Archive for the ‘press’ Category

Half Hill Farm featured in Murfreesboro Magazine

Half Hill Farm - Murfreesboro Magazine

Despite the pouring rain, we had a great time showing our USDA Certified Organic farm (Half Hill Farm) in Woodbury, TN to Allison Belt and photographer Rachel Tenpenny. They were here for a May 2014 feature in Murfreesboro Magazine on organic farms in Middle Tennessee.

We currently have Shiitake, Reishi and Turkey Tail mushroom logs available for online order, or call for pick up at either our farm or the Farmers’ Market in Woodbury.


Short Mountain Distillery brings regional tourism to Cannon County

August 30th, 2012 No comments

Billy Kaufman knew he had something more than just another moonshine to share with the world. The three moonshiners he knew before seeking the public’s support to build the distillery in 2010 had a story to share that was unique to the South and Tennessee in particular. And more than that, it’s the story of survival in hard times. It’s Cannon County’s story.

Open for just a few months, Short Mountain Distillery has logged more than 5,000 visitors who come to experience our unique whiskey making history and heritage. They come from Woodbury and surrounding counties as well as visitors from several states, all taking home a craving for the moonshine that reconnects them with the artisan and craft spirit of America.

Here is an excerpt from an article by Dan Whittle after his recent visit to get a “snort on Short.”

Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick echoes the optimism of “new revenue” being triggered by Short Mountain Distillery’s presence: “Woodbury and Cannon County have long been known for our crafts’ men and women, particularly for our unique basket weaving traditions. Now, the Short Mountain Distillery brings another longtime Cannon tradition to light, the making of moonshine, but now, it’s legal.”

“A spinoff benefit of the Mountain’s increased tourism, which brings clean dollars that require no increase in school rooms, roads or taxes,” the mayor added. “We’re beginning to see more bus tours and family tours coming specifically to historic Cannon County and Woodbury… ranging from our picturesque Public Square to the majesty of Short Mountain.”

Moonshine heritage of Cannon County Tennessee

Making moonshine is still illegal without the proper licenses and nod to the revenuers, but scenes like this are certainly more rare than they used to be.

That’s Pharis Macon Conley on the left kneeling behind several gallons of confiscated moonshine with a fellow Cannon County deputy. Conley severed three terms as Sheriff of Cannon County from 1948-1954 and saw his share of moonshine busts.

Fast-foward … (Moonshine: The Next Generation, Short Mountain Distillery Creating Legal Beverage):

The corn liquor it produces is not just any moonshine, but the moonshine your grandparents may have drunk. This is because Short Mountain employs three of the best moonshiners this area has to offer: Ricky Estes, Jimmy Simpson and Ronald Lawson. The three of them have given up their days of illegal wildcatting. Judging by the smile on Lawson’s face (who was on the property the day of our visit), it seems to be working out well for them. Along with head distiller Josh Smotherman, they make a quality product that meets all legal requirements. Now that’s a brand new angle; the revenuers like the moonshiners.

… to today (Moonshine Monday: Short Mountain Distillery)

Kaufman says, “When we opened, we already had 150 years of distilling experience thanks to these three guys.” Where Smotherman has access to all the technology that he needs for large-batch production, the moonshiners track the progress of the steam through the pipes as the alcohol boils off and then condenses by feeling the temperature of the copper pipes, listening to the hiss of the vortex in the pot still and watching the bubbles in the Carlo Rossi jugs they use to trap their lovely corn likker as it drips out of the outlet of the still.

Review: Reviving traditional Tennessee distilling ‘brilliantly’

April 3rd, 2012 1 comment

Check out the very nice review of Short Mountain Distillery by Chuck Rainey in the April edition of Nashville Lifestyles: Let It Shine – Short Mountain Distillery revives traditional Tennessee distilling brilliantly.

Since opening March 23, the Still House Store has sold out of our authentic Tennessee Moonshine every day, and we’re working hard to keep up while also fulfilling orders to place the product in stores across the state of Tennessee this Spring. Visitors probably won’t see much of the steady pace of the Still House against the backdrop of slow farm life, but you can sure taste the results when the two come together.

Long before you arrive on site, the fresh air and gorgeous scenery begin to take hold and cast away the cares of daily drudgery, taking you back to a simpler time. Genuine handshakes, friendly smiles and a piece of Tennessee tradition await you at Short Mountain Distillery. Picnic tables are scattered about the property in welcoming fashion. Bring a lunch, some cards, a checker board and stay awhile. You are welcome.

