For those of you who are over 21 and looking for something a little more “adult” to do while you are touring the Smokies, why not follow a local tradition and check out some of the fabulous local breweries, distilleries, and wineries to be found in the area. From a frosty glass mug of Windy Gap Wheat Beer to Moonshine Cherries and Blackberry wine, the local beverages truly showcase this area’s history of making alcoholic beverages. One thing to keep in mind as you go along on your tour, someone has to be the designated driver, or you might need a taxi. Consider these fantastic watering holes as part of your journey to taste the best of the best in the Gatlinburg area.
Start at the Sugarland Cellars Working Winery
For the wine connoisseur, the Sugarland Cellars Winery offers tours through this working winery complete with live music playing on the Spirit Stage, a stop in the gift shop for a few souvenirs, and then on to the tasting room. All of the wines made here are crafted from local grapes grown in the shadow of the Smokies by families who have been producing these incredible grapes for many generations. Don’t forget to take a bottle or two of their delicious wine home with you.
Time for a Microbrew at the Smoky Mountain Brewery
This area of Tennessee may have earned a reputation for making moonshine, but in recent years the number of microbrews made locally might surprise you. When you drop in for a visit at the Smoky Mountain Brewery, you can order any one of several local microbrews to sample, or better yet, order a “flight,” and your server will bring you a sample of four different local beers. They also offer pizza, burgers, and more for when you need a little food to absorb the beer.
Sample Genuine Tennessee Moonshine at the Sugarlands Distilling Company
You can’t vacation in Tennessee without sampling the alcoholic beverage that helped to make the area famous. Of course, we are talking about moonshine, and if you want to sample some the best in the area, you need to stop in at the Sugarlands Distilling Company and taste their unique flavors. One of the most popular is the apple pie flavor, made using caramel and Granny Smith apples. While you are sampling the many flavors, take a moment to listen to stories about the Appalachians, take the tour, check out the live music and stock up on your favorite flavors.
The First Licensed Distillery in East Tennessee – The Ole Smoky Distillery
The Ole Smoky Distillery enjoys the distinction of being the first distillery making moonshine in East Tennessee to receive a federal license allowing them to produce their own moonshine and sell it to the public. It’s also come a long way from the days of “running shine” in a 1940 Ford with a flathead V8 and a trunk load of “white lightning” while trying not to get pulled over by the “man.” Today, the distillery produces a selection of superb moonshine in assorted flavors for you to sample. Take the tour, try the moonshine infused foods, and take a look back at where NASCAR got its start.
Come to East Tennessee for the fun, the family-friendly atmosphere, and the many things to do in the Gatlinburg area, but whatever else you do, make sure you leave plenty of time to tour the local breweries, distilleries, and wineries along the way.
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