Kennesaw, Georgia is a town rich in history, much of which dates back to the Civil War. It began as a railroad town and went by the name of Big Shanty due to several shanties that popped up housing the railroad workers. The battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place here. It was also where the beginning stages of what would become known as the Great Locomotive Chase took place.
The city of Kennesaw was officially founded in 1887 and had a population of approximately 225 people. It lies 25 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.
While more than a century and a half has passed since the Civil War and the population has grown to more than 30,000 there are several historic buildings that still exist today. One of which is home to Lazy Guy Distillery.
Located in downtown Kennesaw, Lazy Guy was founded in 2013 by Mark Allen, a first-generation distiller. The distillery resides in a barn-style building that dates back to the early 1800’s. Securing this location didn’t come without its hurdles however.
Allen’s first location of choice was Marietta, Ga, another historic city located to the south of Kennesaw at the base of Kennesaw Mountain. However, Allen was going to have to spend thousands of dollars to get the building up to current code requirements. In an effort to alleviate some of his costs (which in turn would allow him to begin distilling sooner) he asked the city of Marietta to assist with some of these costs. The city refused. That’s when the city of Kennesaw stepped in with open arms.
Prior to founding Lazy Guy, Mark longed for a career change — one that he could be passionate about. He has stated that he was looking for career that would provide a retirement plan. Hence the name ‘Lazy Guy.’ He wanted to do something that would not only help the local community but could be enjoyed by folks both near and far. Making spirits fit that career perfectly. It took him approximately 4 years from the time he made that leap of faith until he started production in early 2014.
Today the distillery houses an Artisan Design still with 4 plate bubble column, a 1300 liter mash cooker, a 1700 gallon stainless steel water tank and filtration system, bottling equipment, barrel storage area and tasting room. Depending on the proof of the spirit he’s distilling, this equipment allows Allen to produce up to approximately 550 bottles per distillation process.
Mark hasn’t sourced a single spirit, opting to get his grains as locally as possible and distilling and aging everything on-site. While he has obviously been anything but lazy since he first began, Allen’s hard work has started to pay off. His spirits have started to rack up the awards. Most recently his Side Track Bourbon and 5th Article 1887 rye whiskies brought home some hardware.
In August, Side Track won a silver medal at Whiskies of The World. The following month, it won a bronze medal at the Washington Cup Spirits Competition in.
The 5th Article 1887 rye whiskey, which I will reviewing here, won gold for the ‘Best in Class’ at the 2016 Whiskies of The World. Like Side Track Bourbon, 5th Article won a bronze medal at the Washing Cup Spirits Competition.
In addition to their recent awards, Lazy Guy recently announced the release of their first ever Georgia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Embers Bourbon.
The distillery offers a few different tour packages on Saturdays from 12pm to 5pm in the winter months and from 12pm to 6pm during summer months. For more information about the distillery including the tours and where to purchase their spirits, please visit lazyguydistillery.com. And if you’re ever in the area be sure to look me up. I’m just a short 20-minute drive away from Lazy Guy. I’d love to meet up for a pour!
By: Seth Brown
By: Seth Brown