Gainesville may soon have a distillery.
Remedy Distillery will be producing bourbon and whiskey as soon as next month next to the Inked Pig off Main Street in midtown.
When people enter the 7,000-square-foot distillery, they’ll be able to either purchase a bottle or try some of Remedy’s product.
Keith Speed, who owns the business, said guests can choose from three drinks: straight bourbon, apple bourbon and cinnamon whiskey. The space will be equipped with a tasting room, where people can purchase up to three bottles of the alcohol or sample a maximum of 2 ounces for free.
“We hope people come by and see us once we’re open to the public,” Speed said. “I think it’s all about trying it, that’s the key.”
The owner said he intends to start with eight barrels, which hold up to 53 gallons each. If all goes well, he hopes to soon begin distributing his bourbon and whiskey throughout Georgia.
So far, Speed said he has received his federal and city distillery manufacturing license and is waiting on his state certification, which he expects to arrive next week. When Remedy opens, it will be the only distillery in Gainesville. The city changed it alcohol ordinance in 2018, allowing the operation of distilleries.
A similar business, Gainesville Distilling Co., attempted to open two years ago, but its plans fell through. The company did not have a federal distillery license nor a certificate of occupancy permit, which would allow it to do business on the site and host the public.
Speed said he got his first taste of the distillery business when working for a friend in the industry four years ago. After creating his own recipes and trying them out with friends, Speed said he underwent an 18-month process to open Remedy Distillery in Gainesville. He intends to run the business with his friend Ralph Jester, who will manage sales.
“I felt like I needed to branch out on my own with a distillery,” he said. “I’ve never had more fun doing this than I have anything else.”
While driving in his car one day, Speed said the song “Remedy” by The Black Crowes started playing.
“I was thinking about a name for the distillery and I said, ‘That’s it, Remedy,’” he recounted.
Speed said the name is also inspired by the Prohibition era. Because people couldn’t legally buy beer from 1920-1933 in the U.S., he said whiskey distilleries survived by having their product sold through pharmacies as medicinal tonics or “remedies.”
Speed keeps a binder of Prohibition era prescriptions, which he plans to have on display in the distillery’s tasting room.
“It’s a play on words,” Speed said. “Right now, in this COVID mess, everybody could use a remedy.”