Middle Georgia's First Legal Distillery
Two guys walk into a bar and say
"I think we can do this better."
Four years and many drinks later,
Longleaf Distilling Co. was born.
Looking Back To Move Forward
If you’ve ever had an opportunity to connect the different points of your life together - art, relationships, science and nature – and unite them with the region that defines you, you’ll understand what drives us at Longleaf Distilling.
Longleaf Distilling is the result of a partnership of people and ideas. One partner, Will Robinson, is a serial entrepreneur hailing from the mountains of North Carolina with a passion for design, an eye for detail, and a curiosity about the origins of the natural world. The other partner, David Thompson, is a Macon native and construction business owner who has been instrumental in helping re-develop and revive Macon from a largely forgotten town to the destination city that it’s quickly becoming. In the last 10 years Macon has been growing rapidly: a downtown filled with lofts and restaurants, nightlife and new entertainment popping up all the time. But, of this great progress, the people of Macon are the reason to stay. Here, you’re not anonymous: people get to know you, and you, them. A real community. People getting involved and making a difference in our society.
Revitalization and habitation is where the idea of the longleaf pine and Macon converge. In the pre-Colonial days, vast forests of longleaf pine covered between 60 and 90 million acres throughout the South, offering some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. But over the centuries, it was over-harvested due to homesteading and ship-building, while natural brush fires were tamed making the trees more susceptible to blight and disease. Now it only grows in small patches throughout the Southeast covering just 2-3 percent of its original range. But longleaf pines, whose needles are longer and thicker than other pines, are more resilient to environmental stress than other southeastern pines. They can withstand hurricanes, pests, wildfires, and drought while soaking up carbon from the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The longleaf pine has been largely lost to history, but now there is a united collaboration of public and private interests to restore these once great forests. We’re excited to be part of that effort.
That’s where Longleaf Distillery gets its inspiration: the resilience to restore, to reinhabit and bring together something that was nearly lost. To effect change. Distilling in Georgia was once a farm craft that focused on the community and the produce of the land. A tradition handed down from generation to generation like the seeds of an heirloom tomato. Until recently, our distilling tradition had been largely lost like the great forests of longleaf pine. Longleaf Distillery welcomes our community into our rediscovery of making spirits of old; complete with a tasting room that unites people at the table and is part of the revitalization of Macon. It is the ideal convergence of Will and David’s passions and goals. Through honoring the shared experience of our community and this land, the lost histories that formed who we are today, we can build the future for our great city one sip and conversation at a time.