After 16 years being produced elsewhere, the popular Alabama-style whiskey brand plans to open a distillery in its spiritual home.
Since 2001, Clyde May's has made a damn fine, especially easy drinking "Alabama style" whiskey. According to the brand's lore, Clyde's son, Kenny, launched the brand by recreating the recipe his father used for illegally moonshining whiskey in 'Bama back in the 1940s. This time around, Clyde May's revitalized and now legal product received a bit more appreciation from the authorities, even earning a declaration as the "Official State Spirit of Alabama" in 2004. But there's always been one small problem with this heartwarming tale… Clyde May's isn't actually made in Alabama. But it will be soon.
When the Conecuh Ridge Distillery, maker of Clyde May's, launched, the company – like plenty of other whiskey brands – didn't actually have its own distillery. The product was, and still is, distilled under contract in someone else facilities out of state (mostly in Kentucky apparently). In fact, according to AL.com, over the years, the brand has changed hands many times, and the company is currently headquartered in Long Island, New York (which is, as any Long Islander can attest to, not particularly Southern feeling). But Conecuh Ridge Distillery has announced it's finally brining its production home. The brand is planning to open a $13.5 million distillery, rackhouses, a bottling hub and a "tasting experience center" in Troy, Alabama, not too far from Conecuh County.
"We continuously market our Clyde May's brand in the spirit of our founder, Clyde May," said Conecuh Ridge Distillery President and CEO Roy Danis. "His values of quality, integrity and craftsmanship are the building blocks of our company today. Coming home to Troy, Alabama, where the brand got its start, reinforces these values and makes all of us who work for this great brand so very proud."
Alabama officials also praised the choice to return to the brand's home. "In addition to the 50 jobs being created, we are excited about the potential economic impact this company will have in Pike County as this becomes a tourist destination for the official spirit of Alabama," said Governor Kay Ivey. Meanwhile, Troy Mayor Jason Reeves called the project "a creative addition to Troy's diverse manufacturing base as well as another wonderfully unique reason to visit Troy."
Earlier this week, Governor Ivey, Reeves, Danis, member of Mays family and other guests attended a ceremony in Troy to formally announce and celebrate the planned distillery. One can only assume they sipped whiskey that was not yet made in Alabama.