Archive for March, 2011

Mule Day, a 170 year old Tennessee tradition

March 29th, 2011 1 comment

Tennessee Crossroads takes you to an annual tradition that honors our agricultural heritage.

Ever since the 1840s, Columbia, TN has played host to an annual gathering of mule breeders. Once called “Breeder’s Day,” the annual Mule Day Parade is now attended by over 200,000 people from around the world.

This year’s Mule Day is March 31 – April 3 in Columbia. There’s square dancing, crafts, a mule-driving contest as well as “working mule”, “best of breed”, and even lumberjack competitions. You might even see a few of the guys who will soon plow and disc our first organic corn crops.

Dixie LongearsWatch the video above from Tennessee Crossroads and learn about the role mules once played in shipping goods throughout our communities.

If you plan on attending this year, be sure to pick you up a copy of Dixie Longears. Short Mountain Distillery is a proud sponsor (see our center spread) of this inaugural magazine for mule enthusiasts across the country.

As you might have guessed, we like mules.

Moonshine legacy rises in Cannon County

March 25th, 2011 No comments

Pick up the latest Smithville Review to see a short front page article on our progress. It seems like every time the press pays us a visit, they manage to squeeze just a little more out of us.

On the subject of recipes and processes, some of those may be gleaned from the years of practical experience to be found hiding in the surrounding hills.

“One of the things we haven’t talked about too much yet is that we know some local people who know how to make moonshine,” Grantham revealed. “We are talking to some of them about learning some of their processes. We hope to find a good recipe that we can introduce as a legends kind of thing, and use that to connect the old way of doing things with the new.”

A look at our first still

March 23rd, 2011 No comments

The guys at Vendome Copper & Brass Works in Louisville, KY are busy manufacturing our first still. Vendome is a 100 year old, family business going on four generations. They’ve proudly made many of the stills you see at other distilleries here in Tennessee and around the world.

Our first still is a small 30 gallon still we’ll use to perfect recipes and processes, train folks and use in workshops and demonstrations in Stillhouse #1. Its official federal government serial number is TTB #1220!

A mule-powered Spring planting on the mountain

March 21st, 2011 No comments

About every weekend in April, a few local mule teams from the Middle Tennessee Muleskinners Association will give us a hand discing and planting 7 acres of organic corn on the farm.

The Farmer’s Almanac said moon phases favor May 3 – May 10 for planting corn in Woodbury, TN. Some tell us to wait until the the oak leaf buds are as big as a squirrel’s ears, but after this weekend we can’t stand to wait any longer.

Nature has its way of telling you when it’s right. It’s an old fashioned way of doing things up on the mountain, but it gets the job done.

Our t-shirts are here! Celebrate Spring Planting 2011 with a t-shirt from our online General Store, or email John Whittemore (if you can’t catch him in town) or call him 615-971-4925.

These shirts are made in the USA and screen printed in Murfreesboro, TN. They commemorate this year’s Spring planting of our first organic corn with some very special help from our friends and neighbors at the Middle Tennessee Muleskinners Association.

Moonshine rising: America’s drink

America has always made whiskey and moonshine. One of the first taxes levied against American businesses to help pay for a nation at war and in debt was the Whiskey Tax.

We love our freedom, and we’ll fight tooth and nail to defend it. We also love to drink more than any other nation in the world, a fact our founding fathers did not ignore as they looked for ways to put our nation on solid footing.

In a recent interview with the Cumberland Business Journal, Short Mountain Distillery CEO Billy Kaufman said it’s time we start “drinking American.”

“Americans should be drinking moonshine, not vodka,” says Kaufman.

Kaufman said if distilled correctly (resulting in 80 to 100 proof), moonshine is fairly neutral tasting, meaning it can be mixed in a variety of combinations. That, he said, is the same premise of vodka, which is the top selling liquor in America.

“People aren’t drinking vodka because it tastes good,” he said.

Kaufman firmly believes that having a toast or celebrating an occasion with spirits is the American way and part of the American culture. To that end, he thinks Americans should be “drinking American.”

Construction begins on stillhouse #1

stillhouse #1 stillhouse #1

We’ve got an awesome local crew working on this 1,900 square feet building that will soon become the distillery’s stillhouse #1.

This stillhouse will allow us to test formulas and processes, train people, host meetings and workshops and serve as transition space for the main facility. Stillhouse #1 should be complete in April. Right about when it’s as uncomfortable as it can get to cook a batch of moonshine should be about when we’re ready.

Sometime before the stillhouse is built it’s planting time on Short Mountain. It takes a farmer’s instinct to know just the right time to plant and good old American muscle to get it done. We’re 19 days away from Spring, and there’s about 7 acres of organic corn we’ve got to get planted if we’re going to cook it this year.  Wait until you see the mule team we’re fueling up to plant our corn.