The Sugarlands Distillery

The Sugarlands Distillery

On March 21, 2014, Sugarlands Distillery held their grand opening celebration!

Making Moonshine

An exciting place “with one foot firmly planted in the past and the other in these modern times,” Sugarlands Distillery offers authentic moonshine flavors such as: Silver Cloud, Appalachian Apple Pie, Blockader’s Blackberry, and much more! They use a 7 Step process to make the moonshine:

 

1st Step of Distillation Artisanal Stone Burr Mill– Tennessee white corn is milled to a cornmeal consistency in our artisanal stone burr mill.
2nd Step of Distillation Fermenter– Milled corn & pure cane sugar are then combined with “backins” from a prior batch along with yeast & water from the Smoky Mountains to create our sour mash. During fermentation the mash bubbles over 4-5 days.
3rd Step of Distillation Copper Pot Still– Fermented “corn beer” is transferred to the Copper Pot Still where the mash is heated until the alcohol vaporizes. This is the first distillation.
4th Step of Distillation Copper Distillation Column– As it moves through the copper distillation column, it condenses and is redistilled 5 more times for a total of 6. The copper removes sulfites from the alcohol vapor.
5th Step of Distillation Spirit Safe– As the liquid is cooled and poured off the tap in the Spirit Safe the new moonshine’s heads, hearts, and tails are collected and separated. Only our hearts are kept for final bottling.
6th Step of Distillation Sugarlands Shine– The “backins” from the pot still take on new life when they are blended with the next run. The Authentic Sugarlands Shine Silver Cloud is born and savored.

 

Historic Roots

Though a new company, the Sugarlands Distillery has made every effort to keep itself deeply rooted in the Tennessee History from which moonshine originates. You can see this in a variety of ways, including the materials used to construct their main building- a barn-house built from reclaimed wood.

Red Blue and White WoodsBlue and White Wood

The rustic blue and white painted wood used throughout the distillery interior was rescued from the Grey family home which was nestled in the Cane Creek area of Tellico Plains. The home was built upon a brick foundation which pre-dates the civil war. The wood carefully selected for our distillery consists primarily of interior painted wood from this warm family home, soaking up the history of family gatherings through the years.

Red Wood

The signature red wood came from an old barn in the Appalachian foothills of Tellico Plains, which was built and then painted by the Carriger family in the 1930’s. Just up the road from there a few of the light greenish/grey boards came out of the interior of a house in an area called Turkey Creek that also dates back to the Civil War.

Brown and Grey WoodsBrown and Grey Wood

The weathered brown and grey wood which covers the distillery’s exterior and some high interior walls were saved from a barn in Sweetwater. Built by a well-respected barn builder of the time by the name of Wilson, a copy of the handwritten deed of the property reveals it was most likely built in the late 1850’s. It is all white oak wood. The brown was most likely interior wood protected from the elements while the grey wood shows 150 years of cold mountain snows and the heat of Southern summers.

Our SugarlandsTennessee Legends

Another interesting way the Sugarlands distillery shows their pride in their roots is by sharing some of the fascinating history and legends of our area on their website!  Stop by there sometime and enjoy learning about the moonshine history of the area and the part it played in our economic development, Wiley Oakley, for whom one of Gatlinburg’s most traveled roads is named (ERA In the Smokies has several cabins available for rent which are on or just off of Wiley Oakley Rd), and much more!

Worth a Visit

Below are just a few reasons the Sugarlands Distillery is worth a visit!

The Back PorchThe Back Porch

Rest your feet and sit a spell on our Back Porch; an outdoor pine pavilion which includes our performance stage ready for you to relax and savor your time with us at the distillery. We keep our calendar filled with touring regional and national musical acts as well as talented local favorites. Highlighting styles ranging from; Appalachian Americana, old-timey, bluegrass pickin’ jams, folk, acoustic, and singer-songwriter.

The Back Porch is also home to the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association, which brings tale tellers to the stage from as close as our backyard to the world over. Check out our Happenings page for our up to date entertainment calendar and plan your next visit to hang out with us.

The Trading PostThe Trading Post

Shop moonshine, mountain merchandise, apparel, books, music and more in the Trading Post. You’ll find a collection of shirts, hats and other accessories to outfit your Sugarlands style. There’s also a nifty assortment of gifts and tools for the outdoor adventurer. Since we care an awful lot about our Sugarlands Shine we’ve got glassware, flasks, and other gizmos to serve it up in fine fashion. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of extra large bags for you to carry all your stuff. Visit the shop link to preview our full range of online Sugarlands Merchandise available.

