It won't be long before famous moonshiner Popcorn Sutton's special recipe will be brewed again in Cocke County. But this time, it will be legal, and with the full support of the county and the state.
Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC will soon open a new 46,000 square foot craft distillery on Highway 25 E. They plan to create 36 new jobs over the next five years.
"Whether it's whiskey, cars or guitars, Tennessee's brand and reputation for high quality craftsmanship is world-renowned," Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner BillHagerty said Wednesday. "Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC's decision to invest and expand here in Tennessee speaks volumes about our state's business climate, which is second to none."
Sutton was a third-generation moonshiner who became famous for his illegal liquor. He took his own life in 2009 just a few months after he pleaded guilty to charges including "knowingly distilling" spirits.
The distilling company that bears his name was founded by his friend and apprentice Jamey Grosser.
"When Popcorn and I talked about forming the company, it was always our vision to come back to Cocke County," Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC Founder Jamey Grosser said.
"Every step in the production process, from mashing to distilling to bottling, will take place right here in Popcorn's backyard," Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC CEO Megan Kvamme said. "This is where Popcorn made his famous moonshine and evaded the law for decades. It's only fitting that we bring his craft enterprise back home, this time with a legal license and the support of Cocke County."
"The opening of the distillery in Cocke County has been a personal dream of mine; I'm thrilled that I have helped make Popcorn's final wishes come true," Pam Sutton, widow of Popcorn Sutton, said. "Our county needs more revenue and more jobs, and I'm proud that the company he helped create will be part of that. If he could see the distillery, Popcorn would be like a kid in a candy store. He would be very anxious to get the pots cooking."
"We are very pleased that Jamey Grosser and the management of Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC made the decision to bring the operation to Newport/Cocke County," Cocke County Partnership President Donald Hurst said. "We appreciate the confidence shown in our business climate and in our workforce. This is a very unique opportunity for a company to have an impact locally in manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture all at the same time."
For more information on Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey, please visit http://www.popcornsuttonswhiskey.com/.