Craft distillers not so numerous in the South

The spirit world is booming in these parlous times. According to an article in the Rocky Mountain News, craft distillers–small-time producers of whiskey, vodka, rum, and other spirits–are increasing in number across the country. “Foodies” are fueling this movement, which follows the craft brewing wave, and there’s one more factor as well: as people get older, they drink less but they drink better.

A visit to the American Distilling Institute website reveals a directory of 156 craft distillers across the country. Sixteen of them are in the South, and only one in Tennessee: Pritchards’ Distillery in the tiny town of Kelso. Pritchards’ produces light and dark rum and a variety of sweet spirits that would be right at home on the shelves of muscadine wine lovers.

The idle mind wonders why Tennessee, home of Jack Daniel’s, America’s most famous whiskey, doesn’t have more of these craft distillers. Maybe it’s because the state has long been home to crafty distillers, those not inclined to join associations.

Whatever the reason, I’m all for launching something to go along with the Slow Food movement: Slow Drinking. Cheers!

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

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