Sippin' PostsThe Sippin’ Posts

We wanted to make it easy to sip free samples of our delicious Sugarlands Shine while you’re visiting, so we constructed three octagon bars for folks to gather around. We call em Sippin’ Posts. We’ve saved a place just for you to get acquainted with our friendly Tastemakers as they pour savory sips of all of our fine moonshine. At the Sippin’ Post, you will find your favorite flavors of shine to take home and share with friends and family.

When you buy a full case of twelve jars from the distillery, or even a six pack you will receive your very own Sugarlands wood crate absolutely free. Warning- you will receive very interesting looks on the street while walking around downtown Gatlinburg and may gain many new friends in the process.

Sugarlands Still HouseSugarlands Still House

Although the recipes and craft of making moonshine are ages old, the Sugarlands Still House features custom-designed distilling equipment that produces a superior moonshine.

With one foot firmly planted in the past and the other in these modern times, the Still House is where our delicious Sugarlands Shine is made.

Our artisanal stone mill grinds grains like corn and rye into meal that is then mixed with pure Smoky Mountain water and is then moved to our giant cooker. From there, the liquid is transferred to the fermenter to simmer for a few days. When the time is right that “wash” is pumped into the copper pot still where it is heated and distilled. The alcohol vapor filters through the copper pipes and rises up through the plates of the distillation column, down through the chilling column to cool and is finally poured out of the Spirit Safe.

You can see the whole production through the screen windows or if you want to take a closer look you can book a free talk and tour. As long as you knock on our speakeasy door, whisper the password, keep mum,  and you are in!

Most of the above contents, including most of the photos, were copied directly from The Sugarlands Distillery Website. Please visit their website to get more information, stories, and pictures!

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Family Summer Camp

bassproshops_summercamp_logo

Reserve your cabin with ERA In The Smokies now and join the Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville, TN every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from June 8,2013 to July 14,2013 Noon to 5 P.M.. There are numerous activities for the whole family and the best part is they are all FREE! Bring the family together to learn about nature and make lasting memories in the Smokies.

“This is our way of helping families enjoy affordable, fun activities together and create lifelong memories. Bass Pro Shops is committed to helping adults and children out away their laptops, video games and cellphones this summer and head outdoors.” -President Jim Hagale

Activities being featured this summer are:active-pic-cast

  • BB Shooting Range- New in 2013
  • Carousel- Let the kids enjoy a ride while dad shops for new gear!
  • Casting Challenge- Test your skills using a fishing rod and reel at the target casting area.
  • Homemade Ice Cream- Saturdays only 5-6 P.M. while supplies last.

Free Workshops:

  • Archery- Learn about bowhunting, equipment and safety tips and more about bowfishing.
  • Birdwatching- Learn about the function of different types of feathers.
  • Backyard Adventure- Learn about insets and animals that could be in your backyard and what they eat and if they help of hurt your backyard.
  • Fishing- Saltwater vs. freshwater
  • Camping- Learn about the animals you might see while camping.sc-workshop-pic-archery
  • Wildlife Exploration- Learn about mammals, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods.
  • Exploring, shooting and hunting- Learn about the history of hunting and conservation benefits and safety tips.
  • Water Safety- Learn about safety while swimming and boating.
  • Outdoor Discovery and Conservation- Get tips on how to enjoy the outdoors and hiking, discuss comfort, safety and ways to conserve the beauty of the outdoors.

Free Crafts

  • Make dad a bobber key chain-June 18, 20
  • Color your own slap bracelet- June 22, 23, 25, 27
  • Design a lizard door hanger-June 29, 30, July 2, 4lizard door hanger
  • Create a popsicle stick fish- July 6, 7, 9, 11
  • Paint a deer track- July 13 & 14

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While you’re here take the family fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains area! Click the picture above for a link to more information.

Gettin’ By In Winter

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesWe would like to thank the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for this wonderful article. You can find many more interesting articles on their website!

What did mountain families do to get by during the long, gray days of winter?

Elijah Oliver PlaceCabin Fever
The homes of mid-19th century farm families were small, while the families themselves were often large. The typical log home was 18’ x 20’ (360 square feet) plus, perhaps, a sleeping loft. Families were frequently multi-generational, including a grandparent and five to 12 kids.