What is moonshine?

Take a sneak peek at an upcoming in-depth article on Short Mountain Distillery CEO Billy Kaufman’s push to make Tennessee moonshine America’s drink. The Modern Moonshine Trailer (Barcode Magazine August 2011 Issue) from Barcode Magazine on Vimeo.

A Tennessee tradition of whiskey making rises and shines

Check out this nice article by Jennifer Folsom in the latest Watertown Gazette on our effort to resurrect an age-old Tennessee tradition of moonshine and whiskey making on Short Mountain. Awesome photos by Jessica Atnip. Here is an excerpt.

“While we were collecting signatures for the referendum, the people we talked with were very supportive,” says Kaufman, noting that once people in his community realize what his goals are, they are ready to support him and the distillery.

“People want their way of life honored. We did some digging and discovered that in Cannon County before prohibition there were 18 legal distilleries. The people of this area were flourishing at that time and grew orchards, corn and sorghum to support the industry. It was a time when farming made sense.”

Kaufman, great-grandson of Jesse Shwayder, founder of Samsonite Luggage, doesn’t just ask for support from his community – he first gives it. The distillery was founded with his great-grandfather’s tradition of letting the Golden Rule guide him, on hand and in heart.

“I knew I needed to create an industry which would include agriculture, this area’s rural heritage and would encourage people getting together and working together,” says Kaufman of the distillery’s principle of mutual respect. Kaufman wants to “turn the clock back 100 years” and return to a farming model which creates value-added products and not only supports itself but the community as well. He plans to source agricultural products from within 30 miles of the distillery and bring jobs and needed revenue to his community.

This spring Little Short Mountain Farm and a team of neighbors and volunteers planted seven acres of corn. They used five teams of mules from the Middle Tennessee Mule Skinners Association. (See for a video of the planting.)

“Everyone who has been employed here since the start has lived within 15 miles,” says Grantham. “We are trusting our neighbors and involving our community, and so they want to be a part this. We want every part of this distillery to reflect this community.”

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.”

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.”

Bringing history full circle

December 31st, 2010 No comments

Billy and JohnBe sure to pick up the January / February edition of Wilson Living Magazine, and check out this wonderful story written by Chris Tramel who recently paid us a visit on the farm.

Here’s an excerpt from the article online:

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.

Jim Massey looks beyond the November referendum

October 6th, 2010 No comments

Short Mountain Distillery consultant Jim Massey speaks with the Cannon Courier on the road ahead for Short Mountain Distillery.

Massey does an excellent job addressing Short Mountain Distillery’s responsibility to the community through strict adherence to local, state and federal regulations. Below is an excerpt from the story.

The sale of liquor is not legal in Cannon County. How can Cannon County residents be assured that none of the distilled spirits will be sold locally via an underground market?

Non-compliance with the TTB rules and laws as well as the State rules and laws would result in the loss of the distiller’s license and under your scenario, both Federal and State criminal prosecution.  It would be absolutely ridiculous to risk the investment it takes to open a distillery by selling illegally.

Increased crime is a concern expressed by some opponents of the operation. What is your response to those concerns? Have you conducted any studies to determine whether crime increases in counties or communities where liquor is distilled?

I have not done any formal studies on increased crime, however, I cannot imagine that gainful artisan and agricultural jobs add to crime.  The Federal and State requirements of secure storage should deter any type of vandalism as well as the owners need to protect their valuable resources and work product.

How will the finished product be transported to market? Will there be security measures in place during transport?

Product would be shipped just as it is in Lynchburg, by secure trucks to licensed wholesalers.

How will the product be marketed and sold?

The Government requires all beverage alcohol sales to go through a 3 tier system: Manufacturer (distiller) – Wholesaler – Retailer.  Taxes are collected at each level.  SMD will be required to sell only to a licensed Wholesaler in Tennessee.  The Distillery can then buy back from the wholesaler it’s own commemorative bottles in 750 ml to have for limited sale on premises (for off premises consumption only, meaning all local laws would apply to prohibit public consumption, again, just like Lynchburg).

Some opponents are concerned a distillery will tarnish the county’s image. What is your response to those concerns, and in what way, if any, will you address them?

Distilling spirits is a time honored craft.  Our Country’s first President, George Washington, was the new nation’s largest distiller at one point.  Every signer of our Declaration of Independence participated in some form or fashion in the art of distilling.  Distilling is an agricultural process and provides our area farmers a unique opportunity to earn good money from honest work.