Water towers dot the landscape all across the USA; from South Georgia to the Midwestern Plains all the way to the Pacific Coast. These eye-catching structures stand as symbols of small-town America, evoking nostalgic thoughts of holiday bbq’s, backyard baseball games, and quaint corner stores. Many small towns have been swallowed up by shifting economic tides as much of the resources and industry that once were the center of so many communities has moved towards big cities or out of the country entirely. However, a renewed appreciation for small towns has recently been stoked by the interest of travelers looking for unique weekend getaways, bloggers searching for remnants of the American past, and yes, distilleries.
Craft distilleries, breweries, and wineries have played a significant part in the revitalization of rural towns over the last decade or so. Here in Richland specifically, rum has been the focal point of economic growth in a town that was once known for farming and as a railroad hub way back in the early 20th century. The farming aspect still plays an important role, highlighted by sugar cane growth which is cultivated for its juice that is used as the base ingredient for making Richland Rum. But the influx of visitors to the distillery has spurred other economic growth in the town of Richland, and this phenomenon is being carried out in much the same way all across the country where craft distilleries, breweries, and wineries are setting up production in towns just like ours.