Townsend Grains & Grits Festival returning in November

Regional News

TOWNSEND, Tenn., (WATE) – Grains & Grits, a festival of southern spirits and gourmet grub will return to Townsend for a fifth year in November.

The festival brings whiskey connoisseurs and distillers across Tennessee together to celebrate the culture that surrounds itself with whiskey, spirits and distilling. The festival also provides guests an exclusive sampling event.

Last year’s festival drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 1,000.

(Photo: Fletcher Marketing)

New to this year’s event is a special culinary experience — the Ring of Fire. Five chefs will encircle a large fire pit where a whole pig, lamb, chickens and sausages will be roasted and served. Each chef will be paired with a distillery and will incorporate the distillery’s spirits into their dish. About 12 top chefs from across the state will also offer samplings from their menus.

“The Ring of Fire brings something new and different to this year’s Grains & Grits event,” said charcutier Michael Sullivan of American Butcher. “It’s a unique way for attendees to be satiated while enjoying their spirit samples, but it’s also a great opportunity for chefs and distilleries to collaborate.

“We’re also really thrilled to have chefs joining us from not just the local area but from Nashville and Columbia and even cities outside the state like Atlanta.”

The festival is taking precautions, like many events have amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including potentially limiting ticket sales and adhering to social distancing and hygiene protocol.

Tents will be spaced out and masks and hand sanitizer will be available.

“We’re excited to be able host the much-anticipated 2020 Grains & Grits Festival,” Blount Partnership Director of Tourism Kim Mitchell said. “The festival will return with the robust whiskey tastings and culinary offerings that attendees are accustomed to, but we are also dedicated to ensuring everyone’s health and safety during the event and will have proper measures in place.”

(Photo: Fletcher Marketing)

The festival is organized and hosted by the Tennessee Distillers Guild and the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority.

“The event is a great opportunity for our Tennessee distilleries to engage with whiskey enthusiasts from all over about the products they share a passion for,” said Chris Fletcher, Assistant Master Distiller at Jack Daniel’s.

Grains & Grits will be held from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Townsend Visitors Center. Tickets are $65 online or $75 the day of the event and include live entertainment, whiskey and food tastings. This is a 21 and over event and will take place rain or shine.


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