Posts Tagged ‘Cannon County’

Short Mountain Distillery: celebrating a year of success

March 23rd, 2013 2 comments

single bottle barrels

Today marks the one year anniversary of Short Mountain Distillery opening its doors to the public and three years since the hard work began to make this day possible.

It was an exciting three years serving an extraordinary team as Chief Operating Officer during this time. I could not have written the business plan or built a distillery around making moonshine without the help of Cannon County voters in 2010. Building a heritage brand image around local moonshine culture would have never been a reality beyond the law change without the commitment and support of Billy Kaufman and his brothers Ben and David.

I recently left the distillery in February to pursue a project I hope helps save the planet, but I thought it was important to take this opportunity to highlight some of the first year successes we achieved as a team. The captioned slideshow below really helps tell this story using hundreds of photos I took. Here’s to many more years of making our whiskey heritage shine to the world from Woodbury, Tennessee!

Short Mountain Distillery’s first year by the numbers:

  • we created several local jobs and saw over 15,000 visitors at the distillery in Cannon County
  • we launched two products: Short Mountain Shine and Short Mountain Apple Pie
  • we sold over 2,500 cases of moonshine now available in stores across the state of Tennessee
  • Short Mountain Shine (105 proof authentic Tennessee Moonshine) won the Gold Medal in the International Review of Spirits Award from the Beverage Testing Institute
  • we appeared in over 100 media pieces, including a three-part Discovery Channel mini-series How Booze Built America
  • we surpassed every industry consultant’s benchmark for success and helped ignite an American moonshine revival

Short Mountain Groundhog says expect an early Spring

February 2nd, 2013 No comments

That’s word from atop the highest point in Middle Tennessee as the Short Mountain Groundhog fails to see its shadow on a very snowy and overcast Groundhog Day morning.

This 40 year old groundhog belonged to our exterminator until his mamma scared his dog into traffic with it earlier this year. He couldn’t bear to look at it anymore, so he brought it to the Still House where it comes out once a year.

You can see it for yourself next time you visit. It loves posing in family pictures.

It doesn’t have a fancy name like its cousin “Punxsutawney Phil.” We just call it Groundhog and use “it” a lot because no one has bothered to check its 40 year old business.

We use it to figure out when to plant the corn. You might want to as well!

Farm hour: preventing herbicidal drift from utility right of ways

January 28th, 2013 2 comments

zona organicaI didn’t know what to expect working with local utilities to prevent drift from chemical management of right of ways onto our organic farm.

Each of our local utilities who need access to the front of the farm had never dealt with a request like this, but each one totally understood my goals and appreciated my willingness to help them manage right of ways without chemicals.

The key phrase there is “my willingness to help them.” That’s a commitment to some work on my part. Luckily the right of ways are down hill a good distance from the fields we are certifying as organic, but we’ll have to dedicate some weekend farm hours to clearing brush.

Some practical advice I got from Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative was to make sure bilingual signs were posted. I can send them 50 letters, but a sign is all the contracted crews managing vegetation will see.

We got this embossed aluminum 12×18 “Do Not Spray” sign online. If you are going through the process of becoming a USDA Certified Organic farm, your certifying agent can help you with draft letters to neighbors and local utilities.

Farm hour: soil organics

January 25th, 2013 No comments

the orchard
a view of the organic orchard on the farm in Woodbury, Tennessee (Cannon County)

Ken asked me a little suspiciously where I got the soil samples I had him test. He said he hasn’t seen soil that good anywhere around here, and the organic matter for the farm soil is off the charts. It was low in potassium and magnesium.

That was great to hear, but it makes me want to do another test to be sure. My best guess is that the sloped field may have gotten over a 100 years or more of heavy leaf matter from nearby oak, maple and hickory trees. The soil I submitted was blackish in color with dark gray clay. Ken said it looked like someone dumped river bottom soil from a Mid West cornfield.

Another thing he saw was over the top cation exchange capacity. Normally he sees a range of 6-15 for Cannon County farms. We had a 36. It’s a great place to start for some very happy organic apples and blueberries.

Farm hours:

  • completing application for USDA Organic Certification
  • setting up a temporary greenhouse
  • setting up a cistern on the barn
  • cleaning the barn
  • turning the strip crop sections in field 3 and sourcing organic clover and rye cover crops

Short Mountain Distillery receives gold medal for authentic Tennessee Moonshine

December 3rd, 2012 1 comment

(WOODBURY, TN) — Short Mountain Distillery may be less than a year old, but its moonshine recipe has made Cannon County famous for generations. Now, moonshine from Short Mountain is being recognized with top honors.

The Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) released scores today in several categories of wine & spirits giving the Gold Medal in the International Review of Spirits Award to Short Mountain Shine, a 105 proof authentic Tennessee Moonshine. The score of 90 (Exceptional) was the highest score given to moonshine submissions across the nation.

“We’ve always said we make the best moonshine ever made made even better,” said Short Mountain Distillery President and CEO Billy Kaufman. “This award is the first of many that help confirm that.”

BTI was founded in 1981 with the objective of producing fair and impartial wine & spirit reviews for consumers. BTI scores are often displayed on the shelf with wine & spirits in retail stores recognizing quality and excellence. Tasting notes with the award call Short Mountain Shine an “impressively subtle and rather elegant moonshine.”

Short Mountain Distillery is one of a few craft distillers at the heart of an American moonshine revival. The Tennessee distillery opened in March 2012 and partnered with three living legends of Tennessee Moonshine making heritage: Ricky Estes, Ronald Lawson and Jimmy Simpson. Together with Head of Production Josh Smotherman, Short Mountain Distillery brings over 150 years of wisdom and experience to every drop distilled.

