West Virginia Distillery Directory published

Our newly published West Virginia Distillery Directory shows the state has 16 licensed distilleries at the beginning of the new license year. The license year for distilleries begins January 1, instead of the July 1 fiscal year license that applies to breweries and wineries.

distillery directory

Some of the newer distilleries are The Sweeter Side of the Feud, Spencer; Mountain State Spirits, Bridgeport; Stink Hollow Spirits, Job (Harman); Flying Buck Distillery Augusta; Elkhorn Mountain Distillery, Moorefield; and Country Roads Distillery, Wheeling.

The West Virginia Distillery Directory tells the primary products each distillery produces and lists their contact information, including websites or Facebook page links. It also contains a highway map showing the location of each business. [Link Here]

Distilleries in West Virginia range from the significantly-sized Smooth Ambler Spirits in Maxwelton, Greenbrier County, which produces hundreds of barrels per month, to tiny start-up operations like Still Hollow Spirits in Job (Randolph County). While most all of the distilleries are family-owned businesses, Smooth Ambler is now affiliated with the international spirits behemoth Pernod Ricard, which purchased a majority stake in Smooth Ambler in 2016. This big stage presents Smooth Ambler with the ability to grow substantially and sell its West Virginia-made products across the globe.

Small free samples are poured in the distillery tasting rooms.Marketing – Most of WV’s distilleries have a tasting room located on-site where guests can get small samples of the spirits they sell. Most also have a store operation where guests can purchase bottles and merchandise. All of the distilleries sell their products through the state ABCA warehouse to retail liquor stores. Some have wide distribution, while others can only be found in a few stores. Several distilleries market their products in other states through distributors and brokers (Smooth Ambler, Appalachian Distillery, Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine, and Bloomery Plantation are some examples). Smooth Ambler even does a nice export business.

Distilleries at wineries

Five of the 16 distilleries are located at wineries and most of them have a brandy and grappa in their book. This also means you can sample both wines and spirits at these location. Distilleries based at wineries include:

  • Forks of Cheat Distillery (Forks of Cheat Winery),
  • Isaiah Morgan Distillery (Kirkwood Winery),
  • The Sweeter Side of the Feud Distillery (TSSF Winery),
  • Pinchgut Hollow Distillery (Heston Farm Winery),
  • Country Roads Distillery (Moss Farms Winery).

Moonshine stills most common

Appalachian Distillery’s moonshine still

Moonshine, sometimes called white whiskey, is by far the most popular category of product at WV distilleries. Moonshine, or un-aged corn whiskey comes in two popular forms: straight or a flavored cordial (think Apple Pie Moonshine). WV moonshine producers include:

  • Appalachian,
  • Black Draft,
  • Bloomery Plantation
  • Elkhorn Mountain,
  • Flying Buck,
  • Forks of Cheat,
  • Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine,
  • Isaiah Morgan,
  • Mountain State Spirits,
  • Pinchgut Hollow,
  • RADA,
  • Smooth Ambler,
  • Still Hollow Spirits,
  • The Sweeter Side of the Feud.

Bourbon and Rye

Black Draft gains
Bourbon aging at Black Draft Distillery

Bourbon and Rye are hot spirit categories today, and WV distilleries are all over it. Both bourbon and corn-based moonshine are made with a majority of corn in the mash. Unlike corn whiskey that can be bottled fresh from the still, bourbon must be aged in a new, charred oak barrel. Rye whiskey must be produced from a mash containing at minimum of 51% rye grain and aged in new, charred oak barrels. The expense associated with aging in new, charred oak barrels makes bourbon and rye more expensive than moonshine.

Distilleries producing bourbon and /or rye whiskies include:

  • Appalachian,
  • Black Draft,
  • Isaiah Morgan,
  • Pinchgut Hollow,
  • Smooth Ambler,
  • The Sweeter Side of the Feud.

Mini-Distillery or Regular Distillery

Wicked Spirits
Most are licensed as WV Mini-Distilleries

For West Virginia state licensing, distilleries break out into two categories, Distillery and Mini-Distillery. This year, we have 10 mini and six regular distilleries.

Mini-Distilleries must grow at least 25% of the raw agricultural products that they use to make their spirit products. Most often, that is corn, which they grow to make corn whiskey, bourbon, vodka, or neutral grain spirits. Other commonly grown ingredients are grapes for brandy and other fruits for flavorings. In the case of Bloomery Plantation, however, two of those ingredients are pretty unique: They raise lemons and ginger in their own greenhouses.

Mini-Distilleries have production limits enforced allowing them to produce no more than 20,000 gallons of distilled spirits per year. Regular Distilleries have no state-enforced production or ingredient restrictions. Annual license fees are $50 for a Mini-Distillery and $1,500 for a regular Distillery.

West Virginia Distillery Directory Link
Mini-Distillery Licenses, 2018

Forks of Cheat Distillery

Bloomery Plantation Distillery
Charles Town

Black Draft Distillery

Wicked Spirits Distillery

RADA Distillery at Flying Squirrel Ranch

Flying Buck Distillery

Elkhorn Mountain Distillery

Isaiah Morgan Distillery

Still Hollow Spirits

The Sweeter Side of the Feud Winery

Regular Distillery Licenses, 2018

Smooth Amble Spirits

Pinchgut Hollow Distillery

Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine

Appalachian Distillery

Country Roads Distillery

Mountain State Spirits

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