There’s something unique in the South about the politics of alcohol. Many states still have Prohibition-era laws still on the books, and one of those laws in Tennessee is showing to be a thorn in the side of a business wanting to bring the process of distilling to its product’s namesake city. Meet the Chattanooga Whiskey Company. Its Tennessee whiskey is currently distilled in Indiana…..yes, Indiana.
In 2009, the Tennessee legislature eased the restrictions of a Prohibition-era law and increased the number of counties that can distill spirits from 3 to 41. However, Hamilton County was not one of those counties. In fact, one of the state representatives from Hamilton County is 100% against the idea of allowing micro-distilleries in his county in an article by David Cook over at the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
“We’d sell our souls to the devil for money,” state Sen. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, said Monday, declaring he’d vote not once but twice against local distilleries.
No one said a word when the beer craft-brewing market exploded in Chattanooga, and now you can’t swing a copy of the 21st Amendment without hitting a local brewer. We have vineyards, wineries. By my sober count, there are 41 liquor stores in the local Yellow Pages.
So it’s not like folks aren’t already drinking.
Distilling spirits in Georgia isn’t illegal. In fact, we already have a micro-distillery in operation: Georgia Distilling Company in Milledgeville. Perhaps this is an opportunity for an aspiring entrepreneur to partner with the business and bring it to Georgia. Heck, at least Chattanooga Whiskey would be distilled in the South.
Here’s to jobs!