Whiskey in Cocke County? Say It Ain't So

Locals are horrified that anyone would make corn whiskey in Cocke County.

Hank Williams Jr. and a partner secured legendary Cocke County moonshiner Popcorn Sutton’s recipes before he died and made plans to open a distillery in Cocke County to market, for the first time, legal Cocke County corn liquor. A county notorious for decades for the quantity and quality of its product—and its consumption of pint Mason jars.

But when legislation last year authorized distilleries in 44 of the state’s counties, Cocke County was left out. There was a bill this year to allow the distillery in Cocke County, and it passed the House. But furor from back home stalled it in the state Senate and the bill was sent back to subcommittee.

The bill could still pass the Senate next year, but unless the public attitude changes in Cocke County, legislators are unlikely to proceed.

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