Featured Distillery: Blue Ridge Distilling & Defiant Whisky
Tucked away in the rolling hills of Rutherford County is Blue Ridge Distilling, makers of the rising star Defiant American Single Malt Whisky. Located in the Golden Valley community (north of Forest City), they picked this location for the water aquifer that is right beneath the distillery. The water originates from the nearby Blue Ridge Mountain peaks and needs no filtering. Stop by to watch the crew at work. They are happy to stop to give you a tour and a sample!
While the distillery itself looks like a small industrial building from the outside, you'll be amazed at what you find inside! You can see the entire process without even moving, centered around their impressive still. Their process is unlike others, not centered on barrels, recipes or tradition - hence the name. They focus on using the best of their four ingredients to create their distinct brand of whisky: barley, oak, yeast and water.
Stop by on Monday-Friday, 9-3:30 for a tour. Weekends by appointment. Starting October 1, 2015, you can buy a souvenir bottle of Defiant Whisky to take home. Address: 228 Redbud Lane, Bostic, North Carolina 28018. From the main road, you'll drive a short distance down a one-lane road and take a right at the intersection of several unpaved roads to reach the distillery.
Hard Apple Cider
Long referred to as a mecca for craft beer (see our brewery guide), Asheville is now a hot scene for hard cider. It makes sense since we have one of the biggest apple producing areas in the nation (see our apple orchard guide). Visit a cidery to see the process and sample the biggest variety of ciders in the Southeast.