Published: June 3, 2019

Eta Mu Alumnus’ New Business to Showcase the rich culture of Bluffton, SC

The following press release was published on May 21, 2019, via Triad Design Group ( It was reprinted with permission from Rachel Tucker, Creative Assistant for Triad Design. The article highlights Billy Watterson (Eta Mu/Findlay 1995).

Burnt Church Distillery Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony

Burnt Church Distillery will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 30th at 120 Bluffton Road, the future home of the distillery.

Founded by brothers Billy and Sean Watterson, the distillery will invest $10.3 million and 27 new jobs into the community. Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka said, “We are thrilled to see that Burnt Church Distillery is investing in our community."

The ceremony will feature speeches from Sulka and Billy Watterson, as well as a ceremonial dig with all those involved in the process.

“Our distillery was inspired by the mystery of Burnt Church Road. When I took it upon myself to search for answers on Google, the best I could find was old folklore, half stories and cloudy recollections. For some reason, I couldn’t get the road out of my head and needed to know more,” said Billy. “Our search for the truth has inspired our architecture, interiors, recipes and brands. It’s almost like the road found us.”

Sean Watterson will be the head of Distillery Operations, as well as the distillery’s Research and Development efforts for future innovation and brand expansion.

“It always fills me with joy to watch someone’s face light up after they have experienced something you worked to create,” said Sean.

The distillery is tentatively set to open in the summer of 2020. For more information, please visit their website at


Burnt Church Distillery will be a historical and educational communal destination for locals and tourists alike to learn about distilling and the rich history of our surroundings. The mission of Co-Founders Billy and Sean Watterson is to be the spirit of the Lowcountry, and they want to convey that to everyone who finds themselves eager to learn, and eager to taste. 

You may view the original press release by clicking here.