Billed as a first for Macon, craft micro-distillery opens downtown. Cafe romano anyone?
Raise a glass to this new business, Longleaf Distillery is now open in downtown Macon.
The micro-distillery at 664 Second St. is the realized vision of business partners Will Robinson, formerly of Robinson Home interior design, and David Thompson of Piedmont Construction Group.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” said Robinson, who learned the craft of distilling by researching and reading, spending a week at Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and by trial and error.
“It’s very creative and analytical, which suits me just fine.”
Robinson picked up a bottle of their Liqueur of Life, a lemongrass aperitivo created from a recipe found in an old Italian cookbook. He said he tweaked the recipe for the modern palate.
‘Macon’s first craft distillery’
Billed on their Facebook page as “Macon’s first craft distillery,” the new business is housed in a renovated 5,000-square-foot space that includes a large open space bar area, a tasting room, an outdoor patio and a larger production area.
“It’s Macon’s first legal distillery in the history of the county,” Thompson said. “We’re not the first. We’re just the first legal distillery.”
The bar area in the front of the establishment offers table seating, lounge seating and bar seating.
A vertical board to the right of the bar lists what’s bottled and available for purchase to take home such as Longleaf Vodka for $22 a bottle.
Longleaf Distilling Co. has signed with Prime Wine & Spirits to distribute their Longleaf Vodka, Southland Gin, Southland Gin Navy Strength and Evergreen Alpine Liqueur, Robinson said.
The drink menu
The new gathering spot offers craft cocktails and snacks in the bar area, which gives off a relaxing and comfortable vibe.
House cocktails include cafe romano, fountain of youth, bless up, john daily and midnight dew.
The cafe romano is made with Longleaf vodka, creme de mocha, cold brew, lemon and egg white.
“I think it’s going to be a standard favorite,” Robinson said.
Classic cocktails include a martini your way, gimlet, hanky panky, cosmopolitan, old fashioned and sazerac.
Also served are non-alcoholic options, including seasonal mocktails such as a cucumber mint collins and a raspberry sour as well as carbonated beverages offerings of Coke, Diet Coke, Ginger Ale, ginger beer and tonic.
Merchandise is available for purchase in the lounge seating area and includes whiskey drams, T-shirts and ball caps.
Just passed the bar on the right is a tasting room, which doubles as a meeting and event space.
The room has a few tables and chairs with a large glass window that offers a view of the production area that houses the two large stills — “Big Richard” and “Rodney Dangerstill” as well as spirits.
Barrels of borrowed whiskey are currently stored here. With whiskey taking four to five years to ferment, Longleaf is selling borrowed whiskey until they are able to sell their own.
Tours are also planned.
When facing the bar, a door to the left leads to the patio.
Hours are noon to 6 pm Sunday and Wednesday and noon to 10 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The distillery is closed on Monday and Tuesday.