Hugh Wesley - An Entrepreneurial Spirit of Spirits

Hugh Wesley Sharp - The Namesake of Hugh Wesley's Gin Hugh Wesley was born into the grain business. His father John Wesley had a major grain milling business in Northern Missouri. Hugh was quite the sporty dresser and as a teenager always wore a suit coat even if it was three times too big for him. He feverishly courted his bride-to-be Elizabeth, and we have the old love letters to prove it. Even though Elizabeth was about as coy as one could get he managed to win her hand. Elizabeth and Hugh's wedding pictures Shortly after their marriage Elizabeth and Hugh packed up their Model “T” Ford and drove south looking for a place to start their own grain business. They would find a lawn to pit

John Emerald: a Life Well Lived

John Emerald Sharp was born in 1928 to Hugh and Elizabeth Sharp. John’s family was what one might call merchant class. They worked hard and were successful at their endeavors. John definitely picked up a successful work ethic from his family. John at around 10 years old standing next to his younger sister Shirley. While young John worked hard, he also played hard to the chagrin of his mother Elizabeth. In fact, Hugh’s 1942 Buick Limited was no match for young John as he managed to destroy it with several rolling motions while John and a young lady were bouncing around inside the accident. Thankfully no one other than the Limited was worse for the wear and no, alcohol was not involved, j

It Only Took 100 Years

John Emerald Distillery in Opelika, Alabama has released the first legal whiskey distilled in Alabama since Prohibition. In 1915 Lem Motlow, the father of Jack Daniels, was forced to leave Alabama when the state instituted prohibition 5 years before the federal government. Fast forward to 2015 and John Emerald Distilling Company (JED) releases John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey. It only took 100 years for Alabama to see the resurgence of a quality home grown whiskey. Today, father and son team, John and Jimmy Sharp, have brought the tradition of fine Whiskey back to Alabama. John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey is Alabama's whiskey. Unlike other brands, John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey

Questions From Our Customers

Jimmy and I give lots of distillery tours at John Emerald and there seem to be several questions we get over and over, so we thought sharing and answering those questions might be a good introduction to John Emerald and this blog. So here we go: Why did you guys start John Emerald Distilling? In a word, Lily. Yes, my three year old grand daughter lead us to become distillery owners. You see, we had a prior business that for 10 years kept my son and partner Jimmy constantly on the road. Our prior company, Croydon Finishing, Inc., applied interior decorative plaster and our best customer was Louis Vuitton. We were fortunate enough to do all their South American work and a lot of the North

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