Pete Barger, CEO of Southern Distilling

Coming from the engineering and public health fields, Pete and Vienna have found a way to bring a fresh perspective to the tradition of distilling.

Pete, a Statesville native, brought his engineering background and entrepreneurial spirit back home to North Carolina to innovate the distilling process at every turn.

Vienna, a California girl, leverages her background in public health and government policy to manage daily business operations. Together, they have successfully changed antiquated laws and broken down North Carolina’s previously strict barriers for distribution and sale of distilled spirits.

About Southern Distilling Company:

Pete and Vienna Barger give a damn. They founded Southern Distilling Company in 2013 to reignite North Carolina’s whiskey tradition while celebrating the innovative spirit of America’s craft spirits industry. Homegrown and family-owned, Southern Distilling draws on Statesville’s heritage as the “liquor capital of the world” in the late 1800s. It’s a whiskey tradition years in the making for the Bargers — and generations in the making for local farmers and centuries in the making for the state. Every bottle and every sip are the result of passion, of hard work, and most importantly, of time. Meant for savoring, the Southern Distilling Company family of artisan spirits includes Southern Star Paragon Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Southern Star Standard High-Rye Bourbon Whiskey, Southern Star Double Rye Whiskey, and Southern Star Double Shot Bourbon Cream, and Hunting Creek Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey, among others. The destination distillery is open for tours, and tastings, and craft cocktails, plus hosts public and private special events throughout the year. Southern Star products are available in more than 20 states, with rapidly expanding national and global distribution. For more information, visit

Social Handles:

• Instagram - @southerndistilling

• Facebook - @southerndistilling

• Twitter - @SoDistilling

• LinkedIn - @southerndistiling

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