Every Monday we bring you the Southern Living Hot List, a roundup of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. A new distillery. Charleston Distilling Company opens its doors Monday, July 14 in the Holy City. Visitors can tour the distillery and even taste the small batch craft spirits throughout the day. Charleston Distilling Co., a farm-to-bottle operation, works with a local family farm in Summerton, South Carolina to harvest the grains used in their spirits. The distillery will open with King Charles Vodka, Jasper’s Gin, Jasper’s Barrel-Aged Gin, and an all-natural liqueur called Tolerance (a ginger-cinnamon whiskey) Tours and tastings will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
2. Drink local beer, support the community. NOLA Brewing Company’s Rebirth Pale Ale hits retailers’ shelves this week. Proceeds from NOLA Brewing Company’s latest packaged brew will benefit The Roots of Music, a New Orleans-based non-profit organization that provides free, year-round academic and music education, instruments, transportation, and daily hot meals to low income students 9-14 years of age. The cans will be available at Louisiana retailers starting Monday, July 14.
3. A celebration of tomatoes. Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival brings new meaning to the original 1970s comedy/horror film spoof, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. There’s nothing to fear here, just a festival filled with tasty tomato concoctions, dreamed up by 50 of the South’s top chefs, 19 skilled mixologists, and more than 30 farmers. Presented by The Goat Farm Arts Center, chef Ford Fry’s sixth annual JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival will raise funds for Georgia Organics and The Giving Kitchen. The festival is Sunday, July 20 at The Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta, Ga. Tickets are $70 per person in advance, $85 at the door.
4. Meet SL on the road. Fans of Southern Living and Southern food can get their fix July 19 and 20 at the O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina, the first stop of the Southern Living Test Kitchen on the Road. A member of the Southern Living Hotel Collection, the O.Henry hotel invites guests to stay the weekend and enjoy a fresh farm-to-fork feast prepared by cookbook author and test kitchen specialist Vanessa McNeil Rocchio and executive chef of the O.Henry Hotel Chef Leigh Hesling. The four-course meal will be prepared with fresh farmers market finds from that morning and will include wine pairings. Deadline to sign up for the weekend is Tuesday, July 15 at midnight.
5. Get the blues (music). The 3rd Annual River and Blues Music Arts Festival will draw thousands to Wetumpka, Alabama. Artists Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers and the Josh Garrett Band are featured on the stage, and area artists and craftsman will display their wares. The downtown festival is held on Saturday, July 19, and free to the public.