Distilling over 100 years of Tennessee Tradition — Water and grains are the essential components of making great whiskey. The founders of Old Forge settled here for both the water source and the land to build a mill for grinding grains, laying the foundation for crafting Old Forge spirits today. We continue that heritage by stone grinding our own quality grains where they once did, combining old-fashioned methods of the settlers with the modern-day know-how of our Head Distiller, Keener Shanton.
In the 1700’s, early European inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains brought over their copper pot stills. Many were of Scotch-Irish ancestry – hardy settlers with a long history of distilling. In 1790, Mordecai Lewis was granted a 151 acre plot of land by Governor William Blount. Rich with natural resources and located along the banks of the Little Pigeon River, the area was ideal for building the forge and the mill. By 1817, iron making was one of Tennessee’s first true industries. The iron forge was built by Issac Love. In 1830, Issac Love’s son, William Love built the Old Mill. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been in continuous operation stone grinding corn, wheat, rye and buckwheat. During 1910, just a few yards away from the Old Mill, where the Head Miller grinds, fills and hand-ties bags of quality stone-ground grains, stands a 100-year-old building. Once a farm supply store, it is now home to the Old Forge Distillery, named after the iron forge that forged a community.
In 2014, Old Forge Distillery opened its doors with its own line of moonshine distilled using freshly ground grain from The Old Mill. Today, Old Forge continues to add new spirit offerings such as award-winning Rum, Vodka, Tennessee Roots, Distiller’s Select, Cream and Single-Barrel Aged Bourbon.
Inside the distillery, in copper column stills, Head Distiller, Keener Shanton crafts small-batch spirits including 1830 Original, moonshine made from pure mountain spring water and fresh-ground grains. Flavored moonshines – chocolate, french toast and coffee – are inspired by recipes from The Old Mill kitchens.
Head Distiller, Keener Shanton uses the art of vapor infusion to extract natural flavors and colors from roots, herbs and spices when crafting the Tennessee Roots line, a series of innovative 80 proof small batch spirits. Keener Shanton specializes in a thin mash technique (a combination of no-cook and cooked processes) that results in a smooth spirit with a deep grain flavor. Previously a fireman with a penchant for home brewing, Shanton has honed his knowledge of unnamed spirits to produce them, on a grand scale for Old Forge Distillery.
The Old Forge Tasting Bar is open daily. The Gift Store offers hand forged knives made by our resident blacksmith and one-of-a-kind moonshine jugs are handcrafted by Pigeon River Pottery. We offer “Tastings” & “Tours” are available upon request. Call prior for availability at 865-774-4126.
START YOUR ADVENTURE NOW. VISIT THE DISTILLERY AT:
170 Old Mill Avenue, Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
CONTACT US AT:
DISTILLERY & TOUR HOURS:
Monday thru Saturday, 10am to 9pm
Sunday, 12pm to 6pm
Holiday hours may vary, please call prior to arrival for
hours of operation and tour availability.
We offer “Tastings” & “Tours” are available upon request.
Call prior for availability at 865-774-4126.
*Business hours and tour times subject to change. We encourage you to contact the distillery to inquire about tour availability and call ahead, up to an hour prior to arrival to confirm tour times and business hours for the day.