Born and raised in Dahlonega, Georgia, Dwight Bearden was part of a family that had been making liquor for at least four generations. Perhaps it was no surprise when he proudly started making his own, alongside his Daddy, at the wise age of six. School didn’t compare to the allure of bootlegging, and he had his first still at 17. At Old Tennessee Distilling Company, where Dwight’s first still now resides, the old-school distiller likes to make corn whiskey, moonshine, and the occasional apple brandy. After 50 years perfecting his craft inside and outside the pesky boundaries of the law, he’d love for you to stop by for a sip and a story.
I am 38 years old and I was born and raised in Sevierville Tn. I went to Tennessee Institute of Electronics and studied information technology. After college, I worked for a local company in electronic installation and repair for 13 years. In 2003 I became very interested in the process of making moonshine and rums. I decided to build my first still (which was only 1.5 gallon) and do some experimenting. It didn’t take me long to realize I really enjoyed what I was doing and I seemed to be able to smell and taste things that others could not. Maybe a month later I built my second still, a 5 gallon still that once again, I would quickly outgrow, so I built a 15 gallon still and used it for the next few years. I read everything I could get my hands on at the time to learn more and more about my new found hobby. I was later approached by an old distiller friend of mine who needed some help in his distillery and told me about a position opening up. I took the position and started distilling professionally (and legally). I transferred to Thunder Road Distillery in 2015 as the master distiller and began setting up the distillery, experimenting, and creating the many products we now have available.
Growing up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg native Kent Merritt started “sampling” some of the locally produced moonshines at about 15 years old at Freddy Fuddpucker’s German Hillbilly Inn. Grown-up Kent now has combined the palate of his youth with his eternal drive to develop and promote businesses that provide outstanding products and great customer service. A career which has spanned more than 35 years of manufacturing and business management means that Kent has the experience to oversee the behind-the-scenes operations, while his passion for product and presentation results in happy experiences for Old Tennessee customers. He's created this atmosphere by attracting a team of people who are excited to create great products and good times so that when people stop at Old Tennessee Distillery, they can’t wait to come back. The recipe for moonshine is simple: corn, sugar, yeast, and water. The secret is the pride we put into perfecting this great, time-honored tradition.
The recipe for moonshine is simple: corn, sugar, yeast and water. The secret is the pride we put into perfecting this great, time-honored tradition.
Made on-site by master distillers, Old Tennessee’s farm to bottle products are handmade and homegrown from the bounties of local fields and the fertile minds of our forebearers. We know how to respect the past, while living for the moment.
A distillery for those who don’t like being told what to do, or what to drink, Old Tennessee Distilling Company is where you can take a moment, take a sip, and get a taste for Tennessee.
100 PROOF / 50% ALC BY VOL.