• 75°

County approves license for Log Creek Distillery

The Conecuh Ridge Distillery won’t be the first distillery to locate in Pike County if everything remains according to plan for the owners of Log Creek Distillery and Farm.

Daren Hooks says he and his wife, Angela, still have a long road to getting their product “Pike County White Lightning” on shelves, but the Pike County Commission’s approval of their license to manufacture spirits is one necessary step out of the way.

The commission Monday unanimously approved the distillery’s request for a spirits manufacturing, warehouse and wholesale liquor license.

“It’s a family tradition,” Hooks said. “The family has been doing it since before 1900. Every family up here has been in the whiskey business where we live. It’s a way of life for these families, although there’s not that many left that do it anymore.”

Hooks said both he and his wife have a family history of bootleggers.

Now that his license is approved, Hooks said he hopes to begin production by mid-February, as there are still a few other legal hurdles to clear. He said getting the product to shelves is yet another long process to clear that may take until late March.

The distillery will be located at 1353 County Road 7768 and will include a bottling facility and warehouse in addition to the still, Hooks said. The structure is listed as a one-story, 3,680 square-foot structure.

““It’s like what you would see out in the woods,” Hooks said. “It will be a small-scale, family-run distillery. And it won’t cost the taxpayers anything. I don’t know what it’s going to do. I don’t got no corporate help and I don’t want none. If it makes it it’ll be on me and if it don’t it’ll be on me.”

The commission also approved the text of a bill to go through the state legislature that would give them authority to hold a vote on Sunday alcohol sales outside the City of Troy. The bill would allow the commission to vote on the issue directly or hold a referendum for the voters of Pike County outside the Troy corporate limits.

County attorney Allen Jones said it was the intent of the commission when they first passed the resolution 5-1 last month that only the county residents would be voting on it.

“The citizens in Troy have already voted on it once, so it would be like they were getting a second vote on it,” Jones said.

The commission unanimously supported the draft, which Jones said would allow it to be published for the required four weeks so that Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Pike, can bring it before the legislature.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved a $16,989 contract for heating and air conditioning maintenance for the year.

• Declared surplus equipment in the Probate office.

• Approved the advertisement of two part-time jobs at the road department.

The Pike County Commission will meet again on Monday, January 22 upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will include a public hearing on the vacation of County Road 7717 to Lockheed Martin. Jones said Lockheed Martin will have the opportunity to present their case first followed by comments from adjacent landowners and other members of the public that choose to comment. The business meeting will follow at 6 p.m.