Brothers launch the first distillery to open in Roanoke in 100 years

In 2020, a trio of brothers set out to do something for the first time in more than a century: establish a distillery in Roanoke. Owner, head distiller, and eldest brother Tim Brady had a long-standing passion for craft beer, but saw a unique opportunity in spirits when he returned to his native city after retiring from a 20-plus-year career in the Air Force. 

Photo courtesy of Bradys Distillery

“I’d always envisioned getting out and opening a little brewery and hot dog spot, but when I started looking around the area, I was shocked,” says Brady. Despite the city’s booming craft beer scene, it hadn’t had a distillery since prohibition shuttered John Casper Distilling in 1915. 

Brady approached his brothers, Andy and Brian, who lived in the area. Not only had they been home-cooking whiskey for about a decade, but the latter owned numerous Roanoke restaurants, including Six & Sky Rooftop Grille. The three banded together and, two years later, opened a small tasting room and bar in a retooled historic brick warehouse on the outskirts of downtown. 

The company now offers gin, rum, vodka, toasted rye whisky, and three barrel-aged bourbons. Tim calls its tasting room the friendliest in town. 

“This is a family-oriented business,” he says. “That means ensuring that no matter who you are or what background you come from, you come in here and feel like you’re a part of the family.” BradysDistillery.com


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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