Have you ever wondered what happens when you mix great whiskey with an experience tour? I can tell you what happens but only if you head to Cabarrus County, and are going to Southern Grace Distilleries. Book a tour, get ready for some adult fun and for whiskey with a side of history, hey did that rhyme (maybe I have had too much of the award-winning whiskey, lol).
As a travel writer, I enjoy being presented a location that once stood and is now revitalized by a local that has lived here and ‘gets’ the area. Every city, town, county, and street has a story to be told, and without exception, locals tell it best. Now the best way to tour a former North Carolina Prison, currently turned distillery is to head on over and check in to Whiskey Prison.
Lavishly live travel out loud and get ready for Southern hospitality, awarding winning whiskey and the Whiskey and Prison Experience In North Carolina!
Whiskey and Prison Experience In North Carolina
I visited Southern Grace Distilleries as a guest of a catered event and had a blast. We thank Cabarrus County for the wonderful time and what a night we had at Whiskey Prison.
Remember I was talking up Cabarrus Brewing Company, well craft beers and stouts are not all North Carolina creates well. You might tend to think I love my visiting establishments with alcohol, but there is so much more to each place than alcohol. Southern Grace Distilleries, is home to Whiskey Prison, a tour that lets you go behind prison bars to experience a minimum abandoned security prison and celebrate award winning, hand-crafted barrels of whiskey, one shot at a time!
Fret not, this is not a head on over and get your drunk on tour, please go find a bar! Your tour of Whiskey prison is history and an ‘if these walls could talk’ kind of thang!
OWNER & MY PERSONAL HERO
Meet Leanne Powell, the coolest cat of women run businesses I have met in a very, very long time. Leanne is the creative mind behind Southern Grace Distilleries and Whiskey Prison. Leanne is a local, appreciates her area and is providing her hometown with jobs and a total destination. In fact, the tour is becoming so popular it is often sold out before it starts (got the inside scoop when I sat down with Leanne and chatted) and more and more events are being added to an already impressive menu of events!
Leanne is building this into an empire and has an impressive staff to support her and their dreams. I can tell you this, it’s about a year old and gaining popularity, so kudos and Yee-haw to total success in this ‘male-dominated’ industry! You all know I am about females climbing to the top and she is well, on her way!
Have you ever been to a complete distillery? Well, here is your chance, so put this address in your Navigation system, 130 Dutch Rd, Mt Pleasant, NC 28124 and head on over to Southern Grace Distilleries. Well there I am, and I found a funnel, so when in the distillery that is only an invitation, just kidding, but it was tempting!
The area itself is not a typical tourist area, but the environment is surreal. In fact, somewhat eerie at moments, like when in the solitary confinement room. Tours will provide the process and you get to visit the prison along the way!
The chapel is the first stop into Whiskey Prison, where you can watch an informational visit video, and catch up on history. You will learn all about how the prison functioned, though it just closed a few years back!
Get behind prison bars and take a photo. My shot with the little puppies on site to be adopted.
Take a mugshot with a funny byline.
Walk prison dorm to prison dorm and feel what it must have been like to be there imprisoned. The property itself has not been altered to a state of unrecognizable, and kudos to Leanne for keeping it so perfect in this manner. Often attractions change up what was there, but to me, the most successful attractions on upcycled campuses are those that reuse and make them part of what is happening now.
Hello barrels of whiskey!
Ready to enter the prison gates?
FOOD TRUCK NIGHT
As I mentioned before I was there and we had our event catered, but on other nights there are food trucks. So imagine enjoying food in this fun spot!
WHERE TO BUY THE WHISKEY
Here’s what I want you to know, support the distillery not only with a tour but with patronizing the whiskey. Buy A Bottle onsight, but that is it. I totally don’t get how NC works, but I am not from here (heck, what can I say, Pittsburgh is just starting to let us purchase alcohol in grocery stores), so what I know is this: head to ABC Store and stock up on their whiskey! There you can buy more than ONE bottle!
EXPERIENCE A DESTINATION
Your experience at Southern Grace Distilleries is a destination. Behind those abandoned prison walls is whiskey that is so good it should be illegal and kept behind bars! No, really, there is fun, and history, and a reuse of a property that otherwise would sit abandoned. From food truck nights to (scheduled) catered events, there is a lot to enjoy at the Whiskey Prison tour and memories just waiting to happen. I will say this is best suited for adults, but the cool ‘behind bars’ thing is great for kids if they want to Snap it out! So here is to award-winning whiskey, from an amazing owner and staff and an experience behind bars. It’s all about the fun and this is the best of the best in the area! XO~ Dana