Pictured (from left) are N.C. Agriculture Steve Troxler and Southern Distilling Company co-founders Vienna and Pete Barger.

Special to Iredell Free News

Southern Distilling Company, award-winning whiskey distillers based in Statesville, was recently recognized by N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler as the 2023 Exporter of the Year.

Pete and Vienna Barger, Southern Distilling Company co-founders, received the award during the 19th Annual Agricultural Development Forum hosted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services during the Southern Farm Show.

In 2023, the homegrown and family-owned Southern Distilling Company exported three of its award-winning craft whiskeys internationally to Germany, marking the first time Southern Star products were available outside the United States. The whiskeys distributed to Germany included Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Southern Star Double Rye Whiskey, and Southern Star Standard High-Rye Bourbon Whiskey.

“We are very honored to be recognized as North Carolina’s 2023 Exporter of the Year,” said Vienna Barger. “This year we are looking forward to bringing more of our award-winning portfolio internationally, as we cheer on our local partner, the Carolina Panthers when they play in Munich this fall.”

Founded in 2013, Southern Distilling uses its innovative know-how to offer a range of contract services, including new fill barrel production, barrel warehouse aging, co-packaging, and more. The distillery is open for tours, tastings, and craft cocktails, plus hosts public and private events throughout the year. Southern Star products are available in more than 18 markets across the U.S. with expanding national distribution. Locally, the company has worked with Tepper Sports to serve as an official partner of Charlotte FC and the Carolina Panthers. Visit SouthernDistillingCompany.com.

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