Have you ever seen a distillery in full operation? I’m not talking some back-woods, hillbilly moonshining operation, I’m talking legit, craft or large-scale distilleries.
Maybe you don’t know what that is but have wondered how the alcohol you drink is made?
Alcohol has helped bring people from every nationality together for years. Too much alcohol has also torn people apart for years.
A few types of drinking alcohol that are commonly made at distilleries include vodka, gin, rye whiskey, and bourbon.
Each of these are made using different ingredients and following a different distilling process.
Distilling is the process of separating liquids that boil at different temperature.
For example, ethanol (drinking alcohol) boils around 173 degrees F while water boils at 212 degrees F. Why is this important? Well when you stick that mixture into a still or distillation column and then apply a specific amount of heat to the bottom. The alcohol will rise to the top of column while the water remains in the bottom. Sounds easy right?
It’s not. The process is not completed correctly, people end up getting poisoned by methanol which is also an alcohol that boils at a temperature slightly lower than ethanol. Drinking methanol will make you go blind if it doesn’t kill you first. Master distillers have this process down to a science and know exactly when the alcohol becomes safe to drink.
A little word of advice, don’t ever try moonshine because the people creating this stuff are not qualified and have not laboratory tested the contents to ensure its 100% safe to consume.
Anyway on the fun stuff.
Visit these distilleries when in Tennessee (several offer tours):
Old Dominick Distillery (Memphis, TN)
Chattanooga Whiskey: Tennessee Stillhouse (Chattanooga, TN)
Nashville and surrounding area:
- Corsair Distillery (Nashville, TN)
- Corsair Brewstillery Taproom & Tasting Room (Nashville, TN)
- Nashville Craft Distillery (Nashville, TN)
- Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery (Nashville, TN)
- Leiper’s Fork Distillery (Franklin, TN)
- Prichard’s Distillery at Fontanel (Whites Creek, TN)
- H Clark Distillery (Thompson’s Station, TN)
- Jug Creek Distillery (Lascassas, TN)
- Old Glory Distilling Co. (Clarksville, TN)
- Short Mountain Distillery (Woodbury, TN)
- Prichard’s Distillery
Lynchburg and surrounding area:
- Jack Daniels (Lynchburg, TN)
- George A. Dickel & Co. (Tullahoma, TN)
- Southern Pride Distillery (Fayetteville, TN)
- Prichard’s Distillery (Kelso, TN)
- Duck River Distillery (Lewisburg, TN)
- Tenn South Distillery (Lynnville, TN)
Knoxville and surrounding area:
- Knox Whiskey Works (Knoxville, TN)
- Thunder Road Distillery (Kodak, TN)
- Ole Smoky Distillery (Gatlinburg, TN)
- Sugarlands Distilling Company (Gatlinburg, TN)
- Doc Collier Moonshine (Gatlinburg, TN)
- Tennessee Legend Distillery (Sevierville, TN)
- Tennessee XXX Moonshine (Sevierville, TN)
- Ole Smoky Distillery (Pigeon Forge, TN)
- Old Forge Distillery (Pigeon Forge, TN)
- Popcorn Sutton Distilling (Newport, TN)
- Cocke County Moonshine Distillery (Newport, TN)
- Bootleggers Distillery (Hartford, TN)
Northeast corner of TN:
- East Tennessee Distillery (Piney Flats, TN)
- Hook & Ladder Distillery (Kingsport, TN)
- Tennessee Hills Distillery (Jonesborough, TN)