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12 COBB LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2022
“He did wine, beer — he did everything kind of self
taught,” he said. This made Manglitz the perfect
candidate to head their production.
Ralston called himself somewhat of the last piece
of the puzzle when he joined the team in 2015 while he
was working on developing software for breweries. The
rest is history from there.
Chasteen, Thompson, Manglitz and Ralston raised
money from about 75 friends and associates to build
their own facility, according to Ralston.
“(We) ended up closing on our series A funding in
September of 2015. Then we spent about six months
building out our distillery here, and we finally started
whiskey production in spring of 2016 here at our
original facility,” he said.
While ASW no longer carries the whiskey that
started it all, Ralston said it helped them gain a foothold
in the Georgia market and gave them enough
confidence to raise money to build their first distillery.
Against the grain
Team members at ASW don’t call themselves
“Southern Pot-Still Pioneers” without reason; they’re
one of the few distilleries that combines the two main
whiskey making traditions. This includes the Scottishstyle
double copper pot distillation method as well as
the Southern-style grain-in distillation method. Ralston
accredited their whiskey’s “robust flavor” to this
seemingly golden ticket combination.
“We combine kind of the best of both those
processes,” he said. “It’s a lot of flavor coming from the
grain-in method, and it’s a lot of texture coming from
the single malt pot still method.”
“Putting them on the map” in Ralston’s words was
American Spirit Whiskey