If you think there’s not much to see in Helena, Arkansas, you may want to think again. It’s a city that’s small in size but also a place where a Black family is making history by producing the state’s only Vodka brand made from sweet potatoes.
“When we first started our distillery, we did not know that we’re the only ones doing sweet potato-based vodka,” Harvey Williams, co-founder of Delta Dirt Distillery, tells Travel Noire in an interview. “We also didn’t know that we are now the only Black-only farmed distillery in the country.”
The Williams family has 86 acres of farmland, passed down from Harvey’s grandfather, who was in the sharecropping business.
“It still amazes me how he got the land because it’s like the sharecropping system was designed for you never to get out,” says Harvey. “My grandfather found a way out through picking cotton and making moonshine.”
It’s a full-circle moment for the Williams family, who are distilling the vodka for their brand by using the crops from their family farm that goes back to at least four generations.
Inside Delta Dirt Distillery
The distillery officially opened on April 1, 2021, and since its opening, it’s already known to lift the spirits of those who visit the area.
The vodka is smooth to the taste and finishes with an earthy flavor with a sweet finish at the end.
“We wanted to create a space where everyone can come in and feel comfortable,” says Harvey.
As for what’s next, the Williams say they plan to release a gin. In addition, they plan to add bourbon and whiskey to their brand made from sweet potatoes.
Follow them on social media and if you have the chance to stop by, tell them Travel Noire sent you. They’re offering a discount that mentions they heard about them through this article.