“Sometimes it’s a challenge keeping with old ways in a modern manufacturing and regulatory environment,” said COO Christian Grantham. “But at the end of the day, when taste and quality win, so does our rich whiskey making heritage.”

Short Mountain Distillery’s moonshiners were recently featured in a three-part mini-series hosted by Mike Rowe on Discovery Channel called How Booze Built America. The distillery is located on a 300 acre farm in Cannon County and makes a 105 proof authentic Tennessee Moonshine and 40 proof Apple Pie Moonshine using water from a cave spring. Both products are available in retail stores across Tennessee and are made with organic heirloom corn grown and stone-milled on site. The distillery is open for tours March – November with free tastings and sales year round.

Farm hour: quantifying what’s possible

October 30th, 2012 No comments

leaf harvest
One of three tarp loads of oak, maple, hickory and walnut leaves we gathered up for the orchard compost.

composting leavesThe orchard “mulchery” is set up. It’s 20 feet long, five feet wide and about 4 feet tall. If half the space is used, that should be 200 cubic feet of mulch. We added about 80 cubic feet of compacted, harvested leaves to use throughout the winter and started a pile with some of them today in the middle bin.

To start, I used a lot of the leaves, 15 gallons of cow manure from the neighbor’s field, grass clippings from today’s upper field mowing and about 8 gallons of water.

Water is going to be an issue until I can figure out an easier way to get it to the orchard. By the time my two five gallon buckets got there, I had lost about 4 gallons to sloshing.

upper fieldWhat’s Possible? I measured the space and determined if we use the entire space for blueberry bushes and apple trees, we’re looking at around 175 blueberry bushes and 32 apple trees. Using non-organic yields, the potential looks like this:

  • Apple:10-20 bushels per tree is 320-640 bushels of apples, 960-3200 gallons of cider or 13,440-26,880 lbs. of apples
  • Blueberries: 15 lbs. per bush is 2,625 lbs. of berries
  • Market: at current market value: $26,000 – $47,000

What’s Practical? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. We have about an hour of daylight each night and two weekend days of winter farm hours. We can’t eat all that, and we probably can’t process all that for others. Can we do this?

We’re thinking of starting with 8 apple trees and 10 blueberry bushes, but I’m mulching as though we’re doing it all.

Short Mountain Distillery launches Apple Pie Moonshine

October 16th, 2012 3 comments

Short Mountain Distillery’s official launch of our Apple Pie Moonshine is Saturday November 10, 2012 at the Still House 9am – 4pm.

Be sure to bring your favorite lawn chair and warm jacket and enjoy a day of mule wagon rides, lite lunch served by The Blue Porch and music from the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. The crew from Hazard Life will also be here with replicas of the entire Dukes of Hazard fleet.

Come join us for free moonshine tastings as well as an opportunity to purchase some of the first bottles of Short Mountain Apple Pie Moonshine!

WINTER SCHEDULE ANNOUNCEMENT: Beginning Nov. 10, Short Mountain Distillery will begin our winter schedule with extended holiday store hours. From Nov. 10, 2012 – March 20, 2013, tours are limited to scheduled charter buses. Our store hours will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Short Mountain Shine now in East Tennessee stores

October 6th, 2012 1 comment

6th Annual Rescue Ride Poker Run and Bike Show

September 6th, 2012 No comments

This Saturday September 8, hundreds of bikers will stream through the hills and back roads of Cannon and surrounding counties for a good cause. It’s the 6th Annual Poker Run benefiting the Cannon County Rescue Squad, and Short Mountain Distillery is proud to be a stop on this year’s fundraising ride.

Bikers will start at the Courthouse on the square in Woodbury, TN at 10:00am with the last bike in at 4:30pm. Each stop will present riders with a playing card for each $10 hand you purchase. Cannon County Rescue Squad is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit dedicated to saving lives in Cannon County and Middle Tennessee.

After the ride there will be a bike show, awards and a corn hole tournament. If you would like more information on how to participate, click here for a flyer, or call 615-684-3314.

Barrel Charred Shine from Short Mountain Mini Barrels

August 31st, 2012 1 comment

They’re here! Short Mountain Mini Barrels available at the Still House Store Saturday Sept. 1

Make your own Barrel Charred Shine
Give your authentic Tennessee Moonshine the age of a fine Bourbon with our 2 liter Short Mountain Mini Barrels. Each new charred White Oak barrel fits two 750ml bottles of spirit and can be used several times with proper care. Making “charred Shine” takes days as opposed to months or years in larger barrels.

Short Mountain Mini Barrels retail for $55 and will be available at Short Mountain Distillery starting Saturday September 1. They will be available online in October. Each mini barrel includes the barrel, bung, spout, stand, instructions and sanitizer.

Charred Shine can be enjoyed like a fine Bourbon as a drink or in food products such as: Charred Shine BBQ sauces, donut glazes, or flavoring in chilies, soups or baked sweet treats.

How To Use Short Mountain Mini Barrels

  • Be sure spout is secure in the barrel. Remove bung, fill with warm water, close, wrap with a moist towel for a few hours. This will swell and seal the oak wood.
  • Remove water. Select a fine unaged whiskey, like Short Mountain Shine! Pour into barrel and leave to age to preferred taste. Enjoy your charred Shine responsibly!

Proper care and tips:

  • Keep barrel in alternating warm and cool environments to expand and contract spirits in and out of the oak.
  • If storing barrel between uses, use enclosed sulfite tablet for at least a day before rinsing and reusing, especially if using well water. Dissolve pill in water, pour water into barrel and allow to sit for a day to sanitize if using well water. Do not allow barrel to dry out and crack. Wrap with moist towel to seal any external cracks.
  • Remove bung when using spout to allow spirit to flow.