Archive for November, 2010

Plowing begins on first distillery corn crops

November 19th, 2010 5 comments

whiskey dirt
Billy Kaufman holds dirt John Whittemore plowed for the distillery.

This isn’t exactly what corporate America would call an official ground breaking, but in its own special way that’s exactly what it is.

Local farmer John Whittemore started early Friday morning plowing the rich farm land where Short Mountain Distillery’s first organic corn crops will be planted this coming Spring.

The spot is roughly 4 acres on the future home of the distillery, nestled in the rolling hills of Short Mountain in Cannon County. The distillery will need well over 100 tons of corn a year to make our fine Tennessee whiskey and moonshine, and we intend to get every bit of it from Cannon County and surrounding Tennessee farms.

We know we won’t get all of our corn organic at first. Over time, we want to help farmers we work with adopt more sustainable practices and help preserve our agricultural heritage for generations to come.

We also know the yield might not be as good as the corn Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel have shipped in from other states, but we also know what we’re producing is something we’re all producing together.

That’s what makes this unofficial ground breaking so special when you think about it, because this is where it all begins. This is the start of something real and something wholeheartedly Tennessee.

Our needs create jobs

November 18th, 2010 No comments

jobcreator300I got a call yesterday from a guy in North Carolina who makes a very cool 750 ml glass jug bottle. His pitch was simple. It would make a great container for Tennessee moonshine, and best of all, it’s made in America.

Ever since voters in every precinct of Cannon County voted Nov. 2 to allow us to build Short Mountain Distillery, the calls and emails have provided some perspective on the character of America in a time of great need.

You can hear the eagerness in America’s voice. It’s not defeated. It’s not the voice of fear you hear on cable news. It’s the sound of America doing what we do best: work.

It comes in calls from small businesses who will make the bottles, labels, boxes and barrels, and emails with resumes expressing big hopes to be one of the folks we’ll need to build and produce a locally owned American brand of whiskey.

Countless hands will work to build some part of Short Mountain Distillery. Some may not realize it as they become busy filling our orders, making lunch for a tourist, or passing by acres of local corn we’ll need. Still more will never see our impact in the lives and economy of our community and our great state. But it’s there.

Our needs create jobs: employees, architect, farmers, builder, concrete, steel, consultants, attorney, accountant, boiler, forklift, box truck, fermenters, dry wall, pot still, bottles, bottling machine, labels, paint, barrels, racks, computers, point of sale systems, boxes, grain, air compressors, signage, kitchen sinks, security systems, water, power, prep tables, insurance, phones, landscaping, office furniture, merchandise, advertising, and much more.

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Cannon County votes “YES” on distillery referendum

November 2nd, 2010 3 comments

We want to thank each and every one of you who came out and supported our effort and the future of our great county! We had a small group of voters hanging out at the Scoreboard on the square listening to the precinct results trickle in.

Here is a press release that went out tonight regarding your vote to move our county forward. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more updates coming soon.

(WOODBURY, TN) – Voters in Cannon County gave the green light Tuesday (1962 to 1667) to a proposed distillery on Short Mountain near Woodbury. Backers are now looking to deliver for the community and state.

“I am humbled by the support of my neighbors and my community,” said Short Mountain farmer Billy Kaufman. “Their support and confidence means so much to all of us, and we’ve got a lot of work to do now to build an American brand we all can be proud of.”

Backers placed the referendum on the ballot after the state legislature passed a law allowing legal distilleries across the state of Tennessee. Lawmakers put in place a referendum process for counties that do not already allow liquor by the drink or package stores.

Short Mountain Distillery will produce Tennessee Corn Whiskey and moonshine. The group hopes to put up a “Future Home Of” sign soon.

Cannon County has a rich agricultural heritage that also produced what some say was the best distilled spirits in the country before and during prohibition. Moonshine from the hills of Cannon County is specifically celebrated in old time country music songs once sung at the Grand Ole Opry by Uncle Dave Macon, Porter Wagoner and others. In the mid 1800s, Cannon County alone had more than 18 operating distilleries. Tennessee is well known around the world for Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel aged whiskeys.

Short Mountain Distillery will bring tourism, jobs and needed county revenue while honoring the community’s history and character.

“We want to work directly with local farmers and businesses as we grow,” Kaufman said. “We want to share our local history with the world, and we want tourism to bring new opportunities for local businesses.”

Kaufman is the great-grand child of Jesse Shwayder, the founder of another well-known American brand Samsonite 100 years ago in 1910. Their grandfather, Louis Degan, ran Samsonite’s Murfreesboro, TN location for decades employing many Middle Tennesseans.

Short Mountain Distillery will be a small-batch craft distiller located on a 300 acre farm on Short Mountain.

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