A new cocktail (and a corn whiskey) for your Derby Day

There have been lots of FUN emails, posts, pins, and HAT sales in honor of the the 138th Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend. For all of those that are headed to the races (or race parties), I thought I would tip you off to a little product that might make you a favorite amongst your hosts (and your bartenders)!

What began as a casual conversation among friends about making moonshine as Christmas gifts has grown into Georgia’s only craft distillery. Located in Americus, Georgia, Thirteenth Colony Distillery prides itself on being handcrafted in small batches–made by friends for friends. And my pretty awesome-in-a-million-ways sister in law has been fortunate enough to get in on the ground level. In their very short little life, they have already taken home some of the highest awards and gold medals in the industry.

So when she (and her very cool boss lady) hired me to come down to Americus, GA last month to do a photo shoot for their 2012 Look Book, I jumped at the chance. A weekend full of luxury farm living, while shooting an image bank for some small batch, handcrafted goods–some fancy enough to need their own look book for the season? Hmmm, my kind of assignment. There also might have been some research development/taste testing that had to occur along the way and I am a game player, what can I say. You must try the goods you are photographing, it’s in the rule book. It was FUN. I mean, not my usual shooting, but that made it even better. The Team was terrific, the owners amazingly funny with behind the scene stories at every turn, and they were open to ALL ideas in regards to shooting–which for a photographer, is a DREAM. The hubs decided he would be my “driver,”  so I could get in the zone, and William and Bonnie, they were my cheering squad…after long days of work, it was a joy to come in to a warm, cozy cabin full of love! I got the “welcome home from work dance” this time.

I could go on and on about how charming and old school romantic this little spot in Americus is, and I could also go on about cabin/hunting lodge living (done the right way) is pretty swell. But this post will just have to be about the product and their very unique story in this little sleepy town…

Now. What I thought would be challenging about photographing a distillery proved not to be the case. Not dank, not dark…onthe contrary–full of color, and fun. They have this amazing sculpture that CEO, Alton Darby, commissioned from GA artist David Lanier that hangs in their meeting room. It’s compiled of the unique things about the company, its origin and its people. A very family friendly place where they do business the old school–rather–the right way. The Golden Rule Way.

Their master distiller, Graham Arthur. He has an extensive food background so his sense of taste, and method of transportation around the warehouse is pretty RICH. Truly, handcrafted.  From theirs, to yours.


Started by some already very successful commercial real estate developers, these guys GO BIG or NOT AT ALL. Even if it was just a conversation about how to make some moonshine for friends. They talked about it for so long, they were left with either buying out a giant corp, or starting something a whole lot cooler. They went with the latter.

And voilà.

December 27, 2012 By Thirteenth Colony

Are you of legal drinking age in your country?