Whiskey Flowing from Legalized TN Stills

Whiskey is being legally made in Nashville for the first time since Prohibition, reports Bonna Johnson in a followup on what’s happened since small liquor distilleries were legalized by the Legislature in 2009.
Nearly two years after a state law overturned Prohibition-era restrictions on the manufacture of distilled spirits and eased the way for liquor manufacturing, Corsair is one of only two distilleries to set up shop in the state. The other is moonshine-making Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg.
But local distillers say this small start is the beginning of a growing movement for Tennessee to reclaim its whiskey-making heritage as the artisan distillery industry is flourishing in far-flung places such as San Francisco, Denver, Oregon, Michigan and New York.
They envision, in less than 10 years, whiskey enthusiasts flocking to Tennessee’s micro-distilleries just as wine lovers visit the Napa wine country in California.
“Being in Tennessee gives you instant cachet,” said Darek Bell, 37, owner and distiller at Corsair. He is also vice president and partner at Bell and Associates Construction. “When people think of Kentucky and Tennessee, they think of quality whiskey,” he said.

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