Southern Distilling Company: Reviving North Carolina's Whiskey Traditions

Last Updated 2/7/2024

Southern Distilling Company Honored With N.C. Exporter of the Year Award

In the heart of Statesville, North Carolina, nestled amidst the rolling hills and rich history of the region, lies Southern Distilling Company. Established in 2013 by Pete and Vienna Barger, this family-owned distillery has been on a mission to reignite the state's whiskey traditions while pushing the boundaries of innovation in the craft spirits industry. Recently, their dedication and passion were honored as they were named the 2023 Exporter of the Year by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

The accolade was bestowed upon Southern Distilling during the 19th Annual Agricultural Development Forum hosted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a testament to the company's commitment to excellence and its contribution to the state's agricultural landscape. At the heart of this recognition lies the success of Southern Distilling's Southern Star line of spirits, which has garnered acclaim both locally and internationally.

In 2023, Southern Distilling made history by exporting three of its award-winning craft whiskeys to Germany, marking the first time Southern Star products were available outside the United States. Among the prized spirits distributed were the Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Southern Star Double Rye Whiskey, and Southern Star Standard High-Rye Bourbon Whiskey. This milestone not only showcases the quality and craftsmanship of Southern Distilling's products but also highlights the global appeal of North Carolina's whiskey heritage.

Vienna Barger, co-founder of Southern Distilling Company, expressed gratitude for the prestigious recognition, stating, "We are very honored to be recognized as North Carolina’s 2023 Exporter of the Year. This year we are looking forward to bringing more of our award-winning portfolio internationally, as we cheer on our local partner, the Carolina Panthers when they play in Munich this fall.”


Looking ahead, the Bargers are enthusiastic about expanding their international presence and have their sights set on introducing more of their award-winning portfolio to global markets.

Beyond their international endeavors, Southern Distilling remains deeply rooted in its local community. With a commitment to supporting local businesses and fostering partnerships, the distillery has become a pillar of the Statesville community. Additionally, Southern Distilling has proudly partnered with Tepper Sports, serving as an official partner of Charlotte FC and the Carolina Panthers, further solidifying their ties to the region.

Visitors to Southern Distilling are invited to experience the artistry and innovation firsthand through tours, tastings, and craft cocktails. The distillery also plays host to a variety of public and private events throughout the year, providing a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of craft spirits.

As Southern Distilling continues to write the next chapter in North Carolina's whiskey legacy, they invite enthusiasts and aficionados alike to join them on this journey. With their unwavering dedication to quality, tradition, and innovation, Southern Distilling Company is not just crafting spirits – they're preserving a legacy and celebrating the spirit of the South, one sip at a time.

For more information and to explore their exquisite range of artisan spirits, visit SouthernDistillingCompany.com. Cheers to the spirit of Southern hospitality and the timeless allure of fine whiskey!


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