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Brews, burgers - and gators
The Distillery's mouth-watering Bourbon burger

Chef Matt Kubiak and the team from The Distillery have been carefully re–crafting their menu for several months. The project is complete, and I stopped in last week to sample some new items.

Several favorites remained – like Stout Chili, the Big Mike and Little Mike burgers, the bar’s awesome and authentic Maryland crab cakes and the porcine rib inspired Hog Hammer. I don’t know what part of the pig it comes from – but it’s darned good with a cold IPA!

The revisited menu brings on some additional salads and light sandwiches – and adds significantly to the gourmet burger list. A Greek–inspired Feta cheese topped burger joins the line up and I sampled the Bourbon burger.

The specialty burgers come as 1/4 or 3/4 pounders; I chose the smaller size which proved plenty. The burger is cooked to order, topped with Bourbon glazed mushrooms and a melted layer of Provolone cheese. It is a good combination of flavors and the bourbon adds character – not overpowering whiskey flavor. I added an optional side – IPA battered onion rings – which have to count among the best in the city. They are served with spicy Remoulade sauce, which adds tang and creaminess to the onions’ crunchy batter.

Another new addition to both the appetizer and main dish menus is alligator bites. Now, fans of wild game have no doubt had a skirmish or two with ’gator. It’s usually rubbery, hard to chew nuggets that, well, taste like chicken.

Chef Matt tenderizes his ’gator bits then gives ’em a nice, mildly spicy batter. The result is an easy to eat basket of alligator tidbits that are easy to chew, meld gaminess with spice and are a welcome addition to the menu. These are great with any number of beer varieties – I would tend to go malty rather than hoppy – you taste and judge for yourself!

With 21 taps, more than 99 bottled or canned beers and a penchant for showing Three Stooges movies on the bar’s many flat screens, The Distillery continues to be a popular watering hole for locals – and a gem that visitors to Savannah love to discover. Its dedication to craft beer – no Budweiser, Coors, Miller or other big domestic beer houses are served here – positions it among the Southeast’s leading craft beer destinations.

416 W. Liberty St./236–1772