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Bring it on! Law change will bring new era for Tennessee whiskey

on 25/04/11 at 11:11 am


For the first time since before Prohibition, whiskey is legally being made here.

But you can’t tour the micro-distillery where the artisan spirits are brewed or have a sip in its tasting room just yet.

Corsair Artisan Distillery, the city’s first small-batch craft distillery, is waiting on a last piece of permitting so it can hold tours and tastings and sell bottles of its potions on site.

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 two distilleries to set up shop in the state. The other is moonshine-making Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

But distillers say this small start is the beginning of a growing movement in the state 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.

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