Cannon County Voters Say "YES" To State's First Distillery Referendum

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John Whittmore, left, and Billy Kaufman discuss the prospects of the referendum vote to allow liquor distillery in Cannon County.
Voters in Cannon County gave the green light Tuesday to a proposed distillery on Short Mountain near Woodbury. Backers are now looking to deliver for the community and state.

The vote was 1962 to 1663 in favor of the referendum.

"I am humbled by the support of my neighbors and my community," said Short Mountain farmer Billy Kaufman. "Their support and confidence means so much to all of us, and we've got a lot of work to do to now to build an American brand we all can be proud of."

Backers placed the referendum on the ballot after the state legislature passed a law allowing legal distilleries across the state of Tennessee. Lawmakers put in place a referendum process for counties that do not already allow liquor by the drink or package stores.

Short Mountain Distillery will produce Tennessee Corn Whiskey and moonshine. The group hopes to put up a "Future Home Of" sign soon.

Cannon County has a rich agricultural heritage that also produced what some say was the best distilled spirits in the country before and during prohibition. Moonshine from the hills of Cannon County is specifically celebrated in old time country music songs once sung at the Grand Ole Opry by Uncle Dave Macon, Porter Wagoner and others. In the mid 1800s, Cannon County alone had more than 18 operating distilleries. Tennessee is well known around the world for Jack Daniel's and George Dickel aged whiskeys.

Short Mountain Distillery will bring tourism, jobs and needed county revenue while honoring the community's history and character.

"We want to work directly with local farmers and businesses as we grow," Kaufman said. "We want to share our local history with the world, and we want tourism to bring new opportunities for local businesses."

Kaufman is the great-grand children of Jesse Shwayder, the founder of another well-known American brand Samsonite 100 years ago in 1910. Their grandfather, Louis Degan, ran Samsonite's Murfreesboro, TN location for decades employing many Middle Tennesseans.

Short Mountain Distillery will be a small-batch craft distiller located on a 300 acre farm on Short Mountain. For more information, visit our website at
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Members Opinions:
November 02, 2010 at 9:43pm
More jobs and Tax revenue..Win-Win situation
November 02, 2010 at 10:17pm
Great news! Maybe some of us unemployed can finally get a job in the county again!
November 02, 2010 at 10:33pm
I am pleased this passed and wish positive outcome to the endeavor! Way to go!
November 02, 2010 at 10:42pm
congratulations and wishing you much success
November 03, 2010 at 2:19am
Good things happen to and for good people. I look forward to "The Home of" sign!
November 03, 2010 at 5:58am
Before we get too high and mighty over this, let's see how it works out....just how many jobs this will create...I believe there is going to be quite a surprise....what's next? a whiskey store on every corner....This county has been doing a backward slide for the past 20 years and we keep sliding. No place to work and no place to shop...Now that's progress....
November 03, 2010 at 6:08am
Look at how many locals (including church members) toured Jacks and ate at Miss Bobos--booming tourist industry laid on the doorsteps of Cannon County.

And not to be sacrilegious-- remember Jesus had his own operation at Cana and Paul advised Timothy to imbibe--no one has condemned Jesus or Paul and I bet Timothy did just what Paul told him to do.

Anyone notice the clorine taste in the county's water?

November 03, 2010 at 6:54am
Even if only one or two jobs come from it, then thats one or two more that Cannon County has. It's time to start looking toward the positive instead of what we don't have; we need to be thankful for what we have!
November 03, 2010 at 6:57am
Typical dailyreader trying to cause division in a place he doesn't live.

Typical dailyreader, who is a self proclaimed atheist, trying to quote scripture and "not be sacrilegious".

What a hypocrite.

Typical dailyreader with incoherent ramble that started somewhere in the middle of his mind and wondered in to the comments he was typing.