During periods of cold, snowy, or rainy weather, families were forced to spend most of the day indoors. Dorie Woodruff Cope, who spent her childhood and young adulthood in the Smokies, described winter this way:

“So we waited. Snow came two or three times a week to add inches to the blanket already on the ground. Silence hung over the mountains like a misty fog…. Wind whistled around the corners of the cabin and down the chimney, causing the fire to reach out of the fireplace and fill the room with ashes. Ma kept beans and meat boiling in a kettle.”

Smoky Mountain Tunes & TalesMaking Music
Mountain folk knew lots of songs and enjoyed singing ballads at home during winter, often solo and unaccompanied by musical instruments. Many of the ballads were from the British Isles and were about love or death, or religious faith. Ballads told stories and sometimes included lessons on life. Examples are “The Drunkard’s Last Drink,” “Barbara Allen,” “Pretty Pollie,” “Geordie,” “Young Hunting,” and “Bold Soldier.”

Some residents wrote their own ballads about local places or events, like the tragic train wreck chronicled by “Daddy Bryson’s Last Ride.”

Winter Fare
Mid-1800s Smoky Mountain winter fare was somewhat lacking in fresh produce, but few complained: it was a whole lot better than having nothing to eat.

If the crops had been good, the livestock prolific, and the jobs of pickling, drying, salting, and sulfuring productive, the typical menu might include:

• lots of corn bread
• salted pork
• dried green beans
• pickled vegetables
• chicken
• potatoes
• chestnuts
• butter
• stack cake
• sulfured apples
• honey
• sorghum molasses
• squirrel
• corn mush

Smoky Mountain people are still crafting beautiful quilts!Lessons Learned
Winter days were often school days in the Great Smoky Mountains of the mid-1800s. Winter was when children were needed the least on the farm, so it was the logical time to hit the books.

In the early days, the school year lasted only 2-4 months. Parents paid about $1 per student per month to get their children educated. The money (or produce in lieu of cash) went to a teacher who often boarded with a local family.

Most students completed only 3-5 years of schooling, enough to learn to read and write and perform basic mathematics. By the early 20th century, however, Smoky Mountain schools and school years more closely resembled today’s.

Two country schools are preserved in the national park. Little Greenbrier School is accessible in winter by the 0.7 mile Metcalf Bottoms Trail which begins at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. Beech Grove School is beside the road in Cataloochee Valley.

A Stitch in Time
Mountain quilts were often both useful and beautiful. The top layer was usually made from leftover scraps of cloth, worn out clothing, and cloth sacks. The middle was stuffed with pieces of old clothing, old quilts, feed sacks, or sheep’s wool, and the bottom was simply whatever other plain material was available.

Popular patterns in the southern Appalachians were Log Cabin, Blazing Star, Double Wedding Ring, and improvised “crazy quilts.”

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Wilderness Wildlife Week 2013

Wilderness Wildlife WeekThe 23rd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week will be Jan 12 – 19 in Pigeon Forge, at the Music Road Hotel & Convention Center. This is a GREAT event for the whole family, and it’s all free!! “The theme of Wilderness Wildlife Week™ in Pigeon Forge, involves a continuous thread of wholesome, family oriented, tasteful integrity beginning with the originators and continuing throughout every presentation and excursion associated with the event. It is a constant aim and commitment that Wilderness Wildlife Week™ proceeds and succeeds as an event of the highest standards and principles and that it be obvious to every participant that this is a safe, encouraging and giving event.” This event includes tons of workshops and lectures, more than 40 guided walks and hikes, and even a photography contest! Don’t miss out!

Read More About Fall Color In The SmokiesYou can view pages and pages of the amazing workshops and lectures available! Here are just a few of the ones that look interesting to me, just to get you a little excited too!

Discovering October Roads
Sat, Jan 12, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
View Fall Colors of East Tennessee

Beginning Mountain Dulcimer
Sat, Jan 12, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Must Pre-register

Read More About Wildflowers In The SmokiesWildflowers of the Smokies
Mon, Jan 14, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Introduction to Bluegrass Dancing
Tues, Jan 15, 3:30pm – 4:30pm

The Iron Works and the Forge- Pigeon Forge’s Namesake
Tues, Jan 15, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Join Jerry Wear as he discusses the manufacturing of iron in Pigeon Forge around 1820. This early industry is almost unimaginable in today’s bustling vacationing resort town.

We Love Cades Cove!

