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A historic release from a Birmingham distillery

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 6:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - One Birmingham distilling company is in good spirits.

Dread River is bottling up a little bit of history. The distillery is releasing the first commercially made bourbon in Birmingham since prohibition.

“Birmingham had a history of distilling back when it boomed back in the 19th century,” Dread River Distilling Co. founder, John Cubelic, said.

Then prohibition happened.

“During prohibition and actually a long time since, Alabama hasn’t really updated many of their laws to make it more amenable to the distilling process,” Cubelic added. “What the breweries did when they came in really started an evolution in the alcohol manufacturing business in Alabama.”

As rules relaxed, Cubelic, along with his partner Jeff Dugas, opened their distilling company in Birmingham with the goal of making the first bourbon in Birmingham since prohibition.

“Been really exciting to see so many people see it’s a cool moment for Birmingham, obviously a cool moment for us, but it’s even bigger than that,” Cubelic said.

A lot has changed in 100 years, but surprisingly making bourbon stayed the same.

“Has to be 51 percent corn, has to be distilled in new oak barrel, has to be distilled in the United States,” Cubelic said.

After opening in 2019, it’s finally time for Dread River’s straight bourbon to hit shelves statewide May 1, 2022.

“In order to be a straight bourbon it has to be aged a minimum of two years, so ours is almost three, but it hasn’t hit three, so our aged statement is officially two years,” Cubelic said.

Cubelic wants the sweet-style bourbon to be something the Magic City is proud of.

“Hopefully we are adding one more milestone to Birmingham’s history.”

If you want a taste before May 1, Dread River is having their Batch 1 Bourbon release April 10 from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information on the event click here.

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