Oh well, nothing new.
November 03, 2010 at 7:44am
Congratulations... I wish you much success with this and looking forward to seeing the "Future Home" sign go up. Also look forward to coming and touring it once it gets open.
November 03, 2010 at 8:28am
Maybe this is waht the community needs. Jobs will creat less supported by foodstamps and gov. assistance. Perhaps the offer to buy foodstamps from residents will not be as great. I thin the county needs all the help it can get.
November 03, 2010 at 10:27am

I think Mr. Kaufman is confusing support for the manufacture of liquor in Cannon County with support for his effort to pursue a distillery in Cannon County.
November 03, 2010 at 11:09am
I think this is a victory for all of Cannon County, in terms of both jobs and tourism. I plan to be one of the first to tour his facilities once he completes them.
November 03, 2010 at 11:11am
Ringo- maybe you are confused in assuming what I supported and or voted for. Even though I am for operating a legal distillery in our county, I mainly voted yes so me and my neighbors can maintain the right to do what we want to on our own land, within the limits of the law, without our nosey, busybody neighbors peering over fences trying to tell us what we can and cannot do on our land. As for the other 1961 yes voters, I can not speak for them.
November 03, 2010 at 11:34am
Finally good sense wins out. Congrats
November 03, 2010 at 1:25pm
Gee rachel, sounds you supported the referendum on principal and personal beliefs, not so these particular guys could build a distillery?
November 03, 2010 at 3:26pm
I think it's completly reasonable for the sponsor of a referendum to have a stake in the outcome. It's probably why Mr. Kaufman supported the measure. There is nothing conspiratorial about the process. Ringo - Don't be a boob. Your words are not clever, rather they are unnecessarily inflammatory.
November 03, 2010 at 5:53pm
Dont know if you read the referendum or voted, but the referendum was for allowing a legal distillery to operate in Cannon county, not so "these particular guys could build a distillery".

Since you ask I base most ,if not all, my votes on principals and personal beliefs. I really can see basing my vote on anything else, although I understand many vote the way someone else, like party or preacher, tells them to vote.
November 04, 2010 at 6:25am
Slow day, off the subject but addressing the comment "self proclaimed atheist-- What a hypocrite" posted below.

The name calling has always been delivered as a slur, derogatory, meant to be degrading and even to demonize.

Atheists are no more bad or good than Christians are--such men as Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Einstein, Edison, Sagan, St Thomas Aquinas perhaps even Reagan, Lincoln and John Adams are among this group.
They were not and are not by nature anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-religion or any more immoral than the run of the mill Christian--faulty, yes like all men are.

They pretty much believed what Jefferson believed --it does not pick their pocket or break their leg that someone else believes in one God or twenty Gods.

They did, on occasion, direct some pointed sarcasm at those who exhibited the same behavior like those in Matthew 23 where upon Jesus directed his wrath.

Bigot: One who is intolerant of those who have a different creed or belief/one who holds blindly and intolerantly to a creed/ belief/opinion.

November 04, 2010 at 6:54am
OK once again dailyreader no one cares about your lunatic ranting on a subject that has nothing to do with the article.

If you view being called an atheist as a slur or derogatory then don't proclaim to be one and write about how proud you are of it.

And unlike you I have never called you anything personal like you continue to do me (stupid and now a bigot) because I don't agree with your liberal manure.

Take a day off, rest and get some sleep. Then come back and try to re-focus on making comments that belong to the article and not some obscure rant about your liberal views.

Otherwise, keep on living in your own world and the rest of us will live in reality.
November 04, 2010 at 8:20am

this has really become quite comical

as for your first point:on this topic you have had 2 leeeengthy opinions neither 'about the subject' instead the same thing over and over and over and...

second: read his post 1 more time, a little slower with dictionary in hand, his point is IT IS NOT-THAT IS NOT-a slur to be called an atheist.

as for being better than him and never calling names-after you just called him a lunatic.

as for 'the rest of us will live in reality'- I don't , and would rather not unless just so I could stay away, know where this clan of 'US' hangs out, and the same for their definition of reality!

I Think EVERYONE get your opinion by now--you dont like dreader or anyone who has a belief or opinion that differs with yours--truly believe me --WE GET IT. Have you seen many post that agree with you? Even those on your side are tired of it. Try to make a post about a topic with a founded opinion -you may shock us all. I dont agree totally with dreader nor you which make this site enjoyable--the sharing of a broad range of opinions. Not belittling others. I shall now retreat to the trenches to prepare for your onslaught.
November 04, 2010 at 9:01am
OK rachel you and dailyreader both need to get some rest and come back another day and focus.

