Sugarlands Distilling Company At Gatlinburg Celebrates Grand Opening In Style

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - by Tyra Haag

Sugarlands Distilling Company celebrated its grand opening with thousands of patrons sipping the distillery’s shine, as well as meeting moonshine legend Jim Tom Hedrick.

A truly unique distillery to come to Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Distilling Company officially opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony, including attendance from local and state government officials, members of the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, and Tennessee Department of Tourism. 

After the ribbon cutting, the public was invited to taste the distillery’s seven varieties of moonshine; peruse the company’s retail store; enjoy musical performances from The Underhills, Daniel Fluitt of Thrift Store Cowboys, Cory Branan, and If Birds Could Fly on its back porch stage; hear storytelling by members of the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association; listen to musings from Appalachian Hippie poet Bill Alexander; and of course meet master moonshiner Jim Tom Hedrick.

“We were thrilled at the turnout and are very encouraged by the response we received to our product,” said Brent Thompson, director of strategy for Sugarlands Distilling Company. “It was great to see so many people in our store enjoying music, storytelling and authentic moonshine we have created. We’re excited for the future and are glad to be a part of the Gatlinburg community.” 

Sugarlands Distilling Company’s partner, Smoky Mountain Guides, was on site as well answering questions about their many offerings, including “Moonshining in the Mountains” motor tours, half day hikes, a backcountry trek and dine, and overnight camping.  These offerings and more can be booked directly at the Expedition Desk within the distillery. The guides will also facilitate fresh-air fun activities like hiking, biking, camping, horse rides, fishing trips, and sightseeing, making a visit to the distillery a memorable experience for all ages, families, friends and work retreats.

Sugarlands Distilling Company currently offers seven flavors of moonshine including its "Legends Series"- a line of shine featuring the storied recipes of some of Southern Appalachia's most notable moonshiners. The first in the series – Jim Tom Hedrick’s Unaged Rye – is currently available and comes from TV personality and legendary moonshiner, Jim Tom Hedrick. In the near future, the distillery will be announcing yet another moonshine legend being added to the Legends Series.  

Over 5,000 visitors attending during the three day period, with over 500 still house tours.

Tiny Baby Chameleons Hatch At The Tennessee Aquarium Just In Time To Celebrate Reptile Awareness Day

Small in size, but big on cute, four baby Panther Chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) recently hatched at the Tennessee Aquarium from eggs laid in January of this year. After hatching, the babies measured in at around two inches long and are now growing quickly under the care provided by Tennessee Aquarium herpetologists.   The daily routine for these tiny reptiles includes ... (click for more)

Tennessee Aquarium’s Family-Friendly AquaScarium IX Is Oct. 28

The Tennessee Aquarium’s annual family-friendly Halloween party, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, will take on a “monstrous” theme in honor of the newly opened Monster Fish exhibit. Both Aquarium buildings and River Place (The building where Monster Fish is located.) will be packed with spooky — but not too spooky — fun for “bouys” and “ghouls” during this year’s celebration.  ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

PETA And Humane Educational Society Offer Reward For Torture-Killing Of Dog After Envelope Mailed From Chattanooga

An envelope postmarked from Chattanooga and containing a photo of a dog strung between two trees arrived at PETA's office in Virginia Tuesday, along with the severed ear of a dog. PETA members are offering a reward of $5,000-and the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga has added another $1,000-for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Right To Bear Arms’

As the worldwide debut of the much-anticipated “Hacksaw Ridge” is set for next weekend, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun fanatics to decry “a war movie.” Mel Gibson, the director of the film that focuses on a conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear a weapon but saved an estimated 75 lives, was asked about America’s gun problem as he toured to promote the film. ... (click for more)