Top distilleries in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Knoxville in Tennessee
East Tennessee has a robust beer culture, with breweries almost on every corner.
But that’s not to say beer is the only thing on tap. There are several distilleries in and around East Tennessee boosting our spirits with spirits.
From downtown Knoxville all the way to Sevierville, here are 10 local distilleries with plenty of options for Knoxvillians to dive into like whiskey, vodka and good ol’ moonshine. Just remember to drink responsibly!
Knox Whiskey Works
Since opening in 2015, Knox Whiskey Works has become a must-visit spot in Knoxville because of the quality and quantity of liquor it makes.
Located at 516 W. Jackson Ave., the distillery is where the magic happens. Inside is where Knox Whiskey Works makes everything you find in stores. There is a tasting room and it has tours, but it still has limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can find Knox Whiskey Works products in liquor stores around town. Along with regular spirits like whiskey, vodka and gin, the distillery makes several specialty bottles. These include Marble City Pink Gin, Deals Gap Dragon Trail Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey and Tennessee Tailgate Orange Flavored Vodka.
If you’re looking for some unique bottles made right in the heart of downtown Knoxville, check out Knox Whiskey Works!
A more recent addition, T3 Vodka is launching in Knoxville.
Created by Mark Lester, who also operates T3 Protective Gear, the vodka distillery has its headquarters downtown. It’s currently only available in limited amounts at four retail locations:
- Gettysvue Polo, Golf & Country Club, 9317 Linksvue Drive
- Northshore Wine & Spirits, 9427 S. Northshore Drive
- Middlebrook Liquor Store, 7431 Middlebrook Pike
- Toddy’s Liquor and Wine, 4821 Kingston Pike
T3 Vodka said new retail locations will be added as production ramps up.
Post Modern Distilling
Rounding out the Knoxville distilleries is PostModern Distilling.
Located down the road from Knox Whiskey Works at 205 W. Jackson Ave., PostModern opened in 2017. It has grown its catalog of spirits since then, including several types of whiskey, vodka, gin and liqueurs. Their website even offers recommended cocktail recipes.
PostModern has a tasting room along with scheduled tours of its distillery. Spirits also can be purchased from liquor stores across the East Tennessee region.
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Old Tennessee Distilling Co.
Located in Kodak, the Old Tennessee Distilling Co. has been making moonshine since 2014 at 3605 Outdoor Sportsman Place.
Initially Thunder Road Distillery, Old Tennessee Distilling Co. has an extensive list of spirits crafted near the Smoky Mountains. It has more than a dozen moonshines including cinnamon bonfire, orange dreamsicle and summer strawberry. There are four whiskeys, two gins, two vodkas, a rye and a rum, all made at the distillery. There are even specialties like moonshine mandarin oranges, cream liqueurs and apple brandy.
The distillery is open for visitors and offers free tastings on site.
Sugarlands Distilling Co.
Based in the heart of Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Distilling Co. has worked with several high-profile moonshiners and celebrities to bring more spirits to East Tennessee.
Started in 2014, Sugarlands at 805 Parkway makes several flavors of moonshine, including pina colada, peanut butter and jelly, Appalachian apple pie and butterscotch gold. The distillery also partners with NASCAR to make moonshine inspired by different racetracks and partners with Mark Rogers from “Moonshiners” on Discovery Channel.
The distillery has partnered with Dale Jr. and Amy Earnhardt to bottle and distribute the couple’s High Rock vodka. It also offers Roaming Man straight rye whiskey and canned cocktails.
If you’re in Gatlinburg, you can stop by Sugarlands Distilling Co. for tastings and tours. Products can be found in liquor stores in Knoxville.
Although it now has two locations in Nashville and Cookeville, Tennessee Legend is an East Tennessee distillery company.
There are two locations in Sevierville: the original at 2847 Newport Highway and a second location at 870 Winfield Dunn Parkway.
Tennessee Legend makes all kinds of liquor – flavored whiskeys and moonshines, tequila, vodka, rum, gin, cream liqueurs and bourbon – with more than 30 different spirits.
If you’re looking to try a spirit from Tennessee Legend, you can visit a location, check a local liquor store or purchase a bottle online.
A more recent distillery, Shine Girl is operated by Danielle Parton, a pilot, “Moonshiner” and niece of Dolly Parton.
Opened in March, Shine Girl at 1610 Jenkins Road in Sevierville has a smaller selection compared to other distilleries, but it covers different spirits, with whiskey, vodka and moonshine and flavored moonshine.
If you’d like to try Shine Girl, you’ll have to go visit the location. Along with bottles, Shine Girl has cocktails at its bar, and its Facebook page provides updates on specials and whether Danielle Parton will be there.
Old Forge Distillery
Located at 170 Old Mill Ave. in Pigeon Forge, Old Forge Distillery combines historical aspects of the area with spirits.
Old Forge Distillery has several spirits to choose from including moonshine, moonshine cherries, cream liqueurs, rock & rye, whiskey, rum, gin and vodka. The distillery offers tastings at its location along with several cocktails at its bar.
If you don’t want to make the trip to Pigeon Forge, you can check your local liquor store to see if it has Old Forge Distillery in stock.
King’s Family Distillery
A little way off the path, King’s Family Distillery is nestled away from Pigeon Forge at 1440 Upper Middle Creed Road.
The distillery was started in 2018 by Justin and Cara King. Since then, it has grown to offer various spirits including three bourbons, five whiskeys, three flavored whiskeys, four vodkas and gins, rum, brandy and moonshine.
Along with merchandise available at the storefront, King’s Family Distillery is a good spot off the beaten path.
Ole Smoky Moonshine
One of the more well-known moonshine brands, Ole Smoky Moonshine has become a spirit staple in the mountains and in liquor stores alike.
Ole Smoky Moonshine has four locations: one in Nashville, one in Pigeon Forge and two in Gatlinburg. The original location is called the Holler and can be found at 903 Parkway in the heart of Gatlinburg.
With 32 flavors, Ole Smoky has a large variety of moonshine to try in flavors like mountain java, moonshine pickles and limoncello. The distillery makes 17 whiskeys including peanut butter, root beer and peach. Ole Smoky also make four canned cocktails and the James Ownby Reserve straight bourbon whiskey.
Tastings are offered at each location in the Gatlinburg area, but only the Holler offers guided tours. Otherwise, you can easily find Ole Smoky Moonshine in just about every liquor store in the county.