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Will Cheek Quoted on Whiskey Distilleries in Tennessee
In 2010, Legislature passed a law allowing 43 Tennessee counties to manufacture whiskey. This law was passed in hopes that new distilleries will work in conjunction with the established brands to create a draw for tourists to Tennessee.
Will Cheek told Westview, "It was seen as being a really strong barrier to starting up, particularly for a microdistillery where you really don't want to spend that much money and you don't have that many people,"
"Any changes to the state liquor laws are going to be very difficult," he said.
"What is happening now really lays the foundation for a whiskey trail that is similar to the bourbon trail that Kentucky has," Cheek said. "The bourbon trail is fairly successful, but what the bourbon trail lacks is an international brand. We know Maker's Mark and we know Wild Turkey, but those aren't big brands in Europe or China or Japan.”
"We've got Jack Daniel's and that might be the best-known brand of spirits worldwide. We have a real marquee that draws people, and if we could have a number of micro-distilleries that are available for touring and marketed properly, it could be really neat."
This story was picked up and repeated in papers like The Leaf Chronicle, The Daily Herald and other papers by the Associated Press.