Sneak peek of the new Dread River Distilling Co. tasting room, bar and events space. Opening Saturday, Aug 3. (Photos)

Bar with cocktails being mixed
The tasting room will feature spirits and products manufactured on-site. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

A new bar and events space will officially open Saturday, August 3, when Dread River Distilling Co. hosts the grand opening of its tasting room and events space.

Dread River Distilling Company has been offering tours of its 9000sq ft. manufacturing facility on 7th Avenue South since earlier this year.

From August 3, they will be showcasing the spirits, wine and beer that they produce, at their new front of house space.

Located in the iconic Peck & Hill antique building, originally built on 7th Avenue South as a bank in the 1930’s, the new bar and events space is huge – 4000 sq.ft.

Outside of building at Dread River Distilling Co.
External shot of the new Dread River Distilling Co. tasting room. Photo via Dread River Distilling Co.

What can you expect?

On the new space, co-founder, John Cubelic, said,

“Our grand opening will showcase all the various elements of our business and what our space can become. We have worked so hard to create these wonderful spirits, and have put just as much effort into creating a space where guests can come experience and enjoy them.”

Open plan bar at Dread River Distillery Co
Large open plan bar with private/semi-private side rooms. Photo via Dread River Distilling Co.
People sat in bar
The tasting room at Dread River Distilling Co. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now
People mingling in bar area
Comfortable decor. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

It will offer light bites and craft cocktails made using spirits made on-site, Monday-Saturday’s from 4PM.

Bartender and cocktail
Cocktails feature the Dread River Distilling Co. lineup. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

Guests will have a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes to see learn about the manufacturing  process, before trying them in the tasting room, or vice-versa.

Distilling equipment
Go behind the scenes and see how the spirits are made. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

Bourbon, rye whiskey, vodka, rum, gin, as well as small batches of wine and beer will all be made in-house.

The huge bar space also features three private/semi-private lounge rooms which can be booked for private parties, as well as 700 sq. ft. private event room.

Large empty room for entertaining
700 sq. ft. private event room. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now
Formal entertaining room
One of three private/semi-private rooms that can be booked. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now
Function room
One of three private/semi-private rooms that can be booked. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now
Function room
One of three private/semi-private rooms that can be booked. Photo via Dread River Distilling Co.

Co-founder Dr. Jeff Dugas, a surgeon by day, told Bham Now that it was his 25 year hobby of home brewing and becoming friends with a rum distiller, that spawned the idea of opening up a distillery in Birmingham.

Outside wall featuring Dread River Distilling Co. signage
An outside shot of the Dread River Distilling Co. with a tour group inside. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

“It (Birmingham) was one of the largest cities in North America without a private distillery” said Dugas, “We looked at distilleries all over the country and we’d ask the same set of questions. About 75% of them said; if you can open an event space – a way to sell and showcase your products from the beginning, you’ll be ahead of the curve.”

Dread River Vodka and Whiskey
Vodka and Whisky produced at Dread River. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

Having been encouraged by the enthusiasm from the city, the previous and current mayor’s offices, and advice from the distillery industry and local brewers, Dugas said they knew it would be a good tourist attraction and events space for Birmingham.

Public bar area
The bar area has plenty of space to relax. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

“The whole purpose of the front space is really to showcase what comes from the back”, Dougas said, “without that, this whole thing falls apart. It’s important that the quality of what comes out from the back is the herald of what we’re talking about.”

What’s on the menu?

Well, there’s only so much we can reveal in the sneak peek – the menus were in the midst of being finalized when we visited. There will be small and larger plate bar snacks and we’re told the cocktail menu will be huge! Catering will also be available for private events.

Here’s a sample of what will be on the cocktail menu.

“The Vulcan” Dread River Vodka, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Strawberries, Basil, and topped with Topo Chico.

Cocktail with strawberry on top
Photo via Dread River Distilling Co.

“Southern Bell” Dread River Gin, Lemon Juice, Cucumber Juice, Strawberries, Simple Syrup, Mint, and topped with Ginger Beer

Cocktail with lemon
Photo via Dread River Distilling Co.

“Summer in the Ham” Dread River Whiskey, Lemon Juice, Watermelon Syrup, and topped off with Top Chico

Empty whiskey glass with cocktail ingredients alongside
Ingredients used to make various cocktails. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

Location and Opening Hours

The grand opening of the Dread River Distilling Co. tasting room and bar is on Saturday, August 3 at 3PM.

Dread River Distilling Co. is located at 2400 7th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233.

Distillery tours can be booked Wednesday-Saturday via www.dreadriver.com.

Tasting room open from 4PM, Monday-Saturday.

Related – ‘Largest distillery in the history of Alabama’ now open for tours and tastings. A sneak peek in Birmingham’s Dread River Distilling Company

Author: Jon Eastwood

Originally from Wales (UK) and a fluent Welsh speaker. Longtime sustainability and recycling champion. Former county recycling manager in the UK. Career highlights include introducing innovative recycling systems and achieving a point where households throw out trash just once a month. Competed in international coastal rowing championships and followed Wales throughout Europe in their Rugby and Soccer endeavours.