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  • Karen Shayne

Traveling Tennessee – Short Mountain Distillery

Had it not been for my dear friend, Sue Paist, I would have never known that nestled in the valley of Cannon Cou

nty, Tennessee, there is a quaint, rustic distillery with a dining environment full of Southern charm.

Short Mountain Farm and Distillery located in tiny Woodbury is one of the many distilleries on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.  It is also the sixth distillery on record in the state. Owned and operated by the Kaufman brothers, Short Mountain Distillery is a 400-acre craft, small-batch distillery creating Organic Tennessee Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey, Moonshine and many other authentic and original spirits.

We decided to take a Sunday and head over for brunch then a tour.  I admit I was skeptical.  However, when we turned onto the dusty, graveled road, I was immediately taken aback by the breathtaking view of the simple countryside.  Sitting in the middle of this beautiful scenery was an old farm-style house recently converted into a charming dining room with covered patios and tables for a pleasant outdoor dining experience.

We had made reservations for brunch prior to our tour.  The French toast drenched in Short Mountain Bourbon Whiskey fluffy whipped cream was the table favorite.  The cocktail menu was challenging.  Not challenging as a “problem”, but challenging as in I could not make up my mind!  I decided to settle on the Short Mountain favorite, the fruit tea.  Now, as you know, I am a sweet tea connoisseur and I have to say, the Southern Fruit Tea crafted with Short Mountain’s own Prohibition Tea Moonshine left my taste buds wanting more.  (Yes, I left with an entire bottle – and the t-shirt!)

After my avocado/southwest omelet, stone-ground cheese grits and moonshine cocktail, we headed for the tour. Much to my surprise, the tour wasn’t exactly well, a tour in the conventional sense.  It was far better.  The “tour” was much more of a storytelling event with eight intrigued spectators gathered under the distillery porch overhang in old wooden rockers (which I much needed after that drink).  In what I would rate as the most delightful and engaging conversations and with one of the most fascinating guides (ask for Foster – usually accompanied by the distillery dog, Bojack), we learned the history of Short Mountain and the traditions of the brothers’ great-grandfather, Jesse Shwayder, and his value of living by The Golden Rule (which you will find on every Short Mountain bottle). The animated conversation time under the porch also engaged the long history of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.   And, as all good distilleries should, the tour ended with a plentiful seven-round sample tasting of the spirits of Short Mountain.  Yep, more shine for me!

The distillery tours in the summer is open Friday 5pm; Saturday 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and Sunday 1pm. Tours are $10 per guest and last approximately 45 minutes.  Hint: Make sure you budget your time and eat FIRST. We stayed an hour-and-a-half after the tour just chatting and asking questions. The tour guide is so engaging, I can almost guarantee you will lose track of time and possibly miss your meal reservation.  And, as and I noted earlier, it also included the tasting.  If you go for brunch, do yourself a favor and partake of the Bourbon French Toast and for dinner, hands down ask for the scallops (cooked absolutely perfectly) with the asparagus risotto.  While I highly recommend the Southern Fruit Tea made with SMD’s own Prohibition Tea Moonshine, any cocktail on their extended drink menu will leave you smiling.

If you are even more adventurous after the meal cocktail and the sample tasting during the tour (!), there is also a Cocktail Class Schedule you can sign up for.  Times are limited to Friday 6pm, Saturday 2pm, 6pm and Sunday at 2pm. Cocktail Classes are $20 per guest and last approximately 45 minutes.

Short Mountain Distillery and Farm also hosts several craft fairs and events throughout the year, so certainly check out their website for more of those festive gatherings.

So, if you have a Sunday morning and you are looking for an outing outdoors with a family or guests over the age of 21, The Short Mountain Distillery comes up far from short for spending time with those you love. They’re also COVID friendly and will certainly take care of you if you are concerned about social distancing, so make it a point to ask.

For more information or for reservations, visit ShortMountainDistillery.com or email Vanessa@ShortMountainDistillery.com for reservations and tell her you read about Short Mountain in our Unconditionally Her. Tell her “Karen” sent you.

Hope to see you there soon.  Until then – shine on!

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©2020 by Karen Shayne.