Bainbridge, Ohio: January 23, 2024 –– Pap’s Hilltop Distillery, in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development, Tuesday announced plans to invest $494,000 to expand its operations in Bainbridge, Ohio, creating three new jobs.
The family and woman-owned micro-distillery crafts small-batch, double-distilled spirits in copper pot stills and produces over a dozen variations of moonshine. The distillery is currently working on a rum to be released later this year and a bourbon and apple brandy to be released in 2025. All grains used in the process are sourced from Ohio farms. The company’s primary grain supplier is Schoolhouse Farms in Rockford, OH, a multi-generational farm that specializes in heirloom grains.
The company recently purchased and revitalized a historic building in downtown Bainbridge and now plans to revitalize a vacant facility to expand its liquor production, warehousing, and distribution operations.
Christopher Lewis is the co-owner of Pap’s Hilltop Distillery along with his wife Katy. “We are so grateful for all of the support from our family and community since we started the distillery in Bainbridge,” said Lewis. “We are already running at full capacity after only one year. We are excited about our expansion plans. We have so many more products and ideas that we want to roll out to our customers but are limited due to our facility and equipment. This expansion will allow us to grow and develop new products. We are truly thankful for the support from JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development and Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development. This project would not be possible without them.”
The expansion will enable the company to increase production and distribute the product across Ohio and out of state, including the launch of a ‘low proof’ product line.
As third-generation beekeepers, Chris and Marc Lewis also operate Pap’s Hilltop Honey and have partnered with distilleries in Gatlinburg, TN, to source barrels for their barrel-aged honey production. This honey is incorporated into their small batch moonshine.
“Pap’s Hilltop Distillery is a Ross County gem!” said Tammy Eallonardo, Director of Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development. “Located in the village of Bainbridge, they have a far-reaching customer base. The retail location is warm and welcoming and the products are top-notch. We are excited to support their growth and look forward to what lies ahead for this business.”
JobsOhio supported the expansion with a $50,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant and OhioSE assisted the company with the grant process. The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant exists to provide financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state.
“Local companies like Pap’s Hilltop Distillery demonstrate that entrepreneurship is alive and well in southeastern Ohio,” said OhioSE Vice President Katy Farber. “We’re grateful to see the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant used to support the company’s continued investment in revitalizing downtown Bainbridge.