“Bourbon,” master distiller Phil Prichard said, “by its very nature, is a traditional American spirit. And, of course, I always like to talk about bourbon.”
Bourbon will be in each of the six gourmet courses — in the desserts, in the cocktails and in much of the conversation — at the reservation-only Coastal Empire Bourbon Dinner starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Thunder Run Restaurant at Club Stewart.
Prichard, president of Prichard’s Distillery in Kelso, Tennessee, said he hopes that during his visit at the dinner “to clear up some confusing issues as to what whiskey is and how bourbon is different from whiskey, although bourbon is a type of whiskey.”
He said that 15-20 years ago, “vodka was the darling of the industry. Everybody was drinking expensive, $30 bottles of vodka. At that time, whiskey was in the doldrums. But in about 2003, we were able to see the tide changing. Whiskey started making a comeback, and has it made a comeback! There’s just an unbelievable demand for whiskey.”
Prichard explained the explosion in demand.
“About 10 years ago, we saw a renewed
interest in the craft-distilling industry,” he said. “Remember, 15 years ago, there were only like eight producers of bourbon whiskey in this country. That has changed drastically. The craft-distilling movement has been
that little buzzword that has just created a huge interest on the part of the public with not just whiskey, but a variety of distilled spirits.”
Prichard’s Distillery is “more famous for my rums than for my whiskeys,” but he is proud of all of his products, including his bourbon products.
“My dad always said to me when I was growing up, ‘If you are proud of it, put your name on it.’ I felt like any product I made had to be worthy of putting my name on it,” Prichard said.
Prichard’s Distillery has been a corporate sponsor of A Soldier’s Child Foundation since the organization’s founding. Prichard said he was so moved when he attended the foundation’s organizational meeting that he immediately became a sponsor.
“One message I do want to convey is what a great organization this is,” Prichard said.
A significant portion of proceeds from one of Prichard’s product lines, Sweet Lucy Bourbon Liqueur, is contributed to the organization, which hopes to honor the memory of the military parent by giving a meaningful gift to his/her children on their birthday (For more information, go to http://asoldierschild.org/).
Nino Bassaro, Club Stewart manager, said “having a premium distiller such as Mr. Prichard at the dinner and using finest-quality ingredients that pair well with Mr. Prichard’s bourbons will elevate this dinner to that of a memorable dining event.”
The cost of the dinner, which will be limited to the first 60 reservations, is $75 per person. For more information, call 912-767-4717.
This article is sponsored by Fort Stewart/ Hunter Army Airfield Family MWR. They can be reached at (912) 767-8660, stewartmwr.com or on Facebook (FortStewartHunterFMWR).