2016 Year in Review: Redmont’s Top 9
2016 was a big year for Redmont – after many long years of studying, learning, navigating red tape, and patiently waiting, we finally began producing and selling spirits. This is a look back at some of our most memorable moments of 2016.
We’ve made a lot of new friends and have seen a tremendous amount of support from Point Clear to Florence – and everywhere inbetween. We couldn’t be here today without the help of local suppliers and partners, and faith that Birmingham and the State of Alabama are ready to embrace locally distilled spirits. We’ve had lots of big steps for a small business!
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our Redmont’s Top 9 happenings of 2016:
9) Nearly 1000 hrs of distilling
In 2016, we put in close to 1000 hrs distilling vodka, gin, and satsuma-infused vodka – and MANY more filtering, cleaning, bottling, and labeling. We’ve developed recipes, revised them, mastered the art of consistency, and have fine-tuned all of our processes. With every batch we’ve learned something new, and our standards get higher in terms of spirit quality, ingredients, and energy efficiency.
8) Getting “Retail Listed” status
November was an exciting time as our vodka and gin both became “listed” starting in that month. Before November, our spirits were available at ABC stores as a Wholesale product only. Bars and restaurants could buy it for re-sale, but we weren’t an official consumer product at ABC’s. Now, though, our spirits are Retail Listed and available at more than 70 ABC stores around Alabama.
7) Redmont Vodka won Silver Medal at Washington Cup Competition
In the spring of 2016 we decided to see how our vodka stacked up against national competition by entering it into the Washington Cup Spirits Awards. To our delight, Redmont Vodka placed 2nd and won the Silver Medal confirming what we had thought – that we’re really on to something special!
6) First annual Satsuma harvest
After our successful gin launch, we began to ponder what could be our 3rd spirit. After much trial and error, we came across the perfect local ingredient and flavor profile – the Satsuma. Satsumas are ready to harvest in November so we took a road trip down to the beautiful Alabama coast and harvested many hundreds of pounds of Satsuma oranges to bring back to Birmingham. We peeled and dried the Satsumas, and we’re working hard now to extract the delicious flavors through vapor infusion. We expect our Satsuma harvest to become an annual event as we continue our Grove-To-Glass process.
5) United Johnson Brothers of Alabama
UJB of Alabama are true partners and supporters of Redmont. In Alabama, we aren’t required to have a broker or distributor (as ABC acts as the distributor), but we choose to work with UJB to help work through the ABC processes, ensure our spirits are stocked and in the right stores, and help us sell as much liquor as we can. UJB are real pro’s – they are Alabama’s largest wine distributor and have unmatched experience moving spirits in the State of Alabama as they also represent world-class brands like Jack Daniels, Old Forester, Breckenridge, Cooper’s Craft and Woodford Reserve. We are confidently in good hands with our friends at UJB.
4) Our first employee
During the summer we realized we just don’t have the time to distill AND be at bars and restaurants promoting our products. Therefore, we hired our first employee, Michelle Williams who we met at Good People Brewing Company. We love Good People and knew immediately Michelle was the perfect fit for our first sales rep position. In December, Michelle completed her MBA from UAB and will be leaving Redmont to pursue other opportunities. She’ll be missed but remains part of the Redmont family for life (we’re sort of like a really friendly gang)!
3) Events, events, and more events!
Slossfest, Slicefest, Mafioaza’s Shakedown Fest, Secret Stages, Crestwood Crawl, Make BHAM, Pepperplace Market, Third Thursdays, First Fridays Art After Dark, YP Birmingham, Launch parties at Lou’s and Tavern on 1st – and probably many more that I can’t recall…We’ve had a LOT of fun over the past year. The hard work of distilling at 5AM and cleaning at midnight has been counter-balanced by launch parties at our favorite bars and good times with friends at local festivals and events.
2) Alabama Cotton Gin launch
In June we launched our second spirit, Alabama Cotton Gin. With our unique process we became the first distillery in the world to use cotton as a botanical, creating the perfect gin flavor. Our Alabama Cotton Gin tastes the way gin is supposed to taste.
1) Redmont Vodka launch
Back in late February and early March, the first bottles of Redmont Vodka became available via the ABC. This was a historical moment for Birmingham as we joined the ranks of other cities around the country that have begun to embrace locally distilled craft spirits. Our vodka is distilled from 100% corn, is gluten free, non-GMO, and kosher.
Thanks to all of our friends and family that have helped make Redmont a success in 2016 as we move into 2017 and beyond!