Kaufman says Short Mountain Distillery is a chance to bring history full circle. “This is part of the culture of the area. We can take what my great-grandfather did in getting started in this area, and now use it to keep people in this area.”
According to Kaufman it will be at least a year before even a drop of whiskey is produced, but with a building only in the planning stages, the first fields have been plowed for next year’s corn crop. “We’re going to make aged whiskey, and that will take a while. To start out we’ll probably employ less than a dozen people directly, but we hope to see it grow into something bigger.”
However, Kaufman says his company will also have a commitment to the community by growing organically and using local resources as part of their operation. That commitment will mean more jobs not directly related to the distillery.
“We’ll only be buying local corn. It’s all going to be coming out of this area. We don’t want to put a single thing in our whiskey that’s not local. I feel more strongly about buying local than growing organically.
Here’s a Tennessee twist to an old Champagne cocktail that puts a little kick in your New Year’s celebration. We call it the Cannon Shiner. It’s based on a nearly 100 year old recipe for the French 75, named for the powerful kick of the French 75mm howitzer gun.
We’ve replaced the gin in this old recipe with a splash of moonshine that adds a Southern kick to any New Year’s toast.
Your choices of retail moonshine might be very limited, but that will change soon enough. If your local retailer doesn’t have moonshine, be sure to ask when they will, and keep searching. Once you have your ingredients, it’s time to pop the cork and get your shine on with good friends!
2 oz. moonshine
1 oz. squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. of simple syrup (or a tbsp. of sugar)
Pour the syrup, moonshine and lemon juice in a shaker with enough ice for a drink. Shake for a few seconds and strain into a highball glass. Fill the rest with Champagne, and garnish with a lemon, cherry or orange peel.
From all of us on Short Mountain in Cannon County, Tennessee, have a safe and happy New Year!
Fermentation expert and Cannon County resident Sandor Katz has been working on the farm for some time introducing the use of organic composts and compost teas to our agricultural processes. It’s one of the many sustainable agricultural values future visitors will experience at Short Mountain Distillery.
Sandor was recently featured in the November 22 edition of The New Yorker magazine for his work advancing a live-culture food revolution. As the article notes, Sandor’s two books – “Wild Fermentation” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved” are must reads for a new generation of underground food activists.
We are very fortunate to have Sandor working with us as we begin integrating centuries old distilling practices with the 300 acre farm.
IT’S ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY: Last week, Sandor whipped up a big brew of compost tea that Billy and John sprayed on the newly plowed organic corn field. The practice will be repeated regularly and replace an unsustainable and costly practice of applying chemical fertilizer to the farm environment.
The processes Sandor is putting in place now will eventually transform some of Short Mountain Distillery’s grain product into an environmentally safe fertilizer. The process is amazing to watch and demonstrates a genuine bottom-up level of care for the life of the farm and quality of spirits we will produce.
Besides whiskey and moonshine, the process of distillation creates a usable grain product that is perfect for farm life. The grain mash from the distillery can be consumed by farm animals as well as crops. The distillery will produce tons of grain product annually.
HOW IT’S DONE: To get the grain into a consumable product for crops, the grain will first be fed to livestock whose manure will be composted with other organic material.
Next, the manure and other organic materials and allowed to compost. This process requires turning the pile so the composting kills pathogens but not overheat and kill the microbes.
Once the compost process is complete, a portion then goes into a large “tea bag” and is left to aerate in a large cistern of water while the rest is used as a soil amendment. The resulting frothy tea, teaming with cultivated microbes, are sprayed onto the field where they continue digesting organic matter into usable nutrition for crops.
(Woodbury, TN) — Short Mountain Distillery is pleased to announce securing $1 million in capital investment for a planned spirits manufacturing facility in Cannon County near Woodbury, TN.
The financial commitment comes weeks after a local group gained the support of voters through a county wide referendum in November. Voters in every precinct voted to allow the distillery to be built and operated on Short Mountain.
“Today’s $1 million investment shows our commitment to the people of Cannon County and the state of Tennessee,” said local farmer Billy Kaufman. “We are now a big step closer to building an American brand we can all be proud of.”
The financial commitment to the distillery by Billy and his brother David Kaufman will help create jobs and promote sustainable agriculture and business practices that focus on work with local farmers and businesses.
“Our investment is not just in a building and a product,” said David Kaufman. “It is also an investment in quality, hard work and values that have always made our country strong.”
The Kaufmans are the great grandsons of Jesse Shwayder, the founder of iconic American brand Samsonite 100 years ago in 1910. Their grandfather, Louis Degen, brought Samsonite to Murfreesboro, TN where it employed many Middle Tennessee families for decades.
Short Mountain Distillery will produce Tennessee corn whiskey and moonshine in an area famous for distilled spirits for over 150 years. Moonshine from the hills of Cannon County was praised in song by Uncle Dave Macon on the Grand Ole Opry’s 1939 television debut and other stars of country music. Cannon County boasted close to 20 operating distilleries in the 1800s.
Follow our progress on Facebook.