Press Releases

There’s Moonshine In The Smokies

There’s Moonshine In The Smokies feature image

Tennessee Moonshine is now available legally for the first time at the Ole Smoky Distillery in downtown Gatlinburg. The distillery located in Ole Smoky Holler offers free tours, free samples of moonshine to adults over 21 and moonshine for sale.

Ole Smoky Distillery offers a number of moonshine products: original unaged corn whiskey moonshine, apple pie moonshine, moonshine cherries, sweet tea moonshine and peach moonshine. The Ole Smoky recipes are the product of the hard work and experience of local families who have made moonshine in the mountains for over a century. Dave Pickerell, who served as the Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark for more than 15 years, assisted with the refinement of the recipes in order to ensure a superior mountain - made moonshine.

A highlight of the facility is the authentic working moonshine still where visitors will learn the science of the distilling process, as well as the history and lore of moonshining in East Tennessee. Ole Smoky is the only distillery in the state dedicated to moonshine products. Proprietors Joe Baker, Tony Breeden and Cory Cottongim place a particular emphasis on celebrating their mountain heritage as well as the historical significance of the moonshine craft in sustaining families during hard economic times of the early 20th century.

“Moonshine played an integral role in the daily lives of families in this region,” said Baker. “Too often, people rely on the stereotype of a backwards old man making a cheap, dangerous product. In truth, a lot of good people made and sold moonshine in order to feed and clothe their families. Without moonshine, many mountain families would not have survived.”

Ole Smoky Distillery is the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee, and is currently one of only a handful of distilleries operating in the state. Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel received their licenses before Prohibition, and Prichards Rum opened their Tennessee facility in 1999.

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