Sip Your Way Through The Tennessee Smokies
Get to know the made-in-Tennessee flavors from area breweries, wineries and distilleries.
The Smokies are well-known for their arts and crafts. This hands-on community has produced quality workmanship for generations. Throughout the years, this craftsmanship has gradually trickled into their culinary and imbibing community as well. The rebellious mountain spirit is best exemplified in the explosion of local moonshine producers but can also be seen in their selection of deliciously crafted beers. The vineyards of the Smokies also take pride in producing original vintages you can’t find anywhere else. That’s why the locally crafted beer, wine and moonshine offered in the Smokies will make your visit a truly memorable experience. Be sure to take some time to imbibe during your Smoky Mountain vacation.
There’s nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot summer day. This refreshing drink is the national beverage of summertime. It pairs perfectly with some of our favorite local dishes—imagine delicious Tennessee barbecue dripping with sauce, enhanced by a tall, brown ale. And nothing says summer better than a game at Smokies Stadium with salty fries and a frothy, cool brew in your hand.
Like many locations throughout the country, the craft beer movement is growing in the Smoky Mountains. The simple ingredients of water, yeast, malted grain and hops are blended in a variety of creative and interesting ways here, producing a Tennessee Smokies signature taste. The types of brews range from IPAs to lagers to stouts, but the flavors carry a quality that you can’t find anywhere else.
The atmosphere of the local brewery is almost as appealing as the beer itself. With mountain views as their backdrop, you can sit back and enjoy the best the Smokies has to offer. There also might be seasonal or experimental brews on tap that you won’t get to try unless you come on by. Most breweries offer live entertainment, especially on the weekends. Let the sweet sound of bluegrass wash over you and let your senses soak in the sounds and tastes of the Tennessee Smokies.
The Smokies are an ideal location for crafting wine. The fertile soil and mountain climate provide an excellent setting for the art of winemaking.
Locally grown grapes are harvested and crushed at these vineyards. Many vineyards use traditional methods, such as aging their wines. Yet, aging these vintages is also part of the art. The oak casks are used to give the wine a distinctly delicious oaky flavor. But you’ll find more than just traditional wines here. Zesty fruit wines, mountain apple wines and even honey wines are available at many area vineyards.
Sip your way along the Rocky Top Wine Trail, featuring five of the area’s wineries tucked between the majestic Smoky Mountains. These wineries offer several different tastes and varietals to enjoy—from sweet muscadine wines to one-of-a-kind apple wines. Complementing the vintage glass of wine will be the breathtaking views of the Smokies that these wineries showcase.
This region boasts a rich history of “white whiskey” making. Moonshiners during Prohibition especially loved the mountains as an inconspicuous place to distill their coveted contraband. What was once an undercover operation in the region is now a booming industry, with many different kinds of moonshine and whiskey available to adventurous visitors. The local distilleries craft their authentic spirits from locally harvested corn then ferment and distill the alcohol themselves.
Today’s generation of ‘shiners have discovered a way to make moonshine legally and have continuously great success in the process. They’re manufacturing a product inspired by the recipes passed down from generations of moonshiners in the Smokies—only less potent.
If you do decide to take a sip of moonshine produced in today’s distilleries, don’t expect the dreadful burn that comes after taking even the smallest swig of “white lightning.” What you’ll experience are smooth varieties of ‘shine that are reminiscent of sipping vodka or whiskey, in some cases.
A legend by name and by craft, the distillers at the Tennessee Legend Distillery have spent their whole lives hearing stories of moonshiners in the Smoky Mountains. Their shines, spirits, whiskies and Tennessee sipping creams are skillfully prepared, full of mountain flavor and should be imbibed while sharing great stories. Tennessee Legend, with two distilleries in Sevierville, crafts a wide variety of flavored spirits, including apple pie, cinnamon, peach and root beer.
Located in Kodak, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Old Tennessee Distilling Co. handcrafts each bottle from scratch. Old Tennessee promises to deliver authentic spirits worthy of their legacy with each sip. Using cornmeal locally ground at the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, sugar, yeast and water, their crystal clear, superior moonshine reflects a tradition spanning generations. Visit their copper-clad tasting room to sample Old Tennessee’s moonshine, along with their rum, gin, whiskey and vodka.