer a retail component along with tasting and tour experiences in the coming years. Made possible with grant support from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the facility will use raw materials like Tennessee grown white corn, rye, and malted barley to make its Roaming Man whiskey.
“When we opened Sugarlands Distilling Company back in 2014, I had no idea what a ride we were in for,” said Greg Eidam, master distiller for Sugarlands Distilling Co. “I feel like we grabbed ahold of a rocket ship and there is no telling how far it will take us. I am absolutely honored to be surrounded by this amazing team as we’ve grown Roaming Man into the nationally recognized and celebrated Tennessee Rye whiskey it is today.”
“At the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, we’re excited to support the distilling industry in Tennessee including Sugarlands Distilling Co. We are proud that the Ag Enterprise Fund was a part of their growth and expansion, and we are looking forward to seeing their continued success,” said Keith Harrison, Assistant Commissioner for the Business Development Division.
The new Kodak facility will include a 32,364-square-foot distillery as well as a 26,500-square-foot barrelhouse. The total facility will feature 58,864 square feet of space to distill, bottle and age whiskey. Sugarlands will support Tennessee farms and employ more than 40 new production staff at the Kodak location, including distillers, blenders, bottlers, barrel warehousemen, maintenance, and programming personnel. The company currently employees more than 100 team members in Tennessee.
The project’s building contractors include Gunn Construction, J&F Mechanical, Morristown Automatic Sprinkler Co., and McGaha Electric Co. The process piping, tank and equipment installation is being performed by United Group Services, out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Funderburk Electrical Services, LLC is responsible for all process related electrical work. Ryan Steel, Inc. produced the structural steel for piping and equipment supports, as well as the mezzanine. And the magnificent copper pot still was hand built by the oldest still manufacturer in the U.S., Vendome Copper and Brass, out of Louisville, Kentucky.