Home News A Strong and Sweet Business in Bainbridge Gets Grants for Expansion

A Strong and Sweet Business in Bainbridge Gets Grants for Expansion

Director of Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development Tammy Eallonardo (left), co-owner Christopher Lewis (at the bar), and friends and family take some refreshment at the bar in Pap’s Hilltop Honey & Distillery in Bainbridge while waiting to participate in the grant-delivery ceremony.

Bainbridge, Ross County — A unique business in small-town Bainbridge recently received grants to expand their legal “moonshine” production.

“Pap’s Hilltop Honey & Distillery” got a $50,000 grant from the State of Ohio, plus a $30,000 grant though Ross County economic development from Fluor BWXT and the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio.

Co-owner Chris Lewis says they struggle to produce enough moonshine for their customers, including campers at nearby parks. But by using the grants to expand production, including more building space, their moonshine can also be distributed in state liquor stores as well as add to camping relaxation.

Lewis explained that their “moonshine” is unaged whiskey or bourbon, only recently allowed by the state. They opened a year ago in September, and have 14 flavors now – and are working on more.

They have a still / production facility on display in their storefront: a cooker, bourbon fermenting tanks, and handmade copper pot still, thumper, and condenser.

They bought the building in May of 2020 after it was a Subway shop and attorney’s office. Lewis’ wife Katy and the co-owner later learned that her great-great-aunt had the building built in 1897 and had a lady’s hat shop in it.

They say the recent World Heritage listing for the Hopewell earthworks, including nearby Seip Mound, has brought new customers from Canada and Israel. The annual luge competition on Jasper Hill Road also brings worldwide visitors.

And yes, they can offer maximum of four shots at a time (at 25¢ each) if you want a taste!

You can find Pap’s Hilltop Honey & Distillery at 117 East Main Street in Bainbridge, or on their website, Facebook page, or Instagram page.

See also “Pap’s Hilltop Distillery Expands Operations in Bainbridge, Ohio” by Ohio SE Economic Development.

Hear much more in their own words in the below interview videos.