5 ACC Schools With Cool Whiskey Distilleries Nearby

Kentucky Peerless Distillery. Courtesy Kentucky Peerless
Kentucky Peerless Distillery. Courtesy Kentucky Peerless.

Heading to an ACC home game soon? Maybe you should consider dropping in on one of these great whiskey distilleries.

College football season is going hard, and while there’s nothing quite like going to a home game at the old alma mater, the one thing that might make the occasion even more fun (besides a win) is squeezing in a distillery visit. For thirsty fans of both sport and spirit, here are five distilleries to check out near some great ACC schools.


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1. Boston College: Bully Boy Distillers

Eagles fans would be remiss not to check out Bully Boy Distillers, an interesting distillery that makes good American whiskey, rum, and gin, and also happens to be home to one of the best bars in Boston.

It’s a bit hidden away in the industrial Newmarket District, but the journey is worth it for the amazingly creative cocktails made with the house spirits and a variety of fresh ingredients. Try Toddie’s Peanut Butter Dream (made with peanut butter fat washed rum), or the simpler Bully Jean (whiskey, lemon, bitters, agave).

2. University of Louisville: Kentucky Peerless

How does a Cardinals fan go about choosing a distillery in Louisville these days, with the rapid expansion of the urban distillery trail? A good bet is Kentucky Peerless, a distillery that has released a very good (especially for its young age), if rather expensive, rye whiskey, with a bourbon on the way in the next year or two.

There’s a long backstory about the history of the brand name, but the bottom line is this is an excellent craft distillery with a product that doesn’t taste like it comes from your average craft distillery.

3. University of Pittsburgh: Wigle Whiskey

The debate about the idea of terroir in spirits rages on, but Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey is all in on the concept, and Panthers fans should take note. In addition to bourbon, wheat whiskey, and hopped whiskey, the distillery recently released a trio of Terroir Rye whiskeys.

Each expression uses rye grain sourced from one distinct area in the U.S. and Canada, distilled using a mash bill of 80 percent rye and 20 percent malted barley. Stop by the distillery to taste test all three and decide for yourself how unique they are.

4. Syracuse University: Finger Lakes Distilling

There are a lot of breweries and distilleries in the upstate New York Finger Lakes region, as devoted Orange fans are well aware of. The appropriately named Finger Lakes Distilling has a well received line of whiskey expressions under the McKenzie name: a pot still malt whiskey, 70 percent corn bourbon, and a rye finished in domestic sherry barrels.

All are on the younger side–par for the course with small distilleries–but are good examples of the New York State craft-distilling scene.

5. University of North Carolina: TOPO Organic Spirits

Health-conscious Tar Heels fans should check out TOPO Organic Spirits. As you can tell from the name, the entire lineup is certified organic, from its spiced rum to its Eight Oak Whiskey to its Carolina Straight Wheat Whiskey.

The wheat used in the mash bill is local, the sugar cane comes from Florida, but both ingredients are sourced from organic farms. The Eight Oak is a true dessert sipper; eight chips from French and American oak are steeped in this wheat whiskey, resulting in a strong and fairly unique vanilla flavor.