Craft distillers hope thay can go home again

Local boys make good. But, it took some perseverance.

Nashville natives Darek Bell and Andrew Webber, natives of Nashville, TN, at one time wanted to start a micro-distillery called Corsair Artisan in their hometown. Trouble was, distilling was not permitted in Davidson County, or in much of the state, for that matter. So, they opened for business in Bowling Green, KY.

However, if Gov. Phil Bredesen signs into law a bill passed on June 18 by the state legislature alowing distilling in Davidson County, the Corsair boys are ready to open a second distillery.

“We started two years ago with the intention of being a Nashville venture,” Bell said. “This is our hometown. We want to let the community visit and see what we’re doing as craft distillers.”

Since launching in late 2008, Corsair has produced several unaged spirits -- gin, red absinthe, spiced rum, and vanilla bean vodka – as well as bourbon and a rye whiskey. Their gin won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, getting them off to a flying start.

The partners intend to use a Nashville distillery to increase production of Corsair’s unaged spirits and to make experimental whiskeys. Their Kentucky distillery would then be dedicated to bourbon production.

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