Set to open mid-September in their freshly renovated digs at 6381 Highway 41A in Pleasant View, Leatherwood Distillery aims to deliver unique spirits distilled in-house, both public and private tours, a tasting room built with heaps of patriotic spirit, and an overall experience unlike anything in the county.
Andrew Lang, Leatherwood founder and co-owner, had been brewing both wine and beer for 15 years before he closed the door on a decorated 24-year military career in the United States Army. Retirement seemed like the perfect time to turn his hobby into a fully-functional distillery for everyone to enjoy.
Leatherwood Distillery will be producing hand-crafted rum, Tennessee straight whiskey, and sweet feed whiskey. In addition to specialty drinks crafted for onsite consumption, Leatherwood’s moonshine menu will include flavors like apple pie, cranberry, mango, peach, and coffee cream.
Soon, they will also begin the process of putting straight Tennessee whiskey into barrels where it will age for a few years, eventually emerging for whiskey lovers to savor during a cask tasting event that will allow them to sample it straight from the barrel.
While visiting Leatherwood, patrons will have the opportunity both tour and taste. After regular business hours, the tasting room will also be available for private events.
At some point in the future, they also hope to offer distillery classes that will take students through the process step by step. Lang is eager to share his knowledge, experience, and even some interesting stories with all who are interested.
While the original plan was for Leatherwood to be in Dickson County where Lang has lived for the past five years, local zoning regulations forced him to look elsewhere; Pleasant View was the perfect location due to its prime positioning and eclectic community; and as an added bonus, the zoning was already approved for a distillery.
Lang teamed up with Ashland City’s Johnny Lindahl who not only saw enough potential to invest, but who also acts as Leatherwood’s business and marketing advisor. They are joined by Mike Collins and Bill Havle, partners and investors from Chicago. Their support paired with Lang’s industry training, past experience, and distillery-related education, is a true recipe for success.
Lang is also joined by his right-hand man, Masoud Razi, who was an interpreter for his Special Forces team during two of his seemingly countless deployments. Having a natural talent for construction, Razi has done all of the building for the distillery.
In a special tribute to the elite group Lang led while in the Army, Letherwood’s tasting room will be designed with them in mind. “There will be photos of me and my guys on deployment, as well as a memorial wall for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” says Lang who retired from the 5th Special Forces Group out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
While in Jordan training their Special Forces, Lang met his wife, Dana, who has played a major role in turning the Leatherwood dream into a reality. “Dana has been instrumental in this endeavor with her ideas and feedback. She has also provided me tremendous support and has made it possible for me to work seven days a week on getting Leatherwood up and running,” Lang gushes.
His wife was not the only one who played a significant role in helping realize Lang’s dream. He credits Pleasant View Mayor Perry Keenan and Building Commissioner Mark Goins with providing him the opportunity and an outpouring of guidance. “Mayor Keenan helped me see the vision of building a robust business while ensuring we remained in line with the warm, small-town feel that Pleasant View takes such pride in,” he says. “Mr. Goins shared with me his vast knowledge of building codes and the advice he gave me made a successful buildout possible.”
Always focusing on originality and being creative, the team at Leatherwood aims to create craft-distilled spirits that are fresh and interesting, all the while paying honorable tribute to the 5th Special Forces Group that helped shape Lang into the man is today- a brave entrepreneur who can’t wait to serve you a drink.