Come experience traditional moonshine at
Thunder Road Distillery
The wild spirit of the Tennessee Smokies is best explored in the moonshine tradition. Even after the Prohibition of alcohol ended in the mid-1930’s, most of Tennessee and many other states still had blue laws that made the sale of alcohol illegal.
But there were families that lived in the Appalachia area of Tennessee who would not be constrained by these laws. Fiercely independent people who believed that it was their natural right to make a living as they saw fit. The production of moonshine became their family business.
Thus the moonshine tradition was born. During these years, moonshine was any liquor that was distilled illegally. But now moonshine is produced by distilleries who wish to pay homage to their rebel roots. One such establishment is the Thunder Road Distillery in Kodak, Tennessee.
The Thunder Road Tradition
The name, Thunder Road, is tied to the moonshine tradition. The moonshiners who lived in the Appalachian Mountains tended to have strong family ties and loyalty to other people living in their community. They delivered their product directly to their customers, but they had to be fast enough to outrun law enforcement. The moonshiners modified their cars so they could make quick getaways and not get caught while hauling their illegal spirits.
One legend from this era says that a favorite route of the moonshine runners was called Thunder Road because of the roar of the engines in the runners’ cars. A story persists of an infamous moonshine runner who evaded a law enforcement road block, but died when he crashed into an electrical sub-station. This legend was the basis for the 1958 movie, Thunder Road.
The Tradition Continues at Thunder Road Distillery
The rebel spirit lives on at Thunder Road Distillery. That same fierce independence can be sensed as soon as you walk through the door. They refuse to be like every other Appalachian distillery. Instead of rustic, mountain décor you’ll find at other places, they want customers to experience the fast living excitement of the whiskey runners. Instead of bluegrass, you’ll hear rock music. Instead of barn wood, their store uses a lot of black metal, copper and cast iron.
They don’t just invite customers to shop and sample. A visit to Thunder Road means it’s party time! Sample their wide array of amazing products. There’s no stuffy, highfalutin attitudes here. Jokes and fun pour out as easily as the spirits.
The Spirits Abound
Most local distilleries carry only moonshine or flavored whisky. But at Thunder Road you’ll find tons of other spirits to partake of.
Here are some of the most popular products:
•Rum and Coconut Rum
•100 Proof Moonshine
•Flavored Moonshine (Blackberry Bramble, Bananashine, Watermelon Falls, etc.)
•8-year-old Tennessee Bourbon
Be sure to make the Tennessee Smokies’ tradition of moonshine apart of your vacation to this area. What better way to connect to the wild spirit of independence that still lives in the community than with a visit to Thunder Road Distillery.
3605 Outdoor Sportsman Place, Kodak, TN