Taste of Local Lore: Whiskey and East Tennessee
There is no doubt that Tennessee has a love/ hate relationship with its heritage and lore of whiskey making. Moonshining is a revered craft in the Appalachian hills of 9 Lakes counties that have been historically “dry” until this last decade. The long struggle between revenuers and illegal distilleries has created legendary tales that define East Tennessee.
Moonshine’s influence extends to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, where UT football fans chant “Rocky Top” to cheer their beloved team to victory. The upbeat bluegrass song celebrates East Tennessee’s culture and heritage, including white lightning (aka moonshine). The lyrics “That’s why all the folks on Rocky Top get their corn from a jar” are contradict the long legal battle to legalize whiskey.
Luckily, the struggle for these craftsmen has a silver lining. The notoriety of East Tennessee bootlegging has provided modern-day distillers an interesting backstory to share with visitors as you sip their legal products.
In 2021, learn more about the legacy of whiskey in the 9 Lakes Region by getting a taste of local lore and libations. Here are some 2021 events for you to add to your calendar:
Tour de Moonshine bike tour of Cosby, TN- Sept. 18th.
Grain and Grits– Townsend, TN- Nov. 6th.
35 North, a gathering place for food trucks and barrels.
It’s all about the water!