“Birmingham’s first legal distillery since prohibition has been given federal approval,” reported AL.com’s Kelly Poe in May, noting the distillery would make its home in Lakeview. As Birmingham residents, we’re always excited to see new homegrown products on the market. As real estate folks, we’re especially interested in how those products help shape our neighborhoods. Redmont Distilling Company has us fascinated on both counts.
With TrimTab Brewing Company, Iron City Lofts, and now Redmont Distilling (located at 5th Avenue South and 29th Street), the area between Pepper Place and Lakeview’s entertainment district is emerging from its warehouse malaise. Our prediction: It’s only a matter of time until Lakeview is a contiguous multi-use neighborhood, perhaps even a low-rise version of loft district living. After all, Redmont Distilling will offer a native craft cocktail.
To find out more about Lakeview’s new addition, we asked Redmont Distilling co-owner Stephen Watts what he’s bringing to the neighborhood:
How did you learn the distilling business?
I’ve spent the past 2 years or so learning everything I can about distilling. I’ve visited distilleries around the country, taken classes, and read everything I can get my hands on about the business and the processes involved. I’ve been brewing beer at home for many years but have always been more attracted to spirits than beer. Once I began touring distilleries, I knew I just couldn’t get enough of the craft spirits culture. I’m really interested in unique distilling methods and spirits made from unusual (and often local) ingredients.
What flavor differences can we expect from Alabama vodka and gin?
Alabama’s abundant bodies of water with natural limestone filtering give us a unique advantage as much of the flavor in spirits comes from the water source. Redmont Vodka is sweet and smooth, light and easy to drink. We expect our vodka to be available in local bars and restaurants by Sept 1.
The Alabama Cotton Gin (still awaiting formula approval) is made with our vodka, distilled an additional time through a mix of botanicals including coriander, grains of paradise, orange peel, juniper, and naturally grown cotton. The gin is crisp and clean tasting, with a perfect balance of aromas and flavors that focus on the juniper.
What made you choose Lakeview for your location?
I live in Highland Park and love this area of Birmingham. I walk to restaurants and bars in Lakeview, I walk to the farmer’s market at Pepper Place, and I walk to the distillery to work. There are other great parts of Birmingham, but this is just a fantastic close-knit neighborhood and community.
What kind of atmosphere can we expect when y’all get the tasting room going?
We are in the early planning stages of our tasting room but we hope to offer an upscale, urban environment to enjoy a carefully crafted cocktail or spirit tasting. We intend to have an outdoor patio for live music and events.