The Unexpected History Found At The New Pigeon Forge Moonshine Distillery
Moonshining has been a long-standing tradition in the Great Smoky Mountains. For generations, members of the Appalachian community have been perfecting their ‘firewater’ recipes, and now it’s time to put their efforts on display with a brand new Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery.
Today, the new Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery, the Old Forge Distillery, plans to honor both the traditions of the area’s moonshiners and the history of the area with each product it produces.
Pigeon Forge History and The Old Forge Distillery
In the early 1800’s, Isaac Love, the son-in-law for Pigeon Forge founder Mordecai Lewis, built the town’s first iron forge thanks in part to several tax credits the state of Tennessee was giving at that time for construction involving iron production and non-farming land. This iron forge soon became the inspiration for the town’s name, and later the inspiration for the name of the new Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery, the Old Forge Distillery.
However, the historical significance does not end there for the Old Forge Distillery. Soon after Isaac Lewis built the iron forge, his son William built the town’s first water-powered gristmill next door.
Still in operation today, the Old Mill is the most historic building in Pigeon Forge and will be the source of many of the grains that the Old Forge Distillery plans to use in their products, including their 1830 Original.
The first product to be released by the new Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery, 1830 Original is named after the year that William Love built The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. This spirit is a hand-forged, 100-proof moonshine that is made from pure Smoky Mountain spring water and locally-grown and ground corn.
Guests to the area can find 1830 Original for sale at both the new Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery, as well as The Old Mill Square.
Other Pigeon Forge Moonshine Flavors
The master crafters at the new Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery don’t plan on solely focusing on moonshine. According to a release sent to us from the Old Forge Distillery, the company soon plans on releasing a variety of small-batch spirits that include a beer-washed whiskey and a cocktail spirits line called Tennessee Roots.
Similar to the 1830 Original, all products produced by the Old Forge Distillery will incorporate local ingredients like sassafras and ginger root.
Like good neighbors should, the Old Forge Distillery also plans on keeping close ties with fellow businesses in The Old Mill Square that includes using ingredients from The Old Mill Candy Kitchen and grain from The Old Mill. Pigeon Forge Pottery is even crafting an exclusive line of moonshine jugs to be sold alongside the new moonshine line.
Location & Visiting Information
While you are waiting for the new flavors to be released, you can watch the master crafters in action by visiting the Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge. The distillery is open to guests Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Guests of legal drinking age are more than welcome to sample the spirits made at the Distillery, as well as take a jar or two home with you before you go.
The Pigeon Forge moonshine distillery is located next door to The Old Mill Shopping Center directly off the Parkway. The building that the Old Forge Distillery calls home is an 100-year-old barn that was built using Tennessee timber.
What part of Pigeon Forge’s history would you like to see come back to life with a new business? Let us know in the comments below!
Learn More about Pigeon Forge History
To learn more about the rich history of Pigeon Forge that went into creating the Old Forge Distillery, be sure to check out the Smoky Mountain history and information page on our website. There you can find information on the history of the area, as well as information on all the fun and exciting things to do while you are here.