elkintribune.com

Moonshine on the rise in Wilkes County

By Wendy Byerly Wood

March 18, 2014

NORTH WILKESBORO — Newcastle Assets Inc. DBA Gambill Creek Distillers announced that it has leased a location in the Rock Creek community to establish a Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP). The announcement was made by Ed Gambill, CEO of Newcastle Assets, and a native of Wilkes County.


Long known as the Moonshine Capital of America and the real birthplace of NASCAR, Wilkes County will soon have a whiskey distillery that is legal, and the product will be available in ABC stores and restaurants.


“It has taken a long time to find the right place to set up shop” said Gambill. “Our Doing Business As (DBA) certificate was filed with the Wilkes County Register of Deeds on March 5, 2013, making us the first company to engage in and pursue a Federal Permit to make whiskey since prohibition ended in Wilkes County.


“This location,” said Gambill, “will give us room to grow and do the things that will allow us to be a clean, green and environmentally responsible manufacturer.”


As the company grows it will implement several environmentally sound practices. Among them is geothermal water for cooling and heating, solar cells for LED lighting and solar water collectors. Residual co-products will be used for animal feed and liquid organic fertilizer.


When asked if the whiskey to be made would be moonshine, Gambill said, “Moonshine has a broad definition. One of them is that it’s made with white sugar; commonly called ‘Sugar Head’ or ‘Selling Whiskey.’ Our product will be a hand-crafted heritage-quality sour mash white whiskey. Only food grade grains, spring water and local yeast will be used, with no added sugar.”


While the company waits for the finalization of the DSP certification from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB), it will be busy with up-fitting the property. “We are a vertically integrated company with skills in marketing and advertising, media production, mechanical and electrical engineering, process quality control, and, naturally, whiskey making,” he said.


Unlike many startup distilleries in North Carolina, Gambill Creek already has hundreds of years of family heritage supporting it. It all began around 1775 before the Revolutionary War when Gambill’s ancestors settled in Wilkes County around Stone Mountain, in the Traphill and Dockery communities. They all engaged to some degree in making whiskey. Gambill Creek will build on and be faithful to that wealth of knowledge.


For more information, visit GambillCreek.com.