Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC: the moonshine legend lives on in Newport, Tennessee

Popcorn Sutton is a Tennessee legend. He called himself the "last of the moonshiners" and no one was about to argue with him. His home was in Tennessee and North Carolina. He was known far and wide for his legendary moonshine skills. Creating the drink known as White Lightning, Mountain Dew, Shine, "likker" or moonshine takes skills. Making it for personal use was never illegal to my understanding. It's the selling of the drink that got people into trouble.

Popcorn Sutton was one of those people. He ran into the pesky problem of legalities. It took the FBI and ATF to bring him down. But true to form, Popcorn got the last word. Although tried and convicted, he never did spend a night in jail. He allegedly said that he'd die before serving time and he meant it. The famous moonshiner shot himself in March 2009. The deed was done only a few days before his sentence was to have begun.

Now, the famous drink is again returning to Cocke, County in Tennessee. It's legal this time. The Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC is legally operating in a 46,000-square-foot facility in Newport, Tennessee. An expected 36 jobs are to be created within five years. Apprentice Jamey Grosser is the founder of the corporation.

WBIR, quotes Jamey Grosser as saying "When Popcorn and I talked about forming the company, it was always our vision to come back to Cocke County."

I guess that in a way, we can say "welcome back" to Popcorn Sutton. His legacy and craft lives on.

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