Lawmakers Define Which Spirits Qualify as ‘Tennessee Moonshine’

The Tennessee General Assembly set legal guidelines on Wednesday about what spirits can bear the name “Tennessee Moonshine.”

According to The Tennessean, a provision to a bill approved yesterday states: “An intoxicating liquor may not be advertised, described, labeled, named, sold, or referred to for marketing or sales purposes as “Tennessee Moonshine” unless the intoxicating liquor is distilled in Tennessee. Any manufacturer who violates this section shall be subject to suspension or revocation of its license for a period of not less than one (1) year.”

Distiller Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine greeted the measure with applause.

“This is a significant move toward preserving the historic value of Tennessee Moonshine,” Joe Baker, co-founder of Ole Smoky Moonshine, “and as the state’s first legal moonshine distillery, we know how important it is to maintain authenticity in this fast-growing category.”

Legal moonshine distilleries have been on the rise in Tennessee ever since the state relaxed its liquor laws in 2010, significantly increasing the number of counties where it is lawful to distill spirits.


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