While breweries and wineries are plentiful throughout the Triad area, distilleries are a bit harder to come by – especially a family-owned distillery with centuries of history tied to its name. Nestled on 40 acres of farmland on Williams Road, Old Nick Williams Farm & Distillery offers Lewisville residents a lively venue for a cocktail on a Saturday night, as well as a family-friendly spot to toss a football on a Sunday afternoon.
If you’re visiting Old Nick Williams (ONW) Distillery from the Winston-Salem area, be sure to organize a designated driver or Uber ride, as the selection of spirits and cocktails sold at Old Nick is vast – making it impossible to choose only one. Owned by the Williams family, Old Nick Williams Farm & Distillery has overcome centuries of bumps in the road as a producer of various liquors. From the Revolutionary War to prohibition laws, the Williams family is no stranger to obstacles. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, owners Zeb and Matt Williams were well-equipped to continue fighting for their family’s passion.
In fact, according to co-owner Zeb, the temporary pandemic-induced shutdown of the distillery was a blessing in disguise. With centuries of experience in producing liquor, Zeb and Matt switched gears and began producing hand sanitizer, donating their newfound products to medical groups, first responders, and police officers. Soon enough, the Williams brothers’ ingenuity turned profitable, allowing them to build a 4,500 square-foot outdoor patio overlooking a large stage for live music.
After the distillery’s tasting room was doubled in size with the help of the Discovery Channel, the tasting room was then transformed into a historical museum. The distillery’s most recent addition, the Busted Barrel Cocktail Bar, is the perfect spot to enjoy live music on the weekends while taking back cocktails crafted with ONW spirits. When I perused the bar’s cocktail menu, I was elated to see that mojitos and caipirinhas are offered, with the mojito being made with unique Jamerican White Rum – one of Old Nick’s specialties. Zeb made it his personal venture to study and perfect the craft of creating an American rum at the distillery, inspired by rums produced in Jamaica (hence the clever name “Jamerican”). Cocktails made with Jamerican rum can even be upgraded to “overproof” cocktails, which are exceptionally strong and made with 2-ounce pours of 126-proof rum. As a fair warning, overproof drinks at the Busted Barrel are not to be taken lightly – or in large quantities.
A more classic cocktail, the old fashioned, can be found in almost any bar, but no variation of an old fashioned will compare to the ONW Old Fashioned. After all, bourbon is Old Nick’s flagship liquor and is made with a 250-year-old family recipe utilizing NC-grown grains. As one of the cocktail bar’s most popular cocktails, bourbon-lovers will delight in tasting one of the best old fashioned cocktails they have ever ordered. Although Zeb loves the ONW Old Fashioned, he highly recommends the Blueberry Smash, a combination of ONW Bourbon, blueberries, lemon, and club soda. In addition to rum and bourbon, Zeb also raved about the recently released ONW Marci’s Tears Vodka, infused with ghost peppers and added to Busted Barrel cocktails to add a bit of a kick and spice up the night.
Interested in taking a tour of the distillery? Tours operate Monday through Saturday at only 10 dollars per person and include a self-guided historical tour, lessons on how products are bottled and made, a tasting of up to four ONW spirits, and a complimentary shot glass. As vaccinations throughout the country ramp up and restrictions loosen, the ONW Distillery and Busted Barrel Cocktail Bar are serving up brand new products and craft cocktails, just in the “Nick” of time for summer.
To book a tour, browse ONW products, and read more about the Williams family history, visit oldnickwhiskey.com. Keep up with the latest updates from Old Nick Whiskey on Facebook, and follow ONW on Instagram at @oldnickwhiskey to see announcements regarding live events, food trucks, and new products. For any other information, call 336-946-1012 or email [email protected].