BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - A brand new distillery opened in Bluffton on Friday.
The multi-million dollar project is a big deal for the area, so much so that the governor decided to take a trip and check it out.
Every visitor who visits Bluffton’s new distillery will get to enjoy a few spirits, but local officials say it also has a massive economic impact.
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“There’s a little bit of an economic impact to it too, to the tune of $14 million,” Chamber CEO Bill Miles said.
The distillery employs more than 40 people, is expecting at least 150,000 visitors in their first year, and gives back to local charities.
“It also reflects the great prosperity that is in our grasp here in South Carolina.”
The distillery makes the spirits on site and customers can drink it, but not too much. There are restrictions.
“We can’t open on Sundays. We are limited to 3 ounces of spirits per person per day, and I must tell you, all we are doing is seeking parity with burgers and wineries. This is an economic machine.”
Distilleries in South Carolina must follow the same rules as a liquor store. A new piece of legislation going to the state’s senate could change that in the next few weeks.
On Friday, senators and the governor came to look at how the distillery runs in the same way a brewery would.
“We are exporting South Carolina’s culture, flavor, and history one bottle at a time.”
In the meantime, the distillery is open six days a week by reservation only.