City editor Erika here. Two-time Academy Award-nominated actor Jeremy Renner touched down in Charleston last Friday to promote Sweet Grass Vodka. Before the party, Renner, who is now a co-owner, and CEO Jarrod Swanger talked to the media about the Charleston-distilled spirit.
The media event took place at The Sweet Grass Lounge within The Refinery (1640 Meeting St.), Sweet Grass Vodka’s flagship tasting room. We gathered around the coastal-inspired cocktail space and heard Swanger and Renner talk about their partnership and how its stages leading up to it felt like “a dating site.”
Renner shared that he had wanted to join the spirits industry for a long time and felt connected with this project. He doesn’t want the brand to be sold. He wants to keep it family and locally owned.
Highlights from Renner, co-owner:
- This was his first time in the Lowcountry, and he called it “awesome.” He has been learning a lot and wants to be embedded into this community.
- Sweet Grass Vodka feels like a family and mentioned his time is more valuable after his snowplow accident earlier in the year. He calls the spirit a shared experience and where he would like to spend his time.
- He said he sees a lot of pride in our community, and that Charleston is just big enough to be interesting and small enough where there is a great investment in the community.
Highlights from Swanger, CEO:
- Touched on how Sweet Grass Vodka differs from other vodkas as it is potato-based. Most big name vodka distillers have shifted to wheat, rye, and other grains.
- He shared that the spirit has a “piece of Charleston” — a single blade of local grass — in every bottle. The grass is purchased from Gullah Geechee artisans at the Market.
Sweet Grass Vodka consists of potatoes, water, and yeast and is bottled downtown Charleston. It is currently sold in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, and Tennessee stores and is available online nationwide.