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ASW Whiskey Exchange: Atlanta’s “Malt Disney World”

Discover American Spirit Works Whiskey Exchange in the thriving West End neighborhood resting conveniently along Atlanta's BeltLine.

ASW Whiskey Exchange: Atlanta’s “Malt Disney World”

Visitors to Atlanta's impressive West End brewery complex often refer to the area as "Malt Disney World." Along with three diverse breweries and a beer shop/pub, the complex also houses the exceptional ASW Whiskey Exchange tasting room and barrel-aging facility.

Known as "southern pot-still pioneers," American Spirit Works (ASW) began in an attractive distillery and visitors center across town in the same industrial area that holds SweetWater Brewing Co. The ASW owners wanted another destination in the trendy West End complex, and the ASW Whiskey Exchange took shape a few years back. Patrons enjoy house whiskeys, spirits and cocktails in the comfortable tasting room and can also peek inside the barrel storage "rickhouse" area. Walk-ins are always welcome, with no tour reservations required. 

ASW's pleasant, easy-drinking Fiddler Unison 90-proof bourbon has garnered mass appeal as an introductory "gateway" spirit for novice whiskey drinkers. ASW's impressive lineup of spirits also includes gold-medal winners Fiddler Georgia Heartwood Bourbon and Fiddler Soloist Bourbon, along with double gold-medal winners Resurgens Rye and Duality Double Malt. Also, look for ASW's Bustletown Vodka, Winterville Gin and a range of sought-after limited releases. 

asw distillery master distiller justin manglitzASW master distiller Justin Manglitz points out that the ASW Whiskey Exchange facility forms a considerable part of his whiskey production process. "Aging whiskey takes a lot of time and effort," notes Manglitz. "ASW co-founder Jim Chasteen's concept for our Whiskey Exchange was a barrel facility with a tasting room that would help pay for our whiskey-aging process. It also allows us to expose people to our whiskey and spirits and spread the word about our amazing products. Hosting events here also helps defray part of the cost of storing and aging more than 1,200 barrels of whiskey."


"The concept for our Whiskey Exchange was a barrel facility with a tasting room that would help pay for our whiskey-aging process. It also allows us to expose people to our whiskey and spirits and spread the word about our amazing products," said Justin Manglitz, ASW master distiller.


When he was only 18 years old, Manglitz began homebrewing beer and making wine in a barn tack room in Athens, Georgia. He soon fell in love with distilling after realizing that the process involves a great deal of inventive, creative techniques. "I don't allow computer control anywhere near my distillery," declares Manglitz. "The hands-on approach always seems to produce the best whiskey. I never actually had a print resume for this job. As soon as ASW co-founders Jim Chasteen and Charlie Thompson tasted my homemade whiskey, my 'liquid resume' got me the job."

ASW Whiskey Exchange tasting room manager Megan Freeman started by working on the bottling line at the original ASW facility. When asked about the rewards of transitioning to the ASW Whiskey Exchange, she immediately brings up the concept of community-building. "I get to book musicians and food vendors and set up parties for groups of whiskey lovers. First-time visitors seem really impressed that our whiskeys, spirits and cocktails are so good."

Guests at the ASW Whiskey Exchange will discover that the main tasting room holds a gift shop corner selling ASW swag and bottles to take home. The bar serves up spirit samples and cocktails that can be consumed in the tasting room or anywhere on the grounds of the West End complex. The central tasting room area supplies ample seating, while a patio walkway just outside the main doors allows folks to sip outside during pleasant weather. The expansive barrel storage area sits behind large glass doors to the right of the bar, and interested visitors simply have to ask for a barrel tour upon arrival.