Clyde May’s grandson speaks at Troy Exchange Club

Published 3:00 am Friday, December 14, 2018

When Conecuh Ridge Distillery, producer of Clyde May’s Whiskey, is finally up and running in Troy, L.C. May will be proud to know his grandfather’s whiskey is being produced in “his own backyard.”

May, brand ambassador for Conecuh Ridge, spoke to the members of the Troy Exchange Club Thursday about his grandfather and about he distillery.

“Clyde May is the most important man to everything to do with our whiskey,” May said.

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May said his grandfather made moonshine to make a living and a better life for his family.

“He fought in World War II … and was shot in the ankle and feet during combat,” May said. “Once he came back and recovered, he began making moonshine in addition to his full-time job as a logger. Once he started he didn’t stop. An eight-month federal prison sentence is the only time he stopped making moonshine; he evaded them for a pretty long time. Making moonshine is a big part of the history of Bullock and Pike counties. Moonshiners are some of the hardest working men in my life.”

Clyde May was a perfectionist, May said, and that same passion to craft a perfect bottle of whiskey continues with the company today.

“I’m home when I’m in Troy, Alabama want,” May said. “I want this distillery to be something Troy and the state are proud of. It’s going to honor the legacy of my grandfather; anything short of perfection is unacceptable.”

May said the roads to the site are about to be built and the distillery still has to go through rezoning, but he expects ground to be broken within “the next few months” and said distilling will being in 2020.

He also addressed concerns from nearby residents about a “black mold” associated with distilleries in other areas. May said the residue will not be an issue because it is created when barrels are charred and the distillery will not have their barrels charred on site.

May said the distillery will initially employ about 30 people and will grow to employing 50 soon after. The skills and experience required for jobs will vary from a high school diploma or GED to a college degree as well as experience in certain fields.