APPALACHIAFEST!- A Free Musical Celebration of Our Heritage
Smoky Mountain Inhabitants and Their Music
Tues, Jan 15, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Of Home and Hearth
Tues, Jan 15, 6:45pm – 7:45pm
Carolina Bluegrass Boys with clogging from the Appalachian Cloggers
Tues, Jan 15, 8:00pm

Introduction to Tracking People in the Outdoors
Thurs, Jan 17, 8:00am – 11:00am

Wild Ones Among Us
Wed, Jan 16, 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Bears, Bears, Bears!!Bears, Boars and Bulls: A Wild Life in the Smokies!
Thurs, Jan 17, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Their lives and interactions with humans

Famous Searches/Rescues of the Great Smoky Mountains
Fri, Jan 18, 8:00am – 11:00am
Study some of the Smokies’ most famous search & rescue operations

For detailed information on all the wonderful things available as a part of the Wilderness Wildlife Week, visit their site!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Gatlinburg Photo Contest – WINNER!

Gatlinburg Photo Contest – WINNER!
Photo Contest Category: Festivals & Events

Drum roll Please…..

After receiving hundreds of very nice event photos, we managed to select a few of the best ones as finalists. You can view all of these beautiful photos in our Facebook album (www.facebook.com/ERAInTheSmokies)!

We had to narrow it a little more though, and we managed to select 6 of these to receive special honor:

1st Place Winner!

cody-young
Photo By Cody Young

Gatlinburg Winter Magic

The City of Gatlinburg magically lights up the winter nights with millions of spectacular lights and lighted displays from November through February. Source: Gatlinburg. com

 

2nd Runners Up

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About Easter Sunrise Service

Gatlinburg’s Annual Easter Sunrise Service will be enhanced by the beauty of the Smokies when the community and its visitors gather at Ober Gatlinburg for this memorable worship service. The 30-40 minute high mountain service will be led by local pastors of the Gatlinburg Ministerial Association. Source: Ober Gatlinburg.com

 

3rd Runners Up

sizes-3rd-runners-up


About Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival

From colorful mountain tops to crafts and live entertainment, Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is a county-wide event throughout the towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Townsend. These towns represent a special autumn zone of the Smoky Mountains that transforms itself through fun times, vibrancy of the leaves and hospitality of the locals. Come and stay during this magical time in Tennessee. Fall is the peak time to explore this Smoky Mountain region, which is famous for its fall leaf colors. Take in all of the special attractions and shows during Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival. Start dreaming now of crisp cool air. Discover a great vacation package, and plan your autumn vacation itinerary.  Source: Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.com

Thank You all for participating in this contest, we will have another one soon, theme is a surprise, but go ahead and get your smoky mountains pictures ready! You could be the next lucky winner!

Family Winter Traditions in the Smokies- 2012

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Gatlinburg Cabin Easy Livin' features a Big Screen TV.Traditional family holiday time doesn’t just mean football on the TV and a turkey in your home oven anymore. Gatlinburg is a popular destination for families to spend holidays year ’round. You don’t have to worry about finding something to do or somewhere to eat; Gatlinburg has something to offer families of every size from 2 to 32 and larger. Here are just a few ideas for the upcoming winter holidays:

Order your holiday meal today!1. Food, glorious food. Let’s face it…most of us equate holidays with a chance to eat all the traditional family favorites from turkey and ham to sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Don’t be afraid to try it away from home. The local Food City offers holiday packages that only require that you place the order and pick out the fixings. Click to Learn more about Shopping in the Smokies!You can leave the rest to the professionals. However, if you just can’t imagine not cooking this holiday season, renting a cabin could be your solution. Cabins usually come with fully-equipped kitchens, but make sure you bring specialty pans and cooking utensils with you. And for those of you that just want to show up to the meal, there are plenty of restaurants open every holiday.

2. Shopping. Are you afraid to miss out on the post holiday sales and specials? Never fear. Gatlinburg offers the ultimate shopping experience with everything from local artisan crafts to brand-name outlet stores. The deals abound and many stores are clustered for your shopping convenience. Read more about Shopping in the Smokies.

Almost Heaven is always decorated for the holidays!3. Decorating. Don’t think that having a destination holiday experience means you have to forgo the holiday decorations. Many rental cabins come fully-decorated for the holidays, and if you are looking to bring your own decorations…just ask. Gatlinburg is known for customer service and hospitality. ERA In The Smokies thinks of visitors as their guests and always try to accommodate requests.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!4. A White Christmas. Do you live somewhere that never sees snow? Come on over to the Great Smoky Mountains. The Smokies get a small amount of snow each year. Even though it rarely snows at Christmas, the ski slopes at Ober Gatlinburg are often open by mid-December even if it requires man-made snow. Ober Gatlinburg now offers snow tubing, too!

