Cathead Distillery

Cathead Distillery

Story by Denise DuBois


Vodka, gin, bourbon, and sparkling …pick your favorite.  Cathead Distillery has every taste you need.

Cathead Distillery is the first and oldest legal distillery in Mississippi. It was founded in 2010 by Austin Evans and Richard Patrick who share a love for creating spirits and listening to blues. Together, they created a distillery that boasts seven award-winning, small-batch spirits that include: Cathead original Vodka, Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Cathead Bitter Orange Vodka, Bristow Gin, Hoodoo Chicory Liquor, and Old Soul Bourbon Whiskey. They also produce a line of canned cocktails, Cathead Sparkling.

“We’re proud to produce authentic, small-batch spirits inspired by Mississippi, the Gulf coast and beyond, that give a taste of the South with every sip,” said Richard.

But what is a Cathead, you may ask. Cathead is a term in Mississippi that was coined by blues musicians as a nod to artists who they respected. Artists and musicians went on to use “Catheads” in many forms of folk art, as a way to pay the rent and share their legacies.

“The name ‘Cathead’ itself is a nod to our roots in Mississippi, the home of blues music - a genre that has deeply influenced all forms of American music,” he added. “We work to bring honor to the meaning of Cathead through our philanthropic support of live music and musicians alike. On each bottle of Cathead Vodka, our flagship spirit, is the words ‘Support Live Music,’ where a portion of proceeds from every bottle sold goes to support like-minded organizations, including Magic City Blues Society, Music Maker Foundation, New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation, North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and Southern Foodways Alliance.”

All of the spirits from the distillery are crafted onsite in Jackson, Mississippi.

“Each one is a bit unique in how it’s made, whether that’s our Bristow Gin, Cathead Vodka, Old Soul Bourbon, or Hoodoo Chicory Liqueur, but they’ve all got one thing in common: they’re made in small batches from authentic and regionally sourced ingredients,” Richard said.

Asking him to choose his favorite is like asking him to choose his favorite song.

“There are certain occasions for each spirit,” he said. “At home, I usually nightcap with an Old Soul Fashioned with my better half. When I’m out, I’ll start with a dirty Bristow Gin Martini. If I’m enjoying the backyard or the pool, it’s a Cathead Sparkling. I genuinely love everything that we make and there’s tons of versatility in our portfolio of spirits.”

But one thing is for certain, he loves what he’s doing in the distilling and music industries.

“Our industry is fast moving, fun, takes you a lot of places, and is overall a pretty happy environment. But most of all, it’s never boring. The stewardship role that Austin and I sit in has a lot of responsibility, and fortunately, all the above makes our job fulfilling,” he said.

Cathead Distillery was named a 2020 James Beard semi-finalist for Outstanding Spirits Producer and is celebrated not only for its authentic products, but for a strong commitment to their community. Cathead also donates a portion of proceeds to nonprofits that contribute to the region’s abundant arts and culture. Cathead Distillery is an event-driven facility and a place for both locals and tourists to enjoy spirits tastings, live music, community, and a cold beer.

The distillery is currently closed for tours and tastings, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting the online store for merchandise and to order some delicious flavors of your favorite spirit. Take the chance to  try something new.

Back to blog