old fourth distillery

after a yawn or two and some time in the backyard for grace, i begin each weekday morning with a cup of coffee, my computer, and the fun, entertaining fox 5 news team.  they’ve become my regular news crew ever since i started working from home last spring, and it wouldn’t be a good start to my day if they didn’t catch me up on all things weather, traffic, and politics related.

one of my favorite segments is with paul milliken and his drop-ins to interesting attractions around the state.  of the many places i’ve seen paul go, his recent visit to the old fourth distillery caught my attention so that i planned a get-together there myself!  a couple saturdays ago phillip and i met up at the distillery with mercy, kris, tommy, kaley, eric, and claire.  it wasn’t quite tour time (which, by the way, they prefer you reserve online before arriving), so we let the bartender fix us a couple of cocktails.  i enjoyed the refreshing blackberry bramble, phillip and kaley loved the frozen lemonade, and tommy sipped on his gin and tonic.  what better way to begin a distillery tour than with some of their finest spirits?

the top of the hour arrived, and our tour guide wrangled us all together.  one thing to mention about the distillery is that it is quite compact.  the bar area can handle probably 10 people comfortably, and the work space really was probably no more than a thousand square feet.  makes for an intimate setting!

you can take your cocktails with you during the tour and enjoy it between nuggets of distillery education and shots of alcohol.  now, i’ve been to plenty of breweries in my day, and for the most part, once you understand one brew process, you get the general idea.  however, before coming to the distillery, i knew nothing about these processes.  i was incredibly intrigued as i learned about how this distillery came to be, what types of ingredients you can use, and what different boiling points mean to it all.  by the end of our hour together, we were experts on heads, hearts, and tails and what makes all these spirits so tasty and special.

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i personally enjoyed the gin the most, likely because it didn’t have as much potency as the vodka and was infused with tons of different spices and herbs.  the lawn dart was one of the crowd favorites, and mercy enjoyed the bourbon so much that she took a bottle home with her.  when its been aged for such a while and when the next batch won’t be available until the fall, she figured it was a pretty excellent souvenir.  i agree!

mercy and phillip loved the frozen lemonade, especially with a bourbon floater!

it was time for the next tour to begin, so we posted back up at the front bar to continue the fun.  more blackberry brambles and frozen lemonades were ordered and enjoyed while new friends were made.  funny how good beverages (and good food) can bring people together.  🙂

speaking of good food, we desperately needed something to soak up all these tasty beverages.  i am not certain if eating after drinking actually does anything for your body, but that has never stopped me from easily convincing myself that delicious food is necessary with delicious drinks.  that particular day we had lucked out with a gorgeous spring evening, and as such, we gathered ourselves and enjoyed a leisurely walk over to krog street market.

i would say that krog street is easily one of the most beloved spots in atlanta.  it’s hard to argue when there is a great variety of food, specialty treat shops, and a beverage store all in one place.  one of my favorite things about krog street is that everybody can get what they can and then still eat together at their big, community dining tables.  it’s perfect for the crew with different tastes but common friendships.

phillip and i crushed our fred’s burgers and pesto, garlic fries in record time.  the rest of the table had a mix of gyro, falafel plates, and ramen as we caught up about life and started looking forward to summertime.  in true kelsey fashion, i even ran into my old small group friend jason.  isn’t it just the best when pleasant, unexpected surprises come your way?  indeed!

overall, that saturday was a smashing success among the group.  we even left the day with a couple of insider tips about the distillery.  first, they hold a comedy night there on certain wednesdays of the month (anyone interested?).  second, you can actually volunteer at the distillery and help them bottle their alcohol!  it’s free to volunteer, you get to sip along the way, and i am almost certain i heard them say that you get to take a bottle home with you.  count me in!

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