Our Beginnings  


Top of The Hill, better known as TOPO, has become the social crossroads of Chapel Hill. Beginning in 1994 former army officer and then law student Scott Maitland birthed the idea of Top of the Hill restaurant and brewery in order to save Chapel Hill's beloved downtown from being dominated by chain restaurants. Opening in 1996 Maitland brought in an excellent team that through hard work and time would make TOPO a Chapel Hill landmark.

TOPO became the 5th oldest micro brewery in North Carolina and the only micro brewery to bottle in cans. From there it spun off into needing another packaging brewery sight but inspiration hit Maitland to instead open a distillery. 

The Distillery 

 TOPO Organic Spirits Distillery is the first and only fully local and USDA certified organic distillery in the deep South. Our commitment to organic and locally sourced spirits began years prior to the distillery's opening. Maitland was approached by Ernest Wilson, a farmer in Scotland Neck, North Carolina who wanted us to use his 100% organic soft red winter wheat in our award-winning wheat beers. However, Maitland turned this idea into something even better -  craft organic spritis. To ensure the organic wheat continued to be farmed by Wilson, Maitland began purchasing the wheat 4 years prior to the distilleries opening. In 2012 the ribbon was finally cut and the spirits began to flow. 


*To learn more about TOPO's beginnings and the distillery take a look at our video page