Bluffton, SC

What do you get when you take two brothers with…

A passion for distilling

A love of the Lowcountry

An insatiable drive

You get Burnt Church Distillery.

What do you get when you take two brothers with…

A passion for distilling

A love of the Lowcountry

An insatiable drive

You get Burnt Church Distillery.

Something went down here.

That’s the feeling you get as soon as you turn onto Burnt Church Road. But exactly what went down here, and how did this road get its name? Although no one knows for sure, everyone has their own opinion. With local folklore and Gullah stories abound, the truth remains a mystery.

Then it came to us. This mysterious moss-draped road perfectly embodies the extraordinary combination of magical magnificence found only in the Lowcountry. And we are so proud to use this little corner of the world as our name and continued inspiration.

“I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina Lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced.”

Pat Conroy

The Lords of Discipline

Our Philosophy

Listen, we get it. When it comes to distilling spirits, we’re the little guys. We know we can’t beat the old school whiskey legends at their own game – and we don’t want to.

Essentially, we’re here to make a meaningful contribution to the spirits community by doing something completely unique. We want to make a difference.

Our Founders

Billy J. Watterson


Billy J. Watterson was built to build companies. He’s founded more than 16 in the past 17 years – leading each through start-up, survival, turnaround, and eventually, a whole lot of growth.

When he discovered the Lowcountry 15 years ago (although, it’s debatable who discovered who), he was enamored with its aura of ease, southern hospitality, and true, inherent beauty. The summer of 2017 was the last that Billy and his wife spent on Hilton Head Island as visitors – according to Billy, they just never got around to going back.

His love for the Lowcountry and it’s deep-rooted traditions is what moved him to his latest endeavor – a distillery. One that would bring locals and tourists together on the basis of enjoying a nice, discernable glass of bourbon.

Sean Watterson


Sean Watterson is a self-taught Renaissance Man, a modern-day jack-of-all-trades. Through personal research and in-person training, he loves to learn from the many fields he’s worked. So, when Billy called him with the idea of building a distillery in the Lowcountry, there wasn’t much holding Sean back from being part of the journey.

His love of ridiculously good bourbon coupled with an intense dedication to research made the decision pretty easy. Not to mention that the more he visited Billy, the less excited he was to trek back to the cold chill of Ohio. And thank goodness he didn’t.

Sean balances the art and science of distilling with pure heart and soul – crafting each spirit so perfectly, even the most sophisticated bourbon connoisseurs are impressed.

Our Vision

We hope to be a historical and educational communal destination for locals and tourists alike to learn about distilling and the rich history of our surroundings. Our mission is to be the Spirit of the Lowcountry™, and we want to convey that to everyone who finds themselves eager to learn, and eager to taste. We hope to be entertaining you with legends of folklore, ancient anecdotes, and one-of-a-kind spirits by early 2021.

In the news


Burnt Church Distillery launching Beaufort County operations…


‘Bluffton truly is a state of mind’- New distillery plans to invest nearly $8 million…

Fox 28 News

Burnt Church Distillery to launch new operations in Beaufort Co…

Thirsty for more?

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