A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony capped off the ground breaking on the new Conecuh Ridge Distillery in Troy, Alabama. The new Conecuh Brands facility will produce Clyde May’s Alabama Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye.
The event featured speeches and information presented by Roy Danis, president and CEO of Conecuh Brands; Lewis Clyde May II, brand ambassador for Clyde May’s and grandson of the late Clyde May; Alabama Governor Kay Ivey; and Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves.
The brand was named for the Alabama moonshining folk hero, and in recent years has garnered awards from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Wine Enthusiast, New York Wine & Spirits Competition, and most recently the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
“We distribute the Clyde May’s brand in all 50 states and internationally as well,” Danis said in a prepared statement. “However, this groundbreaking permanently establishes the brand’s home in Troy, Alabama. Clyde May, a WWII war hero, a family man and expert whiskey maker, got his start in this part of the country. Our distillery preserves his legacy for generations to come.”
Gov. Kay Ivey said it was great to welcome Conecuh Ridge Distillery, the maker of Alabama’s official state spirit, back to Troy, Alabama. “This project is going to be a great addition to the City of Troy and the Pike County community as a whole, and I’m incredibly excited to see the distillery upon completion.”
The distillery will sit on 76 acres and was designed by Luckett & Farley of Louisville, Ky. Plans are to start with a 24-inch column still, with room for additional stills. The current plan includes a rickhouse with a 10,000-barrel capacity, gift shop, restaurant and tasting room.
“The City of Troy is excited to begin the next phase of the Clyde May Distillery project as we celebrate the beginning of construction,” Reeves said. “This addition to our community will provide economic impact and tourist opportunities very unique for our state. This will be the start of a development that will provide an experience and a product Troy, Alabama, will be proud to share with people from across our country.”
LC May said that he’s extremely proud that his grandfather’s legacy will go on. “Clyde May’s is the official spirit of the state of Alabama. The fact that Clyde May’s is coming home is exciting for me and my family.”
The schematic for the distillery shows there will be a road named after Clyde … Clyde May Way … as a permanent honor to the man who created the brand. The tenets of “an authentic experience” guided the design process, and the distillery grounds will include a mill, still house, rick houses, and bottling factory with a restaurant, museum, gift shop, apple orchard and amphitheater.
The distillery is expected to be completed in spring of 2023. Production will get under way soon, and the first spirit made at the new facility is projected to release in 2027.