Firefly Distillery

By Brian Lemay No comments

I met Jim Irving in 2001 when he was making wine and I was running wine and spirits
distributorship uh… in 2002 he figured
pretty quickly that he needed somebody to distribute his wine because he couldn’t do it
and make wine so he hired me me to sell his wine as a distributor uh… we started Firefly Distilling
Company in 2004 and by 2006 we made our
first product which is our muscadine wine flavored vodka out of his muscadine wine
we had to make our first product in Florida because the laws of South Carolina
would not permit us to do it so we had to get a couple laws changed
which we did in 2006 and 2009 2006 we have the the uh…
law changed because they gave us the capability to distill here on property which really gave Jim, my
partner Jim, is just twenty years older than me and has a degree in chemistry from Vanderbilt and he’s a wine maker and a distiller uh… by being able to do it here verses
doing it in Florida gave him the opportunity to do a lot of uh… experimentation this is where we do all the tastings
where all the flavor uh… comes up we make
everything here before it goes onto bottling line or anyone else tastes it
my dad and I will sit back here and Scott will sit back here and taste different um…
flavors and see what we can come up with and it’s really fun uh… for years people have been making
ice picks and cocktails with tea or sweet tea and vodka or sweet tea and bourbon uh… the idea to put in a bottle was was
mine and my partner is the one that actually created the formula for it we use South Carolina tea from the tea plantation which as the crow flies
is like two miles away from here and it’s the only tea plantation in America
the only working tea plantation and uh… so we wanted you know to keep
everything local our ingredients local um… so we use the South Carolina tea
in our sweet tea in this distillery everything that we do
is done by hand we don’t use any automation um…
we hand bottle from a gravity feeder from that it goes to a hand capper
the guy puts the caps on by hand they hand label the bottles they handpack the
bottles hand tape the boxes and there’s no machine that ever touches
any of it we don’t even use force fillers to bottle the to bottle the product so it’s all gravity filled it fits really nice so it’s nice like an organic process the most recognized state flag in the
union is the Texas flag the second most recognized state
in the United States flag is South Carolina people don’t really know that our goal is to
make the South Carolina flag the most recognized flag in the United States so it’s on all
of our labels

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