Atlanta's Old Fourth Distillery acquired by Shortbarrel Bourbon
Shortbarrel founders Adam Dorfman, Clinton Dugan and Patrick Lemmond. Credit: Photo courtesy of Shortbarrel

Atlanta-based liquor company Shortbarrel Bourbon has announced that it has acquired Old Fourth Distillery.

Old Fourth Distillery is the oldest continuously operating distillery in Atlanta. When it opened back in 2014, it was the city’s first new legal distillery since 1906.

It was announced in January of this year that the distillery was under contract to be sold, opening the door for Shortbarrel’s recent acquisition.

Once the purchase was finalized, Shortbarrel received ownership of the Old Fourth brand, the current product stock, in addition to 1,000 barrels of whisky.

The price that Shortbarrel paid to attain the local distillery has not been made public.

Shortbarrel was originally founded by three friends — Adam Dorfman, Clinton Dugan and Patrick Lemmond.

The trio started the company while they were working full-time jobs, creating a lineup of bourbons and whiskys that are unique and synonymous with their brand.

With the purchase of Old Fourth Distillery, Dugan says that Shortbarrel plans to continue making the numerous products that the Atlanta distillery produced in the past — in addition to retaining and working with members of the company’s original team.

“We were determined to keep the Old Fourth brand alive as an Atlanta original, so I am pleased we were able to quickly secure a new facility to serve as the flagship for both Shortbarrel and Old Fourth,” said Dugan. “Old Fourth, its products and the people involved are too important to the city and community not to continue the brand. Our goal is to honor what Old Fourth has built and work with the team to make the products even better and more widely available.”

The previous owners of Old Fourth Distillery had shut down the original facility back in December 2022, prompting Shortbarrel to relocate the distillery’s operations to a new space in Norcross. The move is scheduled to take place in April 2023.

Rough Draft

Rough Draft Atlanta is the digital home of Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.