Cary Bringle, the barbecue pitmaster that opened his Peg Leg Porker brand back in 2015, is opening a new whiskey tasting room in the warehouse where he currently makes barbecue sauces in South Nashville.
He will soon open the doors, christening the space as “Peg Leg Bourbon Artisan Distillery and Tasting Room.”
Seven years ago, Bringle was the first pitmaster to launch a bourbon brand, and in the first year, his bourbon garnered a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits competition. Peg Leg Porker won the double gold medal at the same competition.
“I believe in starting small, cheap and fast. First, you build up the customer base and the brand, then you can always go bigger and add more equipment,” Bringle said.
In a statement from the Nashville whiskey maker, Bringle said he created his brand by purchasing aged whiskey and using a contract blender and bottler to package his products.
Now, he’s getting ready to bring that part of the business in-house.
He’s had the building for two years as the home of his Peg Leg Porker Food Products operation distributing sauces and rubs, and with the recent purchase of a $200,000 bottling line, he’s taking the next step.
Bringle said he chose to bring some of the production in-house now that he’s no longer depending completely on purchased aged spirits.
As the availability of spirits dwindled, Bringle started working directly with a contract distiller in Tennessee to make his own recipe. Also, Peg Leg Porker has acquired thousands of barrels that are aging in warehouses in various Tennessee locations until they have matured and are ready to bottle whiskey.
“There just was no aged whiskey on the market, so I’ve been laying down 600 barrels a year,” Bringle said. “The only reason I could build a distillery is because I was forced to because of growth. It will be a blending and bottling facility with a tasting room and a bottle shop to sell bottles at retail.”
He plans to have a 2,500-gallon blending tank that would package 1,200 six-packs a day. And the team will put the whiskey through its special hickory charcoal filtration process at the facility, using coals from the smokers at Bringle’s restaurant.
Peg Leg Porker will come in small-batch limited releases as there is now control over the scale of the packaging runs. Bringle noted that it’s not cost-efficient to set up a contract bottling run to package a single barrel or a small batch of the 8-year-old Tennessee rye whiskey, “but with our own staff doing the bottling, we’ll be able to seek out unique spirits.”