8. Local Craft Spirits

Top Reasons to Love

John Emerald Distillery’s whiskey is the first legal whiskey distilled in Alabama since Prohibition. For over 100 years, whiskey poured from illegal stills in the woods of the South. But in 2015, John Emerald Distilling Company of Opelika, Alabama, began distilling a distinctive whiskey that can truly be called Alabama Whiskey. The spirit is not bourbon, it’s not corn or scotch. It’s a distinctive style of whiskey distilled and bottled only in Alabama.

Opelika is the proud home of not just one but three craft spirit makers: John Emerald Distilling Company, Red Clay Brewing Company and Resting Pulse Brewery all located in the hip arts district in historic downtown Opelika, and the venues often offer or are surrounded by live music and a year-round calendar of special events.