Published by The Rumlab ago
Sleeping Giant Distillery in York County, South Carolina’s 1st legal distillery since prohibition. They are a true micro-distillery that is family owned and operated by brothers William and Patrick who share a passion for all things craft spirits. They produce all of their unique craft spirits by hand in small batches from our hybrid pot still.
They are located in the heart of Downtown Rock Hill and operate out of an early 1900s era 1,200 sq. ft. building once used to grade and classify cotton for the historic Williams Cotton Company cooperative. They have retained as much character of the building as possible while still allowing them to produce one-of-a-kind distilled spirits. They hope you enjoy all of their unique spirits as much as they enjoy producing them!
Learn more William and Patrick Bradner, Sleeping Giant Distillery, Co-Owners, and Distiller, in the next interview:
TRL: Who are you?
We are brothers that share a passion for creating unique rum spirits. We both grew up around the Fort Mill, SC area. William has an Engineering and Environmental Science background. Patrick has a Finance background. Between the two of us, we can figure anything out. William has two girls, 3 and 1, that keep him occupied most of the time while not at the distillery. Patrick enjoys spending time with his wife in their new home.
TRL: What does the rum mean to you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
Rum is our friend! Rum is our favorite spirit for its versatility and taste. We both prefer sugarcane-based rum, not molasses-based.
TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.
Firstly, the rum must be smooth. We believe in creating a spirit that even as an untouched clear silver rum, needs to be smooth and sweet. Secondly, the rum must be full of flavor. Thirdly, the rum must embody the essence of the base panela product that we use.
TRL: What is the most important contribution you have made in the rum industry?
We have only been open a few months, but we would like to think that we have brought unique flavors to the rum industry. You can’t get the stuff we’re crafting from the big boys!
TRL: Benefits that the rum industry has given you.
Debt, but seriously, an appreciation for what it takes to make a good spirit. We have also met a lot of awesome people in the community.
TRL: What’s another thing you are passionate about, in addition to rum? Why?
We both enjoy working on cars when we have free time. We like seeing how and why things work with all the moving parts, much like our distillery.
TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?
No better place to sit down with family and friends on a back porch and enjoy rum.
TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe
We both enjoy a good aged rum, more specifically, a sugarcane-based rum such as an Agricole-style or Brazilian Cachaca. Neat, nothing else needed. Our Lemongrass and Vanilla Rum Liqueur makes a great Moscow Mule variation, and it’s super easy to make, dubbed The Sleeping Mule:
-Equal parts Sleeping Giant Distillery Lemongrass & Vanilla Rum Liqueur and ginger beer
-Freshly squeezed lemon juice
-Garnish with a lemon wheel
TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?
Rum has a bad rep, most people associate rum with a harsh bite and bad aftertaste, only suitable for mixing. We want to show that there are rums out there that can be smooth and sipped neat with wonderful unique flavors.
TRL: Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?
Try not to have any lingering flavors in your mouth. The smell is equally as important as taste. Aerating while sipping may also help.
TRL: Is the commitment to sustainable development the key to success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world? Why?
Sustainable development is the key to any industry, not just the rum industry. Maintaining a commitment to sustainable development will ensure generations can enjoy this wonderful spirit.
TRL: Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?
Pirates, and their rum.
TRL: What are your next goals in the rum industry?
To continue to grow our product line with unique one-of-a-kind rum variations, working with local small businesses including farmers and breweries.
TRL: Plans you have when you leave the rum industry.
Death. We have no plans to leave the rum industry.
TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?
In a way, it’s the bartender’s responsibility to show patrons and consumers new ways to enjoy rum.
TRL: What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?
We are the new generation. You don’t have to follow the mold, don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things.
TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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