A Weekend with the Tennessee Distillers’ Guild

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We recently had the opportunity to travel to beautiful Townsend, Tennessee for the Grains and Grits Festival!  The event, hosted by the Tennessee Distillers Guild each year, celebrates tasty Southern cuisine and the array of artisan spirits produced throughout the state. Our team had the best time immersing ourselves in some Tennessee culture and enjoying all the bites and booze local restaurants and Guild members had to offer! 

The tasting event featured more than 30 distilleries from all over the state.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the overwhelming majority fell into the “craft” category.  Most of the distillers we met were armed with a passion for their product and an unmatched determination to promote it (the telltale marks of a true craft distiller).  As much as we love the tried and true majors here at Brooks Grain, it is simply refreshing to meet the young entrepreneurs fueling the craft industry.  Their pride and work ethic is inspiring and we enjoy having the opportunity to support and watch them grow. 

The art and appreciation for this small industry can no longer be written off as a trend.  Shiny new copper stills are popping up all over the map and the market share they hold is growing steadily.  Small-scale spirits are here to stay, as evidenced by the number of micro-distillers in attendance and the lengthy lines of thirsty festival-goers formed in front of their booths. 

Each booth we visited offered a creative spin on traditional spirits, resulting in a product that was distinctly branded and individualized.  I tried more unusual flavors and unlikely combinations than I could count.  Everyone brought something different to the table, whether it was a special flavor, specific distilling process, or a unique story.  Differentiation creates space in the market for everyone and provides thousands of fresh options for consumers.  Whether you are a whiskey connoisseur or you are still trying to figure out your go-to drink of choice, there is something to suit everyone’s taste and preference in today’s craft world!  In today’s customization-crazed society, it makes sense that consumers would value a more unique selection of spirits and that the craft industry is thriving because of it. 

If you missed the event this year, be sure to check out their website here so you can put it on your 2019 calendar.  Whether you come for the ‘shine or the food, you are guaranteed an excellent time at Grain and Grits.  This is one you don’t want to miss!


(Grains and Grits, 2017)

Article Written By:

Tori Doughty
Craft and Milled Product Sales


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