Located in the mountains of western North Carolina, you will find the Oak & Grist Distillery. Newly opened in 2017, the Black Mountain distillery focuses on the Appalachian flavored spirits of gin, whisky, and liqueur.
Oak & Grist Distillery supports local farmers and businesses, and they claim their name is a tribute to the people and trades that help make them who they are. “Grist” represents the farmers and maltsters that ferment and distill the grains, and “Oak” stands for the loggers and coopers that construct the barrels for the whisky.
They have an experienced team that has partnered with local companies to produce some amazing spirits. They “aim to reward the curious, and excite the connoisseur.” Here is some more information about Oak & Grist that makes the distillery a new local favorite.
William Goldberg – He is President, Head Distiller, and Custodian of the Oak & Grist Distillery. He holds a B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and worked several years as an artisanal cheese maker for a small family creamery.
Russell Dodson – He is the Vice-President of the distillery. He practically grew up in a distillery, because his dad was the distillery manager at Glen Moray. He worked many years as VP of Operations at a boutique construction company firm, but his knowledge and education moved him to help open the distillery.
Robert Goldberg – He is also Vice-President of Oak & Grist, and he has spent the last four decades working for non-profit communities of New York to help foster continual growth in the arts community. He brings decades of management experience to the company.
Riverbend Malt House – They produce high quality malt in North Carolina for the distillery and source grain from within 500 miles of their facility. Their local commitment comes with the benefit of decreasing the carbon footprint of the products made from their malt.
Kelvin Cooperage – This family owned business has been producing new and used barrels for more than 50 years. Oak & Grist claims their whisky would not be what it is without a barreling company like Kelvin Cooperage.
– Dark Rhythm. This Gin is meant to be served as a solid base in a cocktail, or it is just as good sipped straight. This Genever style gin is distilled from 100% malted beverage. It contains a balanced earthy/floral flavor followed by citrus notes. For every bottle that is sold, Oak & Grist will donate a portion of the proceeds to the local non-profit Our Voice, which helps work to end sexual violence and harassment.
– The O.G. Single Malt. The barley is malted 16 miles from the distillery and is deposited into 53-gallon used oak barrels. Inside of the barrels, the mellow and mature flavors will begin replacing the harsh and immature flavors. The spirits will be pushed and pulled through the wood cask for years, and it will begin to extract the various flavor compounds. It will probably take years before this whisky is available for purchase.
– The O.G. Rye. This is the alternative to the single malt and is known for its characteristically spicy or fruity flavors. Rye whisky is composed of at least 51% rye and aged in new barrels. They will utilize both 25 and 53 gallon barrels, because the smaller barrels result in a shorter aging process. This is also not currently available for purchase.
This will be available within the first year of business, and it is great for making cocktails. It will be available soon, but only produced in a very small quantity.
Russell Dodson’s father passed down his distillery knowledge, and now Oak & Grist is a new generation of spirits that honors heritage and continues to build on the foundation laid by their predecessors. The distillery is located outside Asheville and is opened on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Tours and tastings are available on those days and last about 45 minutes.