Alabama's first legal distillery in a century opens in Bullock C - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Alabama's first legal distillery in a century opens in Bullock Co.

Filling bottles that will be sold to the ABC which will then distribute it to the state-controlled stores for resale. Filling bottles that will be sold to the ABC which will then distribute it to the state-controlled stores for resale.
Distilling equipment inside Ray's shop. Distilling equipment inside Ray's shop.
Jamie Ray of Bullock County has started the state's first legalized distillery business in a century. Jamie Ray of Bullock County has started the state's first legalized distillery business in a century.
Ray got approval from the ABC Board and well as the federal government before setting up shop in this building. Ray got approval from the ABC Board and well as the federal government before setting up shop in this building.
UNION SPRINGS, AL (WSFA) -

Bullock County has often been the county of illegal moonshine busts. There is another moonshine operation going on but this one has received the blessings from the very people who regulate the liquor business in Alabama.

Welcome to 'High Ridge Spirits' in Bullock County on the outskirts of Union Springs. The new legalized distillery is the first in Alabama in more than 100 years.

Reporter: "Why are you doing this?"

Ray: "Why not? Craft distilling is really become quite popular," Ray said.

This has been two years in the making for Jamie Ray. Ray spent 8 months doing research and eventually received the necessary licenses from the state and federal governments. Ray houses his new business in a non-descript metal building on his property on County Road 7.

The Alcohol Beverage Control Board is under no illusions to think a legitimate business like 'High Ridge Spirits' will put outlaw moonshiners out of business. The reason, according to the ABC board, is they're not interested in going through the process and it is a process. And for many outlaws skirting the law in the moonshine business is a 'family tradition.'

"It's rather complicated. It took me 6 months to get all the licenses in and do the paperwork," said Ray.

Ray, meantime, plans to hire 5 employees. Ray hopes to send his first shipment of moonshine whiskey out next month. The first and only customer will be the ABC board which in turn will distribute the whiskey to its ABC stores across the state.

Ray is opening the lid on what he hopes will be a profitable venture with an eye towards the next level.

"I do think we will have to build a bigger building," said Ray.

For now though Jamie Ray and his partners are taking one bottle at a time, concentrating on recouping their initial investment totaling around $100,000.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

    Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:31 AM EDT2018-05-20 05:31:13 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:52 PM EDT2018-05-20 19:52:52 GMT
    (Alan Berner /The Seattle Times via AP). Washington State Fish and Wildlife Police confer with an individual from the King County Medical Examiner's and a King County Sheriff's deputy on a remote gravel road above Snoqualmie, WA., following a fatal cou...(Alan Berner /The Seattle Times via AP). Washington State Fish and Wildlife Police confer with an individual from the King County Medical Examiner's and a King County Sheriff's deputy on a remote gravel road above Snoqualmie, WA., following a fatal cou...

    Authorities say the cougar believed responsible for the attack has been euthanized.

    More >>

    Authorities say the cougar believed responsible for the attack has been euthanized.

    More >>
  • Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>
  • Man calls police after pig keeps following him

    Man calls police after pig keeps following him

    Saturday, May 19 2018 6:39 PM EDT2018-05-19 22:39:20 GMT
    The North Ridgeville Police Department said officers received a call from a man who said he was walking home from the train station in Elyria and he was being followed by a pig.  (Source North Ridgeville Police)The North Ridgeville Police Department said officers received a call from a man who said he was walking home from the train station in Elyria and he was being followed by a pig. (Source North Ridgeville Police)
    The North Ridgeville Police Department said officers received a call from a man who said he was walking home from the train station in Elyria and he was being followed by a pig.  (Source North Ridgeville Police)The North Ridgeville Police Department said officers received a call from a man who said he was walking home from the train station in Elyria and he was being followed by a pig. (Source North Ridgeville Police)

    The North Ridgeville Police Department said officers received a call from a man who said he was walking home from the train station in Elyria and he was being followed by a pig.

    More >>

    The North Ridgeville Police Department said officers received a call from a man who said he was walking home from the train station in Elyria and he was being followed by a pig.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly