Three Cherokee County residents are joining forces to bring a distillery to downtown Ball Ground.
Gary Lamb of Canton, a wrestling promoter and event organizer, along with David Westrick of Woodstock, the CEO of Ruby Collins Inc. in Cobb County and Scott Farley of Woodstock, the owner of Classic Plumbing, are looking to bring Savage Gentlemen Distillery to Ball Ground.
Manufacturing distilled spirits requires approval from the Ball Ground City Council. A public hearing and first reading for the distillery’s application are scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at City Hall, and a second reading and final vote are scheduled for Nov. 10. Ball Ground City Hall is at 215 Valley St.
If approved, the distillery will be located at 110 Old Dawsonville Road in downtown Ball Ground, near Rock Solid Brewing.
“A lot of this planning hinges on approval at the local level,” Lamb said.
Lamb said he hopes to open the distillery in the spring.
“The process is such a long one — you need local licensing, state licensing, federal licensing — so our opening goal, which we don’t know if it will be attainable, is for the spring of 2023,” he said. “We have the lease on the building and have had discussions and been in close contact with the city. Everything we have heard so far has been nothing but positive, but you never know until the vote happens.”
The 3,500 square-foot building has been vacant for a couple of years and has been used as a wedding venue and antique store in the past, Lamb said.
If approved, the distillery will sell different variations of vodka, gin and whiskey inside.
Lamb said he envisions the distillery as a family-friendly environment. Kids and teens will be able to buy “old school-style bottles of soda” and other drinks, he said.
The distillery is expected to have a hand-crafted 200-gallon copper still.
“We haven’t started on any of this yet, but we have had discussions with the company who would create the still,” Lamb said.
Outside the building, there will be about 7,000 to 8,000 square feet of backyard space with seating, outdoor activities, a fire pit and a music stage. Lamb said the plan is to also have food trucks set up on the weekends.
“For us, it’s not even as much about the alcohol as it is giving people an environment that creates community,” Lamb said. “Getting back to the craft of distilling that was so prevalent in North Georgia back in the day — we thought it was just a great fit for downtown Ball Ground, an area that embraces craft-made stuff. We like the small-town vibe of Ball Ground and the fact that it is a family-driven downtown with locally-owned businesses.”
Of the distillery’s name, Lamb said it was the result of a discussion between the owners about “the day and time that we live in.”
“There (are) a lot of thoughts on what men should be,” Lamb said. “We are three guys who have always thought you can’t put people in a box. We like to think of ourselves as gentlemen who are successful business owners that enjoy typical male things. We thought this was a good mix of words that we thought described us and connects with the audience we are trying to reach.”
For more information about Savage Gentlemen, visit www.facebook.com/SavageGentlemenUSA.