Great Wagon Road Distilling Co. settling into new NoDa home

Fun fact: did you know that salamanders have a reputation for being snobs? True story, they are water purists. Only the cleanest highly-oxygenated water will suit their fancies. 

Now this might seem like a random tidbit to have at the beginning of an article about Great Wagon Road Distilling Company, but all you have to do is take a quick look at their brands and you will find the reasoning behind this trivia. Owner Ollie Mulligan actually named his handcrafted vodka Salamander because of the pure artisanal water that he brings in from his property in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And to be clear, that pure water is used in all the distilling and making those delicious pizzas, too (seriously do not forget about the pizzas! #drooling). This is because salamanders aren’t the only things that love pure water – the yeast does as well!

Apart from using only the purest water for their wonderful creation, GWR also maintains purity in the rest of its ingredients. During our interview, General Manager Brian Donovan informed me that they put an ingredients label on their alcohol, which makes them exceptional among distillers. This is because they want their customers to know what they are getting, and what they aren’t. There are no artificial sweeteners or colors.

And as a bonus, when these impeccable products moved to our neighborhood just before the COVID-19 lockdown, our community inherited the exemplary staff too. This was quickly evident, because, even though the pandemic threw their plans into disarray, they promptly looked at how they could support their new community. So, they started using that pure water for hand sanitizer instead of alcohol. Then they went a step further and donated it to our local first responders. I don’t know about you, but I love having this kind of quality in my neighborhood. I am so glad GWR chose NoDa as their place to put down roots! 

And really this is just a snippet of the info on them. Check out their website ( to get the backstory on their Irish distillery heritage, see their top shelf products, get some amazing recipes, and so much more! And did I mention the pizza? Be sure to check that out too!