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home : news : lakelands & beyond August 22, 2017

12/20/2016 8:58:00 AM
Abbeville's first still yields fine "Likker"
Eric and Vivian Smith, proud owners of Abbeville's first distrillery, Red Barn Likker
+ click to enlarge
Eric and Vivian Smith, proud owners of Abbeville's first distrillery, Red Barn Likker
Bill Cann of Red Barn Likker serves up samples to awaiting customers
+ click to enlarge
Bill Cann of Red Barn Likker serves up samples to awaiting customers

There’s some new excitement on the Abbeville square thanks to the dream and initiative of one man and his love for shine or “likker” as he says.

Eric Smith, widely known as the owner of JES Restaurant Equipment has taken on another project called Red Barn Likker.  It’s the first ever liquor still in or around Abbeville and Smith says he’s excited to open on the square.

“I grew up in Calhoun Falls, live in Abbeville now and I’ve always loved the square here in Abbeville”, explained Smith.  “Everyone is friendly here and very supportive toward our new business.”

Red Barn Likker features a single 200 plus still, packaging & labeling, sampling bar, showroom packed with products and they even have their own research & development room.

Inside has a few special touches.  The bar top wood came from an old structure once at Erskine College.  Beautiful hand painting surround the outside of the bar, painted by the owner of Natty’s, a craft beer and restaurant in Abbeville.

A very unique aspect of Red Barn Likker is their flavoring products.  These flavors are sold separately, then added to the shine and enjoyed at whatever strength the customer prefers. 

“This sets us apart from so many others who offer flavored shine” says Joey Cann, partner and “likker” expert at Red Barn Likker.  “We make a variety of flavors from spiced apple cider, blackberry and muscadine to name a few.  I myself love it straight but so many enjoy flavoring, especially women, so we offer it all”

In addition to shine, Red Barn Likker also offers a variety of products such as moonshine pickles, jellies, and even BBQ sauces.  They also have a full line of Red Barn Likker merchandise that makes the perfect gifts or simply enjoy them yourself.

So how did this all get started?

According to Smith, it all got started in his own garage with a desire to make him some shine for his own personal retirement enjoyment.  After making some, he invited his lifelong friend Cann over for a taste.  Cann told Smith that his shine was some of the best he’d ever had, and that’s a huge compliment coming from Cann, who knows his shine.

Cann’s compliment along with many others over the years provided Smith all the fuel he needed to pursue his dream of Red Barn Likker.

Then the location on the Abbeville Square came available and Smith discussed the idea with his wife Vivian and they decided to go for it.  But at first they considered joining a steak restaurant with the moonshine business but soon decided on just the shine.  So Smith and Cann came together and got to work.

Now obviously this is the short version of the story.  To hear the longer, unedited version you’ll just have to drop by Red Barn Likker located on the Abbeville square, hop onto a stool at the bar for some samples and meet Smith and Cann for yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

Red Barn Likker is located at 101 Court Square in Abbeville SC.  Find and like them on facebook here.

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