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.