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Southern Distilling Co.

Reigniting North Carolina’s whiskey tradition with a bold brand refresh.

What we delivered.

What we delivered.

Brand Foundation
Visual System + Visual Center
Communication Strategy
Media Planning
Content Library + Content Guidelines
Website Design
Brand Campaign
On and Off Premise Sales Strategy


Giving an award-winning distillery a world-class refresh.

Southern Distilling Co. already had a lot going for it — an innovative process extending years of tradition, growing distribution, award-winning products, and a commitment to reinvigorate their local community. It’s one thing to make delicious bourbons and rye that North Carolinians can be proud of. It’s another to make sure the brand reached the same high standards founders Pete and Vienna set for their products.

That’s where Fort West comes in.


A promise to Savor the Moment.

The first step was to help Southern Distilling Co. define the things they give a damn about and establish pillars on which to build their brand.

This process led us back to Pete’s childhood, where his dad would sit on the porch at the end of each day, sip on a nice bourbon, and take it all in. That’s where a promise was made — a promise to themselves and their audience to always Savor the Moment. This phrase became a rallying cry and a north star throughout the creative process.


Meeting the neighbors and building the community.

Southern now had a story to tell, but they needed a smart way to tell it. So we started doing what we do best — researching and planning. We headed to Statesville to talk to a few locals, hear a bit about the region’s history, and see first hand the passion for hard work, helping one another, and slowing down and sipping good whiskey. We sat down, poured a glass, defined our audience, and made a plan for telling Southern’s story to North Carolina and then the rest of the world.


Creating Modern Folklore.

Southern Distilling’s extraordinary blend of tradition and innovation is the stuff of future legends. Or as we like to call it, Modern Folklore. We did a deep dive into the prohibition archival public domain and created a visual thread that both harkened back to Statesville’s heyday and the promise of its future. We wove that thread through every fabric of the brand, from visual systems and brand toolkits to web pages and social posts.


What whiskey tradition looks like.

Everything had to feel authentic and true to Statesville, its whiskey-soaked history, and the distillery that is helping to revitalize it, so we created a massive content library that would transport our audience to the place where new history is being made.

These ownable photography assets tell their story in the gritty and textured aesthetic that defines Modern Folklore, and through the front-porch bourbon moments of Statesville.



Bringing the new Southern Distilling to life.

Now came the time to bring the whole thing home. And how did we do that? Well, by creating a home for all things Southern with a new, refreshed website worthy of their award-winning bourbons and ryes.


We were Made for This.

Then, outfitted with brand guidelines, good bourbon, a story to tell, and a media strategy to tell it, we created a campaign to share Southern’s values, vision, and award-winning whiskeys with the world. “Made for This” revolved around life’s great moments that can be made a little bit greater with a whiskey worth savoring.


Cheers to a well-crafted campaign
and well-deserved awards.

After putting in the hard work, we kicked back, poured a nice glass of Southern Star Paragon Single Barrel Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and watched the campaign get to work. While we can’t take credit for Paragon Single Barrel winning double gold at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, we are savoring our role in all of the orders that rolled in, causing production of barrels into bottles to ramp up 3x to keep up with demand.