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Yay! Tennessee: New law allows about 40 more counties to have whiskey distilleries

on 01/01/11 at 12:55 pm


Nelson's Whiskey Distillery Greenbrier, Tn. Photo: Doyle McClung

Whiskey is to Tennessee as cheese is to Wisconsin and potatoes to Idaho. Or maybe more like bourbon is to Kentucky.

But until recently there were only three distilleries allowed by law to manufacture whiskey in the state. That’s because there were only three counties out of all 95 allowed to produce distilled spirits: Moore, Coffee and Lincoln counties. Those are where distillers Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel and Prichards’ Rum, respectively, operate.

Under a law passed last year by the Legislature, about 40 more counties, including Nashville’s Davidson, now are eligible locations for distilleries.

Manufacturers are allowed to begin production in any county where both retail package sales of liquor and liquor-by-the-drink sales already have been locally approved.

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