On Thursday, Atlanta, Georgia-based Shortbarrel Bourbon announced the acquisition of fellow Atlanta brand Old Fourth Distillery. Old Fourth is the oldest continuously operating distillery in the city. With the deal, Shortbarrel gains the rights to the Old Fourth brand, its existing product inventory and 1,000 barrels of whiskey. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.
Old Fourth opened in 2014 in the historic neighborhood Old 4th Ward, becoming Atlanta’s first new legal distillery since 1906.
Old Fourth Distillery closed in December, and the lease for the space was not renewed.
“We were determined to keep the Old Fourth brand alive as an Atlanta original, so I am pleased we were able to quickly secure a new facility to serve as the flagship for both Shortbarrel and Old Fourth,” Shortbarrel cofounder Clinton Dugan said in a news release. “Old Fourth, its products and the people involved are too important to the city and community not to continue the brand. Our goal is to honor what Old Fourth has built and work with the team to make the products even better and more widely available.”
Old Fourth currently produces a bottled-in-bond bourbon (for which you can read our review here), a vodka, a southern dry gin and a ginger lemon liqueur. The bourbon is sourced from MGP and aged and blended in Atlanta.
Shortbarrel will continue to sell Old Fourth’s current products under the Old Fourth brand name.
Old Fourth’s operations will be relocated from the Old 4th Ward neighborhood to Norcross, Georgia — a northeast suburb of Atlanta — in April. The new facility will include distilling, aging, blending, single barrel selections, packaging, back-office operations and a small tasting room. The facility will open this summer for both Shortbarrel and Old Fourth.
Shortbarrel has retained Old Fourth Distillery employees Kim Bates and Amanda Willis, who will continue to lead sales for both brands.
“I am so excited to join the Shortbarrel team and keep the Old Fourth brand going here in Georgia and beyond,” Bates said in the news release. “Rest assured we will have a very steady supply of products available and are looking forward to new partnerships. I am thrilled I get to add my personal touch to all our products going forward.”
About Shortbarrel Bourbon
Shortbarrel Bourbon currently sources whiskey barrels from distilleries such as Bardstown Bourbon Company and Green River Distilling. The brand will soon begin contract-distilling bourbon and rye in Atlanta. It will contract from the Distillery of Modern Art. This move will make the Old Fourth-branded whiskeys 100% Atlanta-crafted.
Shortbarrel whiskeys are distributed in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Connecticut. The brand plans to expand its retail reach to Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and Rhode Island this year.
Shortbarrel gets its name from the term “shortbarrel,” which is a barrel that loses over 50% of its contents to angel’s share.
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