GATLINBURG (WATE) - The process of making moonshine in Tennessee is now legal. Laws changed last summer and one company is banking on a booming business.
The first legal moonshine producing company in Tennessee will be located in the Ole Smoke Holler at 903 Parkway in Gatlinburg.
The owners hope to change the stereotype here in East Tennessee of folks hiding in the hills making their brew.
The new distillery has not opened yet, but gave us a sneak peak on what is in store.
The process of making Tennessee Moonshine is simple.
"It starts out in the cooker," says Trevor Lulich, the master distiller at Old Smoky Distillery. "It's where you cook your corn."
It is then put in the distiller, where the alcohol is separated.
"Start to finish, you have a half day on your cooking, roughly three days on fermenting process, and about a half day to distill off the batch," Lulich says.
When the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery opens in July, it will be the first place in East Tennessee where you can buy moonshine legally.
In the past it wasn't something a lot of people talked about, but many people made and drank it.
"My family has been really involved in the culture of moonshining for some time," says Joe Baker, one of the owners of the new distillery. "I had a great uncle that was known for moonshine."
Baker says it's been a challenge opening the distillery.
"We had to show the government we could put out a product that was going to be done in a consistent manner," says Baker. "That was going to be lawful."
They plan to sell the moonshine in Mason jars like it has been done for many years.
They want to produce the moonshine as close to the original as possible. They buy the corn it is made out of from local farmers, and they plan to keep the prices low.
Ole Smoky Distillery will start selling moonshine to the public on July 2, 2010. At the grand opening celebration they will offer tours, free samples of moonshine to adults over 21, and moonshine for sale.
There are plans in the works to bring moonshine to retail stores, and expand the company to different locations.