Eighty-two-year-old Cabarrus Correctional Center in North Carolina is now home to a whisky production company. The old prison facility that was opened in 1929 and operated till 2011 once occupied up to 400 prison inmates. Today, the prison facility situated on 21 acres of land is now a wine production plant to Southern Grace Distilleries – an award-winning whisky manufacturer.
Located in Mount Pleasant, the North Carolina prison ground is now open to tourists. Visitors can tour the old prison facility and even have a taste of whisky that is currently in production.
Southern Grace Distilleries brews between 70 to 150 whisky bottles per week, with over 7,000 gallons of aging bourbon housed within with former prison facility.
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Being destitute of all prisoners today, the former prison house now looks creepy to many outsiders. But for the presence of the whisky production company. With all its original prison bars and solitary confinement cells still in place, the Cabarrus Correctional Center could get very eerie at night.
There is an old four-cell prison block well beyond the barbed wire fence gate, where the whisky company now uses for its distillery.
To tour the old prison facility, visitors can visit three times each Friday and Saturday. Each visitor pays $14. On reaching the prison facility, visitors first report at the guardhouse where they do a mug shot.
They are then moved to the old prison chapel where former prison guards show a documentary which tells the story of the old prison and its inmates.
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“We often get visits from people who say, ‘I used to live here,’” said Leanne Powell, president of the whisky company. “We’ve also had a number of children of former moonshiners visit, their parents once did time here and they always express how incredulous their fathers would be if they could only see the place.”
Old Prison Becomes Southern Grace Distilleries
When the film ends, visitors are moved to the old dorm where inmates were held until 2011 when the prison was closed down. The old dorm has now been converted to a barrelhouse, where Southern Grace Distilleries age their bourbon.
After seeing the barrel house and all that goes in there, prison tourists are taken to see the distillery situated within a four-cell block prison. They also get to visit the solitary confinement where they will be given the opportunity to taste brewed whiskey.