On June 30, 2018 the wife and I visited our first distillery in the TN Whiskey Trail passport book and after several day trips, a few overnight trips and a total of 3,172 mies driven, we have completed the TN Whiskey Trail.
September 28 – October 1, 2017, we attended the Gatlinburg Sugarlands MountainFest. The first night of the MountainFest, we attended a TN Whiskey Experience where all the TN Distillers Guild were present. That is where we learned about the TN Whiskey Trail.
So, on June 30, 2018 we hit Chattanooga Whiskey and drove home, over 10 months and a Second TN Whiskey Experience on October 6, 2018 hosted by Sugarlands and this weekends Spirits and Soul Festival in Memphis hosted by Old Dominick Distillery. We completed our last tour on Friday at Old Dominick completing our passport, 25 distilleries in the passport, plus three distilleries not in the passport. We are committed to visiting all the new ones as they join the Trail.
What we did not know, was that our last tour ended in front of a meeting of the TN Distillers Guild.
Old Dominick threw out the red carpet for us. I was not prepared with remarks or comments to be in front of all the distillers. What I did tell them that we visited all the distilleries in our passport and a few extra ones, we visited Jug Creek on the weekend that Heath and Angela Frazier had the flu and had to close the distillery for the weekend. We did check in on the digital app of TN Whiskey Trail and I took my picture in front of the Jug Creek sign. Jug Creek has since closed operation as Heath recovers from a Traumatic Brain Injury. However, this weekend, I wore my #Heathon #Creeklyfe band in support of Heath and Angela. I showed the Distillers my band.
Had I been prepared to say a few more words, I would have told the distillers that I fully expected to hear the same tour story at all distilleries and NOT one story was remotely close. In addition, I learned what great business entrepreneurs they all are, how I have noticed many of the struggles they face in business through the free market and through government restrictions.
The wife and I saw a lot of rural Tennessee and met lots of folks we would have never met. In hindsight, this effort was primarily because in my opinion, we have raised our children who are now 28, 24 and 23 years old, it was time to do something with and for just us and this was the first of many more to come. We traveled, we ate meals supporting businesses, stayed a few nights in hotels, we supported each distillery as they employ persons and families and contribute to their own communities economies.
Of course, I will be blogging about each distillery in the coming days. However, as my thousands of long time readers know, I only write after trips are completed so as not to allow you know what I am working on while it is happening.