“In 1909, we were forced to stop production on the farm and could only ship outside of state lines and internationally. In 1913, my great grand- father, Glen Williams, passed away at the age of 48 of what would now probably be considered a stroke. In 1920, after national prohibition was enacted, the revenuers actually came on to the property and disposed of over 28,000 gallons of aging whiskey that the family had stored in bonded warehouses.” North Carolina was one of the last states to repeal prohibition and though family members made several unsuccessful attempts to begin dis- tilling again, the distillery remained closed. In 2014, Zeb, along with his cousin Matt, and their fathers, Van and John Williams, sixth and seventh generation distillers, began to rebuild the distill- ery and reopen the family business. “The fifth generation was kind of skipped over. So, we didn’t have those hundreds of years of education teaching us. It’s been a trial and error process. We have been troubled by one of the largest dis- tilleries in the United States over naming rights and sued again by another company. So, it’s been a tough battle to use something that’s been our family for 250 years.” Zeb didn’t set out to become a distiller. “I own a mobile billboard advertising company. I do large format installs – banners, car routes and things like that. I’ve been involved in advertising and marketing for about the last 15-20 years. So that gave me a slight advantage when we started the family distillery.” Zeb continues to run his adver- tising business while building the distillery.
“In 1920, after national prohibition was enacted, the revenuers actually came on to the property and disposed of over 28,000 gallons of aging whiskey that the family had stored in bonded warehouses.”
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020
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