Popular North Carolina Distillery Set To Open In Waxhaw Next Month
Slowly but surely, the brewery/distillery scene is becoming an absolute thing in Waxhaw. I add distillery because a first is on its way. And it’s one that is familiar to NoDa aficionados. Great Wagon Road Distillery is opening in the Union County hotspot by the second week in September.
Oliver “Ollie” Mulligan is the founder of the Great Wagon Road Distilling Co., and it’s the oldest distillery in Charlotte. I always love a little “scoundrel” in the past of my distillery/brewery owners and although Ollie is the first in his family to make legal spirits, his grandfather began making whiskey in the midlands of Ireland three generations ago. Ollie established Great Wagon Road Distillery Co. here in 2013, carrying on the family tradition.
“GWR Waxhaw” will be located at 122 W. North Main St. This is the space that was occupied by “Bike Depot.” And if this whole thing sounds a little familiar to those who frequent the Waxhaw restaurant and bar scene, this location DID serve as GWR pop-up over last year’s holidays. I guess the trial run was more than successful. According to an Instagram post, “At this new location we will be serving creative handcrafted cocktails made from our branded spirits. There will be small batch bourbon and single malt releases, as well as our signature whiskey straight from the barrel behind the bar. We are planning delicious collaborations with local suppliers (always support local). And bottles to-go available of all our GWR spirits.”
Driving by the location during construction over the last six months or so, it’s been impossible to see what’s been going on inside. Here’s what we now know. The ceiling is highlighted (literally) by chandeliers made from whiskey barrels. Also, the Great Wagon Road Distillery in Waxhaw will have a dropped tin ceiling and extensive soundproofing. However, THIS is what I’m excited about. According to The Charlotte Observer, upon opening, patrons will be greeted by a 60-foot-long bar — where you can get, as Mulligan says — “the best old fashioned you’ll ever have.”
What?! My favorite cocktail, you say? I’m all in!
Fans of the other Great Wagon Road Distilleries can expect “the usual suspects” like Rúa American single malt whiskey, Quinn’s barrel aged whiskey, 704 gin and Salamander vodka. There’s also a new partner in Mexico, so tequila is coming! The Great Wagon Road Distillery Waxhaw WILL have bottles to go, but the in-bar experience is what you’re gonna want to be a part of (did you miss the part about the bar?). Cocktails will be made from scratch right in front of you by professional bartenders.
There will be no kitchen, BUT GWR Waxhaw WILL have heavy duty electrical hookups out back so you can bet plenty of the areas finest food trucks will be there on the regular.
We love to explore distilleries and breweries with friends and cannot wait for this location of Great Wagon Road to open the second week in September as it’s just a few minutes from home in Waxhaw. This will be the business’ third location in town. In addition to NoDa, “GWR CLT” is located at Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Terminal A operating under the Broken Spoke brand.