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Local Distillery Ramps Up Events



A local distillery marked its first and second anniversaries at its Eighth Street and Riverwalk location with little fanfare due to the pandemic.

“We’ve been here two years in April,” said Cara Clemmer, bar manager at 2nd City Distilling Co. As things open up, the business plans to have more craft cocktail workshops, charcuterie-making classes and events designed to draw people in.

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A few regularly-scheduled events have made it onto the calendar.

The third Friday of each month will be reserved for cocktail-making classes. The most recent one was April 16 with Calvin Dotson. Clemmer wants a female bartender to conduct the next one.

On Thursdays, it’s Happy Hour Yoga with Taylor at 6 p.m.

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When the nearby Saturday Market is open, 2nd City Distilling Co. joins the market with Bloody Marys, but not until 11 a.m.

Clemmer said First Fridays are also beginning to heat up.

Cara Clemmer is the bar manager at 2nd City Distilling Co. Photo courtesy Cara Clemmer.

May 7 will bring music by Kendall Levesque, Axe Throwing with The Flying Aces of Evans. Clemmer said she’s planning for a food truck but hasn’t confirmed which one yet.

And starting Thursday, May 13, That Greek Chef will make grilled cheese sandwiches from 5 to 8 p.m. The grilled cheese event is scheduled for May 20 and May 27 as well.

The downtown distillery was born out of Carolina Moon Distillery in Edgefield, S.C.

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Cal Bowie, David Long and Bill Hatch created the company in 2013, overseeing the distillation of every batch, according to the 2nd City website. They are interested in revitalizing their hometown.

When the trio aimed to expand the brand across the Savannah River, they didn’t want to bring the Carolina name and came up with 2nd City. The company opened up shop in a former restaurant.

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“It had been empty for about 12 years,” said Clemmer.

Several beverages are distilled on site, including gin, vodka, bourbon, whiskey and rum.

Clemmer said business changed during the pandemic with people picking up bottles and taking them home or ordering them. Not all orders were local though.

“The most popular places were Texas and Oregon,” said Clemmer. “I think Recteq was the reason for Texas, but I have no idea why the state of Oregon likes us.”

2nd City’s space at 4 Eighth St. had been vacant for about a dozen years before the business moved in. Staff photo by Charmain Z. Brackett

She couldn’t find a common thread for the Oregon orders. The customers weren’t related to anyone who worked there, and it didn’t seem to be the same people placing orders.

For a complete list of events, visit its Facebook page or website, 2ndcitydistilling.com, or call (706) 214-2288.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the features editor for The Augusta Press. Reach her at charmain@theaugustapress.com.

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