RESCHEDULED: This event was postponed and rescheduled for Sept. 14 due to Hurricane Dorian.


Get ready to catch some University of Georgia football and maybe a buzz at Ghost Coast’s Ultimate Tailgate Party.

The Ultimate Tailgate Party on Sept. 7 will celebrate the release of Ghost Coast’s third of four small-batch straight bourbon whiskey’s with proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organization EmployAbility.

According to their website, EmployAbility “works to prepare adults with developmental disabilities for employment and community integration.”

Members of EmployAbility’s culinary training program will be in attendance to display their skills and offer tailgate-themed food options including a pulled pork and pimento cheese sandwich, as well as burgers, blackened shrimp po’boys and numerous other options including two separate bourbon infused deserts.

“Some of the best food I’ve had in Savannah is from EmployAbility’s culinary training program, and I can’t wait to share it with everybody,” said Kelcie Beausir, Ghost Coasts marketing manager. “We work with EmployAbility in a lot of different ways but, for this event, we wanted to think outside of the box and do something different.”

“We love to tie in and bring to light all the great programs that nonprofits have here in Savannah that try to better everyone; that’s just the core of who we are as a company and an organization,” said Ghost Coast Co-founder Chris Sywassink. “EmployAbility is phenomenal as an organization because they’re able to give someone who may be challenged in some way a sense of hope and purpose. All the time these people are told what they can’t do and, in some ways, we want to flip the switch on that and show, well, this is what they can do.”

For those interested, EmployAbility also provides private event catering services, Sywassink added. “They’ve worked with us and catered for our personal events multiple times and they just told us, ‘tell us what you need, we’ll design the menu and get the people’ so it was a one-stop-shop that worked out perfectly.”

For the avid whiskey drinker, the party's highlight will be the release of the distilleries third golden elixir this year, the Ghost Coast Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The bourbon has been aging in the Indian Street store room since 2017. “Straight bourbon has to be a minimum of two years or older,” Sywassink said. “When we cranked up in January of 2017, we jumped into making bourbon and started doing that right out of the gate and haven’t stopped since.”

When asked what makes the Ghost Coast blend of bourbon unique, Sywassink said it has a lot to do with the  sweat-inducing summer climate. “Bourbons are influenced a lot by the temperature, humidity and general environment of their aging room.

“Savannah’s humidity is tremendously advantageous to aging, as well as our temperature swings. Because we’re in this unique place, we get accelerated aging where flavors and components are found in younger-aged products, so when you drink our stuff it usually tastes twice as old as it actually is.

“We also have a unique aging process where we recycle the air in the room six times an hour,” he continued. “That cycling of the air keeps all the barrels at the exact same temperature, exact same humidity, and exact same barometric pressure so there’s not going to be any barrel that tastes different than another barrel, so we also have that distinct consistency.”

The event will also feature free live music by local musicians The Trainwrecks and Ben Keiser Band. “And don’t forget the cornhole tournament!” added Sywassink.