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Nearly all of the distilling equipment was designed by David Rich, founder of Rich Grain Distilling Co., which is located in Canton in a building that has been the home for a number of businesses in the past century, including a grist mill, cotton gin, saloon, tractor dealership, auto dealership and a furniture store. The 7,000-square-foot building has been totally transformed for its new purpose.

What’s in a (whiskey) brand?

Rich-Grain-Distillery-logo_rgbBy JACK WEATHERLY 

What’s in a brand? A whiskey under any name would taste the same.

But when David Rich decided to establish a distillery in Canton, among the many decisions he had to make was a name for his product.

He wanted one that worked, naturally.

His research ranged far and wide and historical.

He came across a brand that dates to the 19th century. Rich Grain Distilling Co., which operated in Kansas City, Mo., from 1869 till 1916, and it struck a chord.

Other than the coincidence of his surname and the old distillery’s name, it had some other things that Rich thought were going for it.

(Interestingly, the Canton distillery will start producing corn whiskey on the 100th anniversary of the original Rich Grain Distilling’s demise.)

That name will be used for all the products. All will have Rich Grain Distilling Co., followed by White Rum, Spiced Rum, Corn Whiskey and Bourbon.

A graphics artist adapted the old label and kept the 19th century font, digitized and a bit cleaner.

“We’re going with a family of products, instead of having a different brand product, which I felt could be kind of confusing. I want people to associate all the products with the distillery.”

While he said he is counting on Mississippi loyalty initially to get his product rolled out, he didn’t want it to be limiting.

While most all of his sales will be in the state in the first year or so, he wants to expand distribution across the region.

In the pre-Prohibition era there were hundreds of distilleries across the nation and some in Mississippi, including one owned by Vic Trolio, a hotelier whose lodging was on the west side of the Canton Square and is in use by the Canton Convention and Visitors Bureau these days.

Trolio sold his own whiskey under his name.

Likewise, Rich will be selling his under his own name, too, whether or not you realize it.


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About Jack Weatherly

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