Meet the People
Behind Hilton Head Distillery
Joe Fenten is the Founder and President of Hilton Head Distillery. He graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and eventually left engineering to pursue his passion for craft spirits. He’s spent the past decade designing and building distilleries and developing spirits brands.
Today, when he’s not cranking out a strategic battle plan or rallying the team, he loves spending time with his family, traveling to new places, pumping iron, and throwing down on ethnic food.
Most likely musical genre to be playing in your car or earbuds?
“EDM for sure”
Matt Manning is the Director of Operations at Hilton Head Distillery. He comes to us from Greenville, SC, where he spent the last 2 years working with Dark Corner Distillery, handling all aspects of Operations, from retail and tasting room management to product development.
Matt takes much interest in craft cocktails, good food, and the food and beverage industry as a whole. He’s also an avid traveler excited about the beautiful weather and amazing places to visit in and around South Carolina.
What’s your dream job?
“Beerguy at the stadium”
Kate Goodall is the Guest Experience Lead at Hilton Head Distillery. Originally from Texas, Kate graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management. She has lived on Hilton Head Island, for the last six years, supervising front desk operations at various resorts. She has a passion for the hospitality and tourism industry which is undeniable. She has stories to tell, and she loves helping guests create their own.
Kate is passionate about traveling, cooking, photography, and spending time with friends and family. In her spare time, she loves to take photos and edit them and sometimes she’ll randomly burst out in song (though that’s mostly when people can’t hear her). Kate likes to take on new challenges because nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.
What’s your favorite movie?
“Hands down, Top Gun”
We are pleased to introduce Whitney Meriwether, our new Head Distiller & Production Manager. Whitney is new to Hilton Head, just moving from Seattle where he spent 10+ years on the west coast working with multiple craft distilleries, handling all aspects of spirits production, from small-batch craft rums to planning long-term aged whiskey investments.
Whitney takes much interest in craft cocktails, good food, and the food & beverage industry as a whole. He’s also an avid fisherman and can’t wait to see what the Atlantic Ocean and waterways of South Carolina have to offer.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
“I always said I wanted to be a mad scientist…I got so many eye rolls.”
Jesse Moody is the Assistant Distiller at Hilton Head Distillery. Born in Beaufort and raised in Hampton, South Carolina, Jesse is a native of the Lowcountry. After serving with the Marine’s most decorated infantry battalion 2/5 in Camp Pendleton, CA, Jesse graduated from USCB with a degree in Hospitality Management. He started with home-brewing, fell in love with the process, and wanted to broaden his horizons.
Jesse enjoys brewing, sports, and new adventures with his family—a son, Jonah (4), and his wife Ashley who he has been with for 11 years. Jesse’s dream is to one day open his own food and beverage location, with his own alcohol and brand.
What’s your superpower?
“I can shoot the hair off the back of a flea that’s biting a tick’s ass…and neither will know what happened.”