The state of Tennessee is known for many good things. The Grand Ole Opry and country music, Bluegrass music, barbecue and “hot chicken,” good old Davy Crockett (born in East Tennessee), Goo Goo Cluster candy, moon pies, and the stunning rolling hills and Smoky Mountains are part of Tennessee, as well. Mention the words whiskey, bourbon and moonshine, and most people know these belong to Tennessee, also.
That means that anyone who is paying a visit has to take a sip or two, or three, of some of the region’s finest spirits. And if you are headed to Blount County, we suggest a visit to any of the following distilleries to warm you up from the inside! Most do taste-testing and some even have food pairings or full-blown restaurants attached – so go ahead and enjoy a few samples, eat a nice meal and take a few bottles home for holiday gifts or to get you through until your next visit to Tennessee!
The Must-See Distilleries on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies
Cades Cove Cellars is a winery and not a distillery, but definitely a must-see if you are eager to sample all kinds of spirits in the region. Located at 7126 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy in Townsend, it began producing within the past decade but has already earned a reputation for quality options. There are many regular events occurring on the grounds and they offer both Tennessee-made wine and wines from other locations.
Round 6 Brewing is a brewery, tap room and beer garden located at 427 Whitecrest Drive in Maryville, TN. Though they don’t brew up whiskey or moonshine, they do have a proven record of making some of the tastiest beers throughout the region. They are dedicated to the process of authentic craft beers and offer both tap and canned beers to sample and purchase on the premises.
Smoky Mountain Brewery is also all about the beer, but it is a great spot to spend a few hours enjoying the delicious craft brews, unique cocktails made with local whiskeys, and tasty dishes that are the perfect accompaniment. When you are in Blount County, you’ll want to stop by the Maryville location, situated at 743 Watkins Road in Maryville, TN.
Blount County is emerging as more than just a beer and wine drinker’s destination though, and you can see that in such events like the annual Grains & Grits Festival that focuses on Southern spirits and gourmet foods. Occurring in November, it attracts some of the state’s most famous names in whiskey and tasty food specialties.
If you are in the area of Blount County, you can pay a visit to some of the region’s other beverage experts, including a few of the distilleries below.
Other Distilleries in the Smokies
Old Forge Distillery is located at 170 Old Mill Ave in Pigeon Forge and is famous for its small batch spirits that include moonshine, bourbon and vodka. It takes its name from the town’s historic iron forges and is even located next to an old forge and mill. This brand is made with grains ground by the producer and it has won many awards for its signature 1830 Original Moonshine.
The Sugarlands Distilling Co is located along 805 Pkwy in Gatlinburg and is known for its whiskey, moonshine and other spirits. Opened only in 2014, it promises to offer “a story in every jar” and includes a surprising number of award-winning concoctions. From a peppermint moonshine to seasonal specialties, it offers tastings of the latest offerings.
Ole Smoky Holler rates as the most frequently visited distillery in the nation, and is home to the Ole Smoky brand with locations like the Ole Smoky Moonshine Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge and the Barrelhouse in Gatlinburg. A $5 sample fee lets you enjoy a few varieties and there is usually music to entertain.
Don’t forget to try the other famous stops, like Doc Collier Moonshine, too. Each stop has something unique and you’ll learn a lot about the history of Tennessee when you visit any one of these establishments to warm up and savor unique beverages.
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