PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Pulaski County is getting its first distillery. JH Bards Spirit Co. opens this weekend. 10 News is working for you and got a look inside before the doors open to the public on Saturday.
Whiskey, cocktails and a tasting room with local pride in mind are all part of Jayson Hudson and Jason Hardy’s vision. It’s been two years in the making and a New River Valley location was always part of the dream.
“Being local boys ourselves we wanted to make sure we gave back to the community we grew up in. We have a lot of restaurants in the area starting to carry our products,” said Hudson, co-owner and director of operations.
If you sit down and order a cocktail, know all cocktails are made with all-natural and local ingredients and the cocktail syrups are made-in-house.
At the distillery, taste and educating whiskey drinkers on the process behind what they’re tasting is a priority.
Take their bourbon whiskey for example. Hudson said it doesn’t taste like your average bourbon which they are very proud of.
“It’s super smooth and lots of big flavors right out the gate but then on the finish it ends up with a lot of barrel smoke, char and wood and so it leaves a nice long lingering flavor in your mouth,” Hudson said.
While taste is important, it’s the owners’ passion to pour into their community that really brings this new business to life.
“In my banking career I’ve learned that economic development really pushes things forward and so the ability to be part of that and to offer the citizens of Pulaski County and the New River Valley an opportunity to come to a different kind of place and sit and meet and talk to people and that type of thing it was everything to us,” said Jason Hardy, Hudson’s business partner and JH Bards Spirits Co.’s director of finance.
He said the fact that they can do all of that with whiskey makes the experience that much more special.
As the spirit company hits restaurants and shelves across the country, Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said it is showcasing some of the best of Pulaski County and the New River Family.
“It actually adds to our portfolio. We have four wineries and a brewery close by. This is just one of the many aspects that we have that we call closing the circuit, closing the loop on a full tourism experience here,” Sweet said.
The distillery’s grand opening is this Saturday, March 27 at noon with music and Bluegrass BBQ food truck. To top it all off, they are releasing their Virginia Single Malt Whiskey.
JH Bards Spirt Co. will be open Friday to Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the week they will offer private tastings.