Paul Allen of Hope Springs Distillery, Gwinnett’s first and only distillery since prohibition, describes how he and his wife Betsey got into the business.
As the retirement bus came racing toward us, my wife (Betsey Dahlberg) and I refused to accept that our productive working days were over. Having made beer, wine and mead (fermented honey) at home for well over 20 years, we wondered if we had the wherewithal to take our hobby to the next level and perhaps start a small craft distillery. It turned out that we were the perfect team in life as well as having the exact mix of professional abilities necessary for the endeavor. Betsey has referred to herself as a “recovering attorney” but diligently climbed and conquered the mountains of permitting and licensing necessary, and my 40 plus years as an engineer made the conversion of a horrendous trash laden space into a well-equipped and ready-to-go distillery possible.
After two years of gargantuan efforts, in 2016, just as production was about to ramp up, we met Jaz Jarzewiak, a 23-year-old local spirit connoisseur who was looking for facilities to produce a line of specialty products that he is passionate about. Jaz has now teamed up with us and his superb distilling skills led to his title of Master Distiller.
Hope Springs Distillery, which is named after Betsey’s family farm in nearby Stone Mountain, is proud to hand-distill itstop-of-the-line vodka from grain-to-glass and our unique absinthe from spirit-to-glass.
Several other new products are in development.
This is Gwinnett County’s first and only distillery since prohibition. We are also proud to have made every effort to use local businesses whenever possible, with a current total of 35 and counting. We take great strides to create thoughtfully made, locally-sourced spirits with all-natural products for our neighbors and friends.
Check us out on Instagram, Facebook or our website www.hopespringsdistillery.com
The distillery is generally open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 7 pm (free tours and tastings, cocktails and bottled products available for sale). Check Instagram or Facebook pages to be sure before you head out!