Posts Tagged ‘distillery’

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!

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.

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.”

Short Mountain Trucker’s Pride corn stands 14 feet tall

August 16th, 2012 1 comment

Jimmy Simpson told us early this Spring to wait on planting. “Knee high by July,” he said. “As long as we got it in by June 15, we’ll be fine.”

We were getting worried we were planting our organic corn late this year after seeing our neighbor’s corn knee high by June.

We’re trying not to count our ears before they’re harvested, but we’re pretty darn proud of our 14 feet tall organic open pollinated Trucker’s Pride corn. Not everyone is so lucky this year, so we’re counting our blessings instead. We have to admit it’s a combination of a little luck and old-timer’s wisdom.

To be perfectly honest with you, it’s actually our second planting this year in the same field after we discovered the first attempt in late May never put a single seed in the ground.

We found that out the hard way, but it made us miss the drought conditions that destroyed most of Tennessee’s corn crops. Better late than never, especially when you’re making moonshine. It also allowed us to use seed corn Jimmy had personally hand-selected and shelled for next year. His mules didn’t seem to mind the extra work either.

Tennessee Back Roads, Grits & Moonshine Tour

Sometimes it’s good to leave the driving to someone that knows all the back roads when searching for Tennessee’s hidden treasures. That’s the idea behind a new bus tour that will soon bring visitors on a day trip through Cannon County!

The bus tour is a joint project between folks at the Rutherford and Cannon County Chambers of Commerce eager to share a slice of our history and heritage with the world.

The day long bus tour takes visitors to Short Mountain Distillery to see how authentic Tennessee Moonshine is made on a 300 acre working farm. The distillery uses traditional processes, organically grown corn that’s stone-milled on site and water from a natural cave spring. Visitors will then see how the community once relied on the power of the Stones River to mill grains at the historic Readyville Mill. Lunch will be provided by the Blue Porch @ the Arts Center where visitors can learn how local folk crafts of basket and chair making kept families fed during the Great Depression. The day will wrap up with antique shopping on the square in Woodbury, TN.

At each stop our guests will receive complimentary gifts to go along with the warm smiles and hospitality you could only find on a day’s adventures through rural America.

This tour is not for individuals, but if you are interested in taking this tour with a pre-formed group of friends, co-workers or civic groups who already have motor coach service, contact the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Barbara Wolke at (615) 278-2327 or visit Tickets are $39 per person and includes lunch and gifts. We look forward to seeing you in Cannon County!

Celebrating life and love at the distillery

SHINE ON: A special toast to newlyweds Andrew Travis and Shrena Henderson who held their reception at this distillery this past weekend (our first!). You can’t beat sharing good food and drink with friends and family. Here’s to many years filled with life and love from all of us at Short Mountain Distillery!

Inside the Tennessee Squire Room at Jack Daniel’s

Tennessee Squire Room
A slightly blurry photo of the Tennessee Squire Room at Jack Daniel’s Distillery

You may not have realized it before, but there’s a secret room at Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN that not even the tour guides are allowed to talk about. It’s called the Tennessee Squire Room.

It was built 12 years ago as a 25 x 14 room trimmed and floored in pine and densely packed with pieces of history shared by other Tennessee Squires. The website for Tennessee Squires is password protected, and if you weren’t aware the Tennessee Squire Room even existed upon your visit you won’t find the distillery staff willing to help you discover it. It’s that kind of secret.

On my first visit to the Tennessee Squire Room, I was asked to sit at the back of the main lobby. Moments later, a woman appeared and asked if I had a tour. When I told her I had, she smiled patiently and said nothing like it was my turn to guide the conversation. I took the hint and told her I was a Tennessee Squire. “Right this way,” she said, briefly mentioning she would have waited all day for me to say so.

To become a Tennessee Squire, you gotta love Jack, and you have to be nominated by a current Squire who can only nominate one person in their entire lifetime. I have Bartt Baird, a former co-worker at WKRN-TV, to thank for my nomination.

As a Tennessee Squire, you get a very nice gold-embossed deed to a small plot of land and a certificate making you an honorary citizen of Moore County. You’ll occasionally receive letters from locals asking permission to let their cows graze your land or problems with skunks or possums. You also get to hang out in the Tennessee Squire Room and share the Jack Daniel’s experience through the many items left by other Squires. You’ll find one I left among the challenge coins, and I’ve probably already told you too much.

Fermentation workshop at Short Mountain Distillery

Short Mountain Distillery invites you to learn some of the basics about food and beverage fermentation from fermentation expert and author Sandor Katz! This workshop is one of the first in a series of food and beverage workshops we’ll host throughout the year.

WHAT: Basic food and beverage fermentation workshop with
COST: $15 ($40 if you’d like a copy of Kat’s latest book)
WHEN: July 14, 2012 – 9a.m. – 12p.m. (three hours)
WHERE: Short Mountain Distillery – 119 Mountain Spirits Ln., Woodbury, TN 37190
LIMIT: 15 people (contact John Whittemore to reserve a spot – 615-216-0830)

Katz was recently featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross talking about his latest and most comprehensive book on fermentation called The Art of Fermentation. In 2010, Katz was also recently featured in a five page spread in the New Yorker Magazine.

This basic fermentation workshop is a shortened version of Katz’s multi-day,  hands-on workshops he gives around the world. You’ll learn how some of your favorite foods are actually fermented and how you can prepare and store your own fermented foods such as cheese, beer, chocolate, tea, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, salami, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, yogurt and much more.

Trucker’s Pride – organic open pollinated corn

Our Moonshiners tell us Trucker’s Pride is about as good as it gets when looking for a variety of corn to make shine, but it’s a little hard to come by, so we’re making our own.

In this video, Short Mountain Distillery’s John Whittemore talks about the choices we make in farming practices. Special thanks to Jeff Schuler for shooting and sharing this video.

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.