Opening a Dual-Permitted Brewery Distillery Using the Same Bonded Equipment


Sugar Hill Distillery (Apparition Brewing) has opened as the nation's first dual-permitted distillery and brewery, utilizing the same bonded space, as well as the same equipment to do both the distilling and brewing processes. In this video the owners describe how they opened their beer brewing and distilling business, the equipment they chose to brew beer and distill, how they use the equipment, and why they do it. (For more reviews of the BREWHA BIAC brewing system click here.)
For more details about Sugar Hill Distillery and Apparition Brewing, visit


00:00 Introduction
00:10 Distillery and brewery in same bonded space
00:37 Liquors produced
01:00 Apparition Brewing
01:18 Beer served at proper temperature
01:34 Alice the apparition
02:06 Equipment selection
03:22 Community engagement

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I'm Carrie Liebrock. This is my husband, JD Liebrock, and we are the owners of Sugar Hill Distillery in good old Sugar Hill, Georgia. We love to advertise and promote that we are first in the nation, dual permitted distillery and brewery, utilizing the same bonded space, as well as the same equipment that we've gotten from BREWHA to both do our distilling and brewing processes.

Having both being able to brew and distill two different product lines has allowed us to hit two demographics instead of just one market. It's been a blessing to do that. We're pretty excited where we're going. We've got a phenomenal new world botanical gin. Uh, we have an unaged rum, an aged rum. We have a silver tequila. We're working on some flavors with our moonshine. We've got a peach brandy that's gonna be coming out here soon, an apple brandy and a charred whiskey.

We've got a creative distiller over here who does a great job. Not everybody is a spirit drinker. A lot of people are beer drinkers. We have European beers to compliment the menu. So we decided to go with Apparition Brewing for the brewery, being that we have European beers, most of your European beers when you go to Europe, your beers are kept at different temperatures as they should be, and we utilize a beverage chilling and dispensing system from BREWHA to chill our beers individually as we pour them.

Apparition Brewing came about when we first moved into this building and realized that we are actually haunted. Her name is Alice, and, uh, she made herself quite known during build out with some of our contractors. And Alice would turn things off and on throughout the middle of the night and unplug things and rearrange things. And so we decided to, okay, let's capture on the spirit that we have with us. So we decided to go with Apparition Brewing for the brewery.

The difference between a brewery and a distillery is in a brewery you can actually have the tanks inside the same space that you're eating and consuming the alcohol. Whereas a distillery, you actually have to have a wall separating the distillation area from the tasting room. But it was pretty simple, we just put a glass wall in between so the people can see the activity happening in the distillery brewery, and it, it still made them part of the experience while still following the actual law. The BREWHA system allows me to do both brewing and distilling, and without all the extra equipment you would have to have. Outside the distillation, the whole process is the same. It wasn't a very hard decision to go ahead and just utilize the same system. Since I can't brew and distill on the same day, I have to change processes I can still use the same equipment.

So the equipment I have is the five barrel BIAC system, and then I have three additional fermentation tanks. I use the BIAC system to brew and distill on, so I can just swap back and forth from it. And it's much easier than having a whole bunch of other equipment. We actually put our brewing system right up in the front in the window where people can watch us brew people line up just to watch us smash in, uh, to see that process. And they like being involved in that process. And, uh, many times I, I get free labor because they, they can see it through the glass and they're like, ‘Hey, I'll help you anytime’. And next thing you know, they'll come in and, I got free labor just because they want to be part of the system. And with this system, they can be, they can actually see it, feel it, touch it, smell it. It's all together. It's unique in that way. It's, uh, it's a marketing tool in itself.

We found that most of our customers are locals that we've gotten to know since we've been here. This is our community. This is where we live, and our customers have become an extension of our family and we enjoy what we do.

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