Plans for third Gatlinburg moonshine distillery moving forward
The distillery would be built on this property, not far from Ole Smoky Moonshine.
"We're going to have different recipes. We're going to have a little bit different focus than Ole Smoky does, and we're also going to plan to start barreling and selling Tennessee Whiskey," developer Ned Vickers said.
GATLINBURG (WATE) - A developer hopes to open a new moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg by the end of the year.
The Sugarlands Distilling Company project was on hold until last week, when legislation passed trumping city ordinances that would have prevented the business from opening so close to one of the two distilleries already operating in the city.
"It's difficult to get a distillery licensed, and so we've encountered some issues with the city and hopefully we've overcome all of those issues right now and now we're on to getting our state licensing and federal licensing," said Ned Vickers, developer for the Sugarlands Distilling Company.
Part of the dispute over Sugarlands was its proximity to Ole Smoky. City ordinances required distilleries be at least 1,000 feet apart and limited the number of distilleries in the city to four.
"The new state law just supercedes any previous city ordinances and no longer gives us the ability as a municipality to control the number of distilleries in town or where they are," said City of Gatlinburg spokesperson Marci Claude.
Some visitors say having two moonshine distilleries less than a block apart could bring in more tourists.
"When you're from other parts of the country, moonshine and other stuff, that's what's unique to this area, and I think that's a good idea because that's brings people here," explained visitor Steve Rudolph.
The Sugarlands Distilling Company plans to set itself apart from the competition, not just with its moonshine.
"We're going to have different recipes. We're going to have a little bit different focus than Ole Smoky does, and we're also going to plan to start barreling and selling Tennessee Whiskey," Vickers said.
Vickers hopes to break ground on the building in the next six weeks.