Peach cobbler. Pecan praline. Banana pudding. These mouthwatering flavors, which were once relegated to your granny’s supper table, can now be found packed into potent bottles of moonshine made (legally) right here in Baldwin County.
Last week, Murder Creek Distillery opened a still and tasting room in Downtown OWA. Inside, visitors can sample the distillery’s boutique spirits, drink cocktails made from their moonshine and liqueurs, and buy bottles and branded merchandise to take home. There are a dozen flavor options, including Orange Dreamsicle, chocolate, watermelon and even pickle.
The Foley location is the distillery’s second; they have been operating out of Riverview in Escambia County since 2019.
“This moonshine is distilled in small batches on location using a double distillation process to ensure high purity and great taste,” an announcement from OWA said. “Owners Dan Matthews, Stephen Matthews, Freddie McCall and Micha McCall have built and designed their own equipment and control systems for their locations bringing a new sense of authenticity to their products.”
The Matthews and the McCalls — two fathers and two sons — established their business two years ago, naming it after Brewton’s Aloochahatcha (Luko Hatchee) Creek, better known as Murder Creek. According to the company’s owners, they got the idea after producing a bit of alcohol on equipment that was intended to distill essential oils and turpentine. (Kids, don’t try this at home.) They redesigned that still and experimented until they got the proof high enough. Once they produced a neutral spirit they were happy with, they began adding flavors like sweet tea and fruit.
It took a year for them to get the proper licenses and then, two years ago, they launched their company. They did all of their distilling, mixing, bottling and labeling on-site in Riverview, packaging their moonshine at 80 proof or mixing it with flavors and cutting it to 40 proof. Within months, Gulf Distributing began dispensing their products to retailers in the Florida Panhandle, and in January 2021, OWA announced their partnership with the brand.
“We pride ourselves on generating the best hand-crafted moonshines possible and creating one-of-a-kind experiences that can only be found at Murder Creek Distillery,” co-owner Micha McCall said in a statement. “We are very excited to be a part of OWA. They have given us every opportunity to be successful.”
Murder Creek will now distill and bottle at their OWA storefront, located in the complex’s retail and dining district, next to Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant. The airy warehouse space is decked out with wooden barrels and crates, hundreds of jars filled with colorful spirits and a massive, metal-topped bar that can comfortably fit dozens of thirsty patrons. All of their ingredients, labels and bottles are made in America.
The OWA tasting room in Foley (102-A N. OWA Blvd.) is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. The original location in Riverview (4477 Highway 41) will remain open, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Murder Creek has always been a family operation,” the owners said. “Our wives, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends [are] the backbone of Murder Creek Distillery. We’d like to think of OWA as a new member in our Murder Creek family.”
For more information, visit murdercreekdistillery.com or visitowa.com.
Alyson Sheppard is Lagniappe’s resident hangover specialist. Find her on Twitter: @amshep.
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