Otter Creek Farm

Otter Creek Farm, an 8,000-acre-plus private hunting preserve based at Ohatchee, plans to distill whiskey. The Calhoun County Commission gave its OK to a required license for the enterprise on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Otter Creek Farm)

An Ohatchee hunting venue may soon serve up whiskey two nights a week.

Otter Creek Farmstead had its Alcoholic Beverage Control Board application OK'd during a Calhoun County Commission meeting Thursday morning. Frank Brown, who owns Otter Creek with his wife, Jane, said Thursday that he plans to open a whiskey distillery at the farmstead. He’s hoping to have bottles branded with the Otter Creek name on shelves soon after it opens, along with twice-weekly tasting dinners for those products.  

“The distillery is built, we’re just waiting on equipment and the federal license now,” Brown said.

The Ohatchee-based hunting preserve also does business as a wedding venue and bed and breakfast. Its quail-hunting grounds stretch about 700 acres, Brown said, with another 7,000 acres for deer hunting within a 20-minute drive.

The tornado that ripped through Ohatchee in 2011 made the farm a “total loss,” Brown told The Star in a 2017 story about a visit from Donald Trump Jr., but the property recovered. Now, he said, Otter Creek hosts clients from New York, Boston, Los Angeles and other large locales throughout the nation, with a busy quail-hunting season from October to March each year.

He said the distillery has been in the works for a few years now.

“We’re looking forward to having it on the shelves and having the tasting nights,” Brown said. “It’s just a natural addition to the property we have.”

During its meeting, the commission also:

— Approved abatements at 311 Weaver Lane in Weaver, and 12 and 19 Jean Blvd. in Anniston; dismissed a nuisance complaint at 24 Glade Road West in Anniston; and invoiced completed abatements at 874 Virginia Avenue and 2200 West D St. in Anniston, at costs of $276 and $3,026, respectively. It also declared a nuisance at 3500 Oakridge Ave., an Anniston address. Commissioners thanked Theo Smart, the county code enforcement official, for his service.

— Recognized National Correctional Officers Week, held yearly through the first full week in May.

— Received and filed bids from Wittichen Supply Company, Mingledorffs, and Weathertech Distributing Company in Anniston for the possible replacement of 67 HVAC units in county-owned buildings.

Administrative assistant Janice Howard said the county is required to have bids on file to replace units as they break down, but no specific purchases are planned, and no cost total exists.

— Approved an ABC Board license transfer application for Quick Mart 4, located at 3209 Choccolocco Road in Anniston.

Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560.