Kentucky has the Bourbon Trail, an organized way to tour some of its best-known distilleries (and it has the Urban Bourbon Trail in Louisville, a fun way to organize a bar crawl). Now North Carolina is joining in with the Craft Distillers Trail, a smart phone app for touring the state’s fast-growing list of liquor distilleries.
It’s available as a free download. Just search on “Visit NC Spirits” to get it on your smart phone.
With craft distilling taking off across the South, North Carolina is already leading the way, with more than 25 distilleries now open or expected to open soon. With new rules that allow distilleries to sell one bottle a year when you tour, visiting distilleries is quickly becoming a popular weekend activity.
A quick look at the first version of the app shows a few glitches: The lists are divided into regions (West, North Central, South Central, Northeast and Southeast), so you have to do some guessing to figure out which locations land in each region. It also has locations that don’t match up: The South Central region around Charlotte, for instance, includes the recently opened Doc Porter’s, but not Great Wagon Road, which has relocated from Pineville to the Southside Drive in Charlotte. It includes Seventy Eight C Spirits, which is actually in Raleigh, but not Southern Artisan Spirits, makers of Cardinal Gin, in nearby Kings Mountain.
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Still, it is an early version, so we can expect updates as the distilling business gets better organized statewide. In the meantime, if you want to organize a few visits around the state, it’s nice to have an app with all the addresses in one place. You can also keep in the loop with the list at ncdistillersassociation.org.