Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport passengers will be able to take some Upstate spirit, or rather spirits, home with them when they fly.
Anderson-based Palmetto Distillery has opened a 500-square-foot retail shop on the second floor of the airport’s main terminal just beyond the Transportation Security Administration’s centralized security checkpoint.
Store manager Zach Taylor said the space is designed to give flyers a mini version of the experience at Palmetto Distillery’s headquarters in Anderson and to expand the fan base of the brand’s craft moonshine and whiskey.
“When GSP called us and asked if we’d like to be a part of the new retail mix in the renovated terminal, it was a true honor,” said Trey Boggs, who founded Palmetto Distillery in January 2011 with his brother, Bryan Boggs. “We knew it would be a unique opportunity. As South Carolina’s first legal moonshine distillery, it’s truly special to be a part of what’s going on at GSP.”
“I can’t think of anything better than a jar of moonshine to bring back and share with your friends and family,” Trey Boggs added.
The space features seven of Palmetto Distillery’s brews that are available for sale or for tasting.
That list includes two of the distillery’s clear moonshine staples, a 105-proof White Lighting and a new 130-proof Bootlegger variety, which Boggs said is the highest proof moonshine legally produced in South Carolina.
For customers who prefer a fruitier note, the space offers four of the brand’s 44- to 45-proof flavored shines — peach, blackberry, apple pie, and strawberry.
The distillery’s 89-proof Palmetto Whiskey, a 21 percent rye matured in new French oak with an amber hue and notes of caramel and vanilla, is also available in the space.
Customers can also grab a four-pack of sample size portions of moonshine.
Prices range from $19.99 to about $75.
The space has a tasting counter made from large, wavy-edge slabs of oak. It features a range of rustic accents, such as exposed brick, weathered tin, distressed wood, and metalwork.
Cocktails featuring Palmetto Distillery’s liquors are available at the Thomas Creek Grill, RJ Rockers Flight Room, and Wolfgang Puck’s The Kitchen inside the newly renovated main terminal at GSP.
Other Palmetto Distillery collectibles, such as candles, shot glasses, jams, and soaps, are available for purchase in the airport’s Hudson News stores.
“We are very excited about Palmetto Distillery’s new location at GSP,” said airport spokeswoman Rosylin Weston. “When we set out to revamp the retail, food, and beverage options to improve the passenger experience as part of our main terminal renovation, we very much wanted to have a local flair. Palmetto Distillery is unique to the Upstate and to South Carolina, and we are very happy to have them here.”
The Boggs brothers got into the moonshine business two years after the state legislature passed a bill that provided a legal path for micro-distilleries to set up shop in South Carolina.
But Trey Boggs said the craft is a part of their family’s heritage that dates back to their late relative Moran Lee “Dock” Boggs, who started as a coal miner and became a moonshiner and bootlegger before carving out a career as a musician.
The brothers opened their distillery in 2012. Their earliest legal runs were made on a 35-gallon copper still, which is on display in the new space at GSP.
“It’s the first still to make a legal run of moonshine in South Carolina,” Trey Boggs said. “It’s a piece of history.”
As their operation grew, the Boggs brothers upgraded to a 250-gallon still. They now brew on a 1,000-gallon copper still.
In addition to its headquarters in Anderson and the space at GSP, Palmetto Distillery has a retail store in Myrtle Beach.
The company’s distribution has grown to include 26 states, and it can legally ship to 40 states.
Palmetto Distillery’s liquors have been sold as far away as Canada, Scotland, and Sweden, Trey Boggs said.
Taylor said the GSP store will be manned by six to seven employees. It will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
He said the company is in the process of getting a variance to be able to operate the space on Sunday.