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Jug Creek Distillery - TN

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Jug Creek Distillery is a family-owned, artisan distillery located in Wilson County, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. Jug Creek produces exceptionally crafted, award winning spirits using only natural ingredients to create unique libations of superior quality. With spirits including whiskey, gin, vodka, and a variety of liqueurs, we have something for everyone! Each of our products are hand crafted, hand labelled and hand bottled, and done so in small batches. Jug Creek takes great pride in making spirits which are excellent in flavor and quality and offering those products to our customers at prices which we believe to be very reasonable. We sincerely hope that you enjoy drinking our spirits as much as we enjoy creating them!

This is an interview with Jug Creek master distiller Heath Frazier

Who have been your biggest influences and mentors?   “My grandmother, Virgie McClure, is one of my biggest influences to be an entrepreneur. She was a self-made business woman who was fearless when it came to building a company and never let anyone hold her back.”:  

Why did you choose your field and what about it appealed to you? Tell us briefly about how you arrived in your current position. “My best friend Kyle Luttrell and I had always dreamed of owning a business together. I had been in the medical field since I was 20 years old, and most of that had been spent in critical care settings, making life and death decisions. After our seven-year-old daughter Addy was born with complex congenital heart disease, I needed a change. I had watched her have surgery in the same unit that I worked in, and I needed to be able to do something that made me happy at work, rather than remind me of the trials we were facing at home. I had a passion for cooking and had been home beer and wine making for years and I truly enjoyed it. I finally decided that making unique distilled spirits was my true calling so with that, I just took the plunge, and it wasn’t long after that Kyle jumped with me into this crazy endeavor.”  

What challenges do you face in your field? “The challenges in the distilling industry are the same as many other fields. Capital to keep things running in the beginning is always a challenge. The need for distribution along with controlled growth are huge challenges in our field. The alcohol industry is fiercely competitive, so I always have to stay ahead of the game with innovative products that everyone will love.”  

What’s your favorite thing about your work?   “ My favorite thing is that I’m able to express my creativity in my work and that I’m able to pass that creativity on to the customers I interact with every day. I love seeing people’s faces light up when they are surprised by a product, and love when they are as interested as I am in the whole process of how it’s made. I enjoy sharing my passion for the distilling process with others and teaching others who also have an interest in learning about it.”  

What do you most enjoy about your field?   “There is a real comradery and brotherhood among distilleries, particularly those that are considered craft, or small. Even though we are all technically competitors, we root for each other’s success and share knowledge amongst each other. When one achieves a great success, we celebrate with them. When one suffers a loss, we band together to support them.”  

Tell how you give back to the community through charities, civic organizations, and so on:   “The biggest way we give back is through organizations that personally affect us, and that is with pediatric congenital heart disease. CHD affects approximately 1 in 100 babies, and there are about 3 million people living in the U.S with CHD. Two of our daughters are affected by CHD, one of them with complex, life threatening conditions. We have found first hand that the support for these families is scarce, and that research is underfunded and unrecognized. We support several localorganizations that provide direct support to these families that are going through difficult times on this journey. We hold a festival called Booze to Blackout every year that we donate a portion of the proceeds to Haley’s Hearts, a local organization that directly supports families, as well as offering our event venue for other CHD events throughout the year.”

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