1. No one said "hey rachel what do you think?" anywhere in any article I have ever read either.

2. I called his "rantings" lunatic. I did not say he was one.

3. You and he are the ones who continue to call people names (fool, stupid, bigot, etc.)

4. I could care less what you think of me because I am still not sure you and dailyreader are not the same person under different log in names.

5. I do not dislike dailyreader because I don't know him personally. What I dislike is him sticking his nose in the business of a town simply to stir up trouble while offering no solutions (kind of like you).

6. Finally, I fully understand by your own words concerning where you live in reality: "I don't, and would rather not"

I appreciate your admission and hope now you can get some help because admission is always the first step in any problem.
November 04, 2010 at 9:29am
totally the EXPECTED response
November 04, 2010 at 12:08pm
Lets keep it as simple as possible and see if that works-

November 05, 2010 at 12:53am
More jobs, I agree:
Law enforcement; for the drunk drivers, and domestic abuse brought on by alcohol.
Counselors; for families having to deal with an alcoholic father or spouse.
Grief counselors; for families that just lost a teen or other family member to a drunk driver.
Health care workers; to deal with the many detrimental effects of alcohol use.
Oh yes, there will be lots of jobs, but at whos expense?
November 05, 2010 at 6:47am
Well Rachel, NO I have not always been on topic beause I am trying to defend my town from people like dailyreader who have one goal in mind and that is to divide our community with his liberal non-sense.

I am also defending myself from YOU who is obsessed with mine and dailyreader's conversations.

If you would like for me to stay on topic then quit arguing with me about something that no one asked you to comment on and does not directly concern you.

If you would like me to stay on topic then call dailyreader and explain that I take offense to his comments when they are directed at people in my community who go to church and then he has the audacity to call me "stupid" and a "bigot".

I understand that you don't see the hypocrisy in 99% of his statements because you think he has a "right" to speak his mind.

Believe it or not so do I, but I am not blinded by the fact that his primary goal is to start trouble and in that I don't agree that he has a right.

I am weary of arguing with him and you because both of you offer no solutions and do nothing but complain.
November 05, 2010 at 9:57am
77- You and I disagree on many issues but at a casual day fishing we would hopefully become friends-friends with different opinions but friends never the less.

I assure you I may be obsessed about many things but you, daily, and opinions on-line don't fall near that list.

I am not as mush about solutions but more of a student of human nature. I enjoy hearing the opinions of others: if we agree then expressions to confirm and if we disagree- I try to understand their position and the events and experiences that brought them to that stand and then see if they can understand mine.

I place myself left of middle on social issues and right of middle on role of government and political issues but, I have a hard time understanding those at the extremes. This is a fault of mine and for that I apologize.

I hope we can agree on our right to disagree, realize each others opinion is just that and nothing more and move on. I don't want to make you or cause you " to be weary" and on that note, I call truce.
November 05, 2010 at 11:47am

Truce accepted and I have my fishing poles ready if you have a boat.

I am more than willing to agree to disaree with anyone and be friendly. To be honest, I may not always seem that way when I write, but I am one of the most friendly people I know.

My hope is dailyreader would follow the same lead!

His opinion is his opinion and I am cool with him having it, but if division, complaining, mockery of others because they don't accept his liberal views is what he continues to make his goal then I will continue to make it mine to refute that liberal garbage.

I take pride in being from Woodbury more than most. I was born here and God willing I will die here. I have worked hard over the years to make it a better place to live and raise a family. I know of very few who love it better than I do.

I will not stand by and watch someone try to bring it down or disrespect the people here simply because they are a troublemaker.

I don't care if you were born here and I don't care if moved here. But, I do care if you don't live here and then complain about how things are done here and that is why I spend my free time disputing what dailyreader writes.

I believe if you aren't part of the solution then you are a part of the problem!

I hope you will respect that for what it is!

