This is the picture of a craft distillery. The barn-like exterior isn’t meant to fool you into thinking that Tenn South is a small distillery. Tenn South is a small distillery. Tiny, even. About an hour’s drive south of Nashville, one arrives at Tenn South purposefully; it’s not on the way to anywhere. Less than 10 miles off I-65 in Giles County, you’ll go through “downtown” Lynnville before arriving at the distillery. This sleeper town occupies a whopping .3 square miles and is home to about 350 people. Lynnville is also home to other regionally famous artisans Colonel Littleton and The Lynnville Pie Company.
Not an uncommon aspiration to Tennesseans, brothers-in-law Blair Butler and Clayton Cutler dreamed of making Tennessee Whiskey. Dr. Butler, a radiologist in nearby Columbia and Cutler, a technical process engineering guy with a long history in inkjet manufacturing, may not seem to be your likely suspects for following through on such a dream. But June 25, 2009 turned that dream into a plan when Governor Phil Bredesen signed off on a law allowing for the “manufacturing of intoxicating liquors” in counties that had approved retail package sales and liquor-by-the-drink sales. The distillery bill, SB1955/HB1720, exponentially increased the number of counties where dreamers like Butler & Cutler could open their own distilleries. Where once there were only three, now dozens of counties were eligible.
Enter Tenn South Distillery. Continue reading Tenn South Distillery- the perfect mix of tradition & innovation
Matt Cunningham stands in front of a packed room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clarksville, TN, clad in a checkered shirt tucked in to khaki chinos. Matt certainly doesn’t fit the image that “reality” TV has led us to picture as the Tennessee backwoods distiller; he’s young, articulate, has a college degree and all of his teeth. Today he’s announcing his plans for the Old Glory Distilling Company and showcasing the branding for the first suite of distilled spirits. He’s nervous and excited and clearly moved as he finally shares his dream with the masses.
The Kickoff event is well attended, including project collaborators, friends, family members, local press and leaders in the Clarksville business community. Both Theresa Harrington, Executive Director of Clarksville-Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tennessee State Senator Mark Green spoke to the crowd in addition to Cunningham, applauding his efforts.
The Old Glory site sits just off I-24 at Exit 4 with huge visibility from the highway. Once complete, a very large, open neon sign modeled after the famous Budweiser brewery sign in St. Louis will beacon passers by to the distillery. Hoping to bring additional tourists to Clarksville, Matt notes that this distillery is not just his, instead he wants it to be “Clarksville’s distillery, something the whole community can be proud of.” He mentioned that one way the community can get involved with the distillery will be through bottling and labeling parties, where volunteers will sign the bottles they help to assemble. Harrington half-joked that she hoped folks would have a few drinks and then stay at a nearby hotel for the night. Continue reading Old Glory Distilling Company- COMING SOON!