5. Holidays on Ice. For many people, winter holidays conjure images of ice skating, woolen mittens and hot chocolate. Ice skating is a popular year ’round activity at Ober Gatlinburg ski resort. Don’t worry about driving up the mountain in icy weather; the aerial tram offers a breath-taking view and eliminates the need to drive.

Make Winter Adventure your new Family Tradition!6. Winter Adventure. There are lots of activities that shut down in the Mountains during the winter due to the temperature or precipitation; however, there are just as many that are great fun regardless of the weather. Take a wild and wacky and snowy roll inside an inflatable Zorb ball or take an off-road Hummer tour with the whole family! And Walden Creek Stables offers horseback riding even in December!

See the lights at Dollywood this holiday season!7. Twinkling Lights. Does your home town offer a beautiful lights display? So does ours. Gatlinburg loves holiday lights so much that they are up from the first week in November to mid-February each year. From Dollywood to Downtown, whimsical LED light displays are a beautiful reminder of the holiday season and a great reminder of Gatlinburg’s vow to go green. Read more about Holiday Lights locations.

See Yuletide Madness at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre!8. Fa La La La La. Most of the Smoky Mountain musical shows that your family loves have special holiday editions. From the always-funny Sweet Fanny Adams and to the brand new Smoky Mountain Opry Christmas Spectacular, holiday music abounds. You won’t miss caroling either. Each year the City of Gatlinburg sponsors roving minstrels, carolers and story tellers. The Village even has photo opportunities with old Kris Kringle himself!

Start your ornament collection in Gatlinburg!9. Buy an Ornament. Did you buy an tree ornament for your baby’s first Christmas? First year in school? Why stop there? Gatlinburg offers a varied assortment of shops dedicated to just holiday decorations. The Christmas Tree offers a quaint shopping experience in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg where you can buy your Department 54 favorites or a hand-painted one-of-a-kind. Christmas Eve Gift is a world of Christmas all year long and is located in the heart of the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. In addition, many of the Downtown Parkway’s shops carry souvenir Christmas ornaments as well as other ornaments and souvenirs for each and every holiday. Make collecting ornaments part of your family’s tradition.12 Drummers Drumming

10. 12 Days of Christmas. This is one of my family traditions. Pigeon Forge puts up a light display featuring the 12 Days of Christmas from the Partridge in a Pear Tree at the Sevierville end to the 12 Drummers Drumming on the Gatlinburg end. Each year, my family piles in the car and sings the song as we pass the individual displays for each day. Of course, traffic lights and placement mean we end up singing v – e – r – ys – l – o – w – l – y or sometimes very very fast to keep up, but it always ends in laughter. I’ll photograph the 12 Days of Christmas light display this year and feature it in a separate blog post. Don’t miss this light display.

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Don’t miss the Civil War Reenactment in Pigeon Forge!

The hills surrounding Pigeon Forge will rumble with the concussion of artillery fire Saturday, August, 25 and Sunday, August, 26   when Civil War re-enactors will fire a canon from the era for “Thunder in the Forge” at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center located at 4010 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

America’s most famous Confederate, H.K. Edgarton, poses with Mary Todd Lincoln at the 2011 Relics Show.

The two-day event is an opportunity for Civil War enthusiasts to meet re-enactors, visit a Civil war camp site and experience living history at an encampment. Visitors can meet members of Our Reflections of Yesterday who will portray persona from the era including Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, General Stonewall Jackson and many others.

  Thousands of relics from theCivil War era will be on display for purchase including guns, knives, bullets, and other artifacts. Collectors are encouraged to bring any historical artifacts they may have to sell or trade.

  Noted author Col. Tom McKenny, author of “Jack Hinson: One Man War, Civil War Sniper” will be on hand to sell and sign copies of his book.   

    McKenny’s book is the true account of a Knoxville famer whose sons were murdered by invading Union soldiers despite the fact the two young men were civilians and not involved in the conflict. Hinson sought retribution with a one man campaign to exact revenge on the men who killed his sons. He began a series of well executed and expertly coordinated sniper attacks on the Union forces killing several.

    McKenny will tell the story. Hinson’s guns, which are the property of Judge Ben McFarlin, will be on display.

This Confederate battle flag was on display at the 2011 Relics show and valued at $300,000.

The artillery exhibition will be presented by the 63rd Tennessee Infantry.

   The event begins Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Doors will reopen at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and the show ends at 3 p.m.

   Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult.

   For further information contact Lynn Hammond at southerncross1861 @gmail.com.