Meet a Local: Craig and Meredith Amick of Hollow Creek Distillery
December 7, 2022
Visitors know that the locals often have the best inside information on the region. They’ve found the best restaurants, things to do, and in the case of these two locals – where to find an award-winning drink! Welcome to our Meet a Local series of blog posts where we introduce you to locals from Lake Murray Country who love the region and want to share their knowledge with visitors! Make sure to say “hi,” when you see them around!
Deep Carolina roots & a passion for quality…The shade of old oak trees hides a red barn overlooking the waters of Lake Murray, the waters the Amick family have called home for ten generations. Their story in this area dates back to the days of King George II when South Carolina was still an English Colony. With Faith, Family, and Hard Work still guiding them, the Amick’s will be right here continuing their stewardship of land and community just as generations past. Let’s meet the family behind the award-winning spirits!
Who are the Amicks?
High school sweethearts, faith-oriented parents, community minded entrepreneurs, hardworking professionals, friendly, welcoming business owners. Craig Amick is the 9th generation of the Emig (later Amick) family who immigrated from Germany in 1752 receiving a land grant for property underneath what is now Lake Murray. Generations of Amick’s have been entrepreneurs and stewards of the land ever since.
Meredith Stillwell Amick, is the daughter of a local pastor who served the Gilbert community. After meeting in grade school, the pair became high school sweethearts, moving on to Clemson University to receive engineering degrees before marrying back in their hometown and settling into their careers and starting a family.
“With both of our families still in the Lexington/Gilbert area we knew we wanted to raise a family where our roots run deep. As we like to say ‘Distilled on Faith, Family and Hard Work.’ The rest is just details” said Meredith Amick.
What inspired you to open a distillery here in Lake Murray Country?
A good family friend was part of a large moonshining family in the Gilbert/Leesville area many years ago. When the opportunity to open micro distilleries in SC became available, we asked him to bring along decades of expertise and help us set up a legal distillery. When he agreed, we began purchasing property, building a facility and completing the required federal, state and county licensing processes. We have now been open almost 8 years right in the community that Craig’s family has been a part of for 10 generations and have expanded our product offering to include High Cotton Bourbon, William Alan Bourbon, 34.08 Whiskey, Low Water Vodka, and White Hot Cinnamon Whiskey, in addition to Hollow Creek Moonshine.
What has been the most rewarding aspect for you about running Hollow Creek?
The past year has provided some great opportunities. As we got further into and better recognized at industry events, we had several industry insiders encouraging us to enter our products in the major spirits competitions. We took a leap of faith, packaged up our White Hot Cinnamon Whiskey, Low Water Vodka, High Cotton Bourbon and William Alan Bourbon, along with our entry form and shipped them out to LA.
We were thrilled when we got the email from the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition sharing our win- a total of 6 medals! Two gold, two silver and two gold packaging awards. We barely finished toasting our win, when the second round of medals was announced from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
About a month after that, word came from the New York International Spirits Competition, that our William Alan scored 96 points to earn DOUBLE GOLD (meaning a unanimous decision for the judges) and they were recognizing us as SC Distillery of the Year. It’s truly been a rewarding experience this year to see Hollow Creek Distillery really come into its own and start making a few waves in an industry dominated by 800 pound gorillas.
Is there anything exciting you have planned for the future of the business?
We always have plans up our sleeve. One exciting development to keep an eye out for will be our Barrel Adoption Program. This will provide an opportunity to “adopt” a barrel of our bourbon to be your own. We’re still polishing the program before launch, but it will include opportunities to sample single barrels of bourbon, adopt whole or fractional barrels at different ages, and customized packaging. We will be welcoming retailers, clubs, individuals, or groups of buddies into the program to select their own barrel and build their own experience. There’s more to come, but this one is going to be fun.
Also, over the next year or two we’re going to be expanding our wholesale distribution significantly after signing an agreement with a new distribution partner. This will be a big move for Hollow Creek Distillery as we work to make our products more easily available for everyone on the market.
Of course, everyone loves a special release from time to time. This year, we’ve had two special releases. The first was a barrel of High Cotton that was finished in a cabernet sauvignon barrel for six months. This was followed by our first release of a barrel strength, single barrel of William Alan. Both were a huge success and well received. We’re looking forward to offering more special releases next year with each being a fun twist on our current products.
Finally, we’ve even been dipping our toes in the event space recently and trying new ideas, which we really enjoy. We’ve hosted a couple of comedy shows, brought out some musicians and food trucks, hosted community events involving local artisans and crafters, as well as hosting regular blood drives and even a wedding rehearsal! Certainly, be on the lookout for more events to come!
You’re approaching your 10-year anniversary! Where do you see Hollow Creek in the next 10 years?
Ultimately the goal is continued growth, new spirits, increased distribution and creating a legacy we can pass down to our son and future generations. As long as we can keep producing quality product, that allows us to welcome new visitors, and have a bit of fun, we’ll be on track for another 10 years.
Do you offer tastings?
Our distillery is open Thursday (1 -7 PM), Friday and Saturday (10 AM-7 PM). Anytime we are open we have FREE tastings and tours! About once a month we serve a FREE drink featuring one of our spirits! Follow our Facebook or Instagram page for all the details. Our High Cotton Bourbon, White Hot Cinnamon Whiskey, Low Water Vodka and William Alan Bourbon are being sold in liquor stores, bars and restaurants throughout South Carolina!
Join the Amick’s at the Distillery for their Hot Chocolate Social, Saturday, December 17. Which will have a blood drive, a couple of local vendors for last minute gifting, and of course free hot chocolate that guests can “heat up” with a shot of White Hot Cinnamon Whiskey, High Cotton Bourbon, Peppermint or Sea Salted Caramel Moonshine – or try a shot of the Hell Fire Reaper Pepper Moonshine for a fiery Mexican hot chocolate! Hot chocolate will be served from 10-7 PM and vendors will be onsite from 11-4 PM. Whether you’ve been here forever or are just passing through, stop by for a visit at Hollow Creek Distillery. The Amick’s will be happy to show you around and share a sip or two. Learn more about Hollow Creek Distillery by visiting their website, HollowCreekDistillery.com.