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.