November 08, 2010 at 9:28am
This is the stupidest thing that cannon county has ever done. Your crime rate is so high right now...everyday I read about Meth labs and pills and assaults and murders. This county has gone to crap. I think your county officials should concentrate more on hiring less lazy and better educated and trained cops. And hire better educators that can teach these drug addict's children not to do drug and to be good hard working citizens. Bringing a distillery into a high crime area has got to be the work of a stupid and uneducated person.
November 08, 2010 at 12:01pm
or 1962 stupid and uneducated persons

been to Lynchbury lately? you ought to--you may be impressed

I do agree hard drugs are an extremely serious problem (here and all over our country) and we need to do all we can to save our children.
November 08, 2010 at 2:00pm
-first of all i have no idea how bringing back some of our southern american heritage would make problems with drugs any worse. that has nothing to do with moonshine its the people that come here and live that make the decision to do that crap that makes the problems worse. so dont look for excuses. 2nd this actually could be close to the best thing that has happened to OUR COUNTY and i dont appreciate people calling it stupid and the people who believe in it stupid def when you dont know the future , you dont know what is going to happen, as far as you know this could turn OUR COUNTY around for the better
November 08, 2010 at 3:20pm
lisa we are more than happy for you to stay in YOUR county if you don't like what is going in OURS.

Last I checked, I don't remember anyone asking you what you thought anyway.
November 09, 2010 at 10:26am
Dear Corey,

Although I do live in the community of Readyville, I shop in your county, I drive to your county on a daily basis, and I have 3 wonderful children whom I love dearly born and raised in your county and currently living in your county. Two of which are driving the roads in your county. So you see Corey, I have a personal interest in this because I love someone more than I love myself or my pockets and it's very obvious you don't otherwise why in the world would you want to contribute to YOUR county's problems. Listen, I'm not looking to defend my opinion. Everyone has one and is entitled to one. However, I would like to say that if your county is going to support this distillery and distribution of alcohol to the counties residents and their visitors, then I hope it's their family whom is destroyed and affected by the drunk drives. and not mine...I think you get what I'm saying there, Corey!

And BubbaWatson,

Get your head out of your beer, "our southern american heritage" also included hanging people but you didn't see that on the stinking ballot. lol..

I hope everyone has a wonderful day...
November 09, 2010 at 1:48pm
Don't get confused Lisa, I never said I was for the referendum, I just didn't like the way you talked about how my town has gone to crap.

You are like so many others who do nothing but complain and offer no solutions.

Woodbury is the finest place in the world to live and despite the problems that we face, just like every other town has, we still manage to survive each day.

My point is simple. If you don't like it you are more than welcome to stay in Readyville or go to Murfreesboro.
November 12, 2010 at 12:16pm
Doolittle: Dailyreader offered a couple good points, probably anticipating the religious right's anti-alcohol campaign, by showing in the Bible itself how drinking alcohol is not immoral. Then you came back with a few wise-cracks which are none to the purpose whatsoever. There is nothing at all in what you've written that has actually addressed Dailreader's point. As a matter of fact, I agree with what he says and will expand on it a little bit. If you disagree (with a reason), perhaps we can disguss why.

It is my view that drinking alcohol can be immoral, if it is done immoderately, just like eating food can, or sex or any other physical pleasure. That's why the ancients said "temperance" was a virtue. Temperance, by the way, despite its mangled use in our uneducated vernacular, does not mean "abstinence." If one says that drinking alcohol isn't Biblical, I respond that that just isn't true. Christ turned water into wine, and Paul told Timothy to drink a little bit, to ease his mind. All early Christianity took wine in communion. The whole idea that Jesus was talking about "grape juice" or "unfermented wine" (which is an oxymoron) is a modern error and shows a lack of historical education. But Dailyreader could have quoted much more Scripture actually. God promised to bless the Israelites with wine and a fruitful land (Deut. 7:13), and wine is a gift of God to gladden the heart (Psalms 104:15, Ecclesiastes 9:7). Not to mention the Song of Solomon, which the history of Christianity has taken as an allegory of the love God has for his (true and oftentimes invisible) Church