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Friday, July 8, 2011 - 9:06am

Feds Approve Ga. Liquor Maker

Officials at a Middle Georgia distilling company say, they've received federal and local permits on the road to becoming the state's second fully-licensed distilled spirits plant.

The Milledgeville-based Georgia Distilling Company now just needs a state permit to produce vodka, gin and moonshine.

Company chief Shawn Hall says, a state license follows federal and local ones, so he's planning on opening within two months.

"I am probably the first person in our family to make whiskey on the legal side," Hall says.

Georgia hasn't had much legal distilling since Prohibition.

But the recent microbrew movement has prompted Hall and others to dip into legally tedious and expensive waters.

As it stands now, the company won't be able to offer samples or sell on-site.

Hall says, he sent federal officials an application three inches thick.

"It did take a little bit of time but they were very helpful," Hall says.

One in-state company already is making gin, vodka and whiskey.

The two-year-old 13th Colony distillery in Americus has been open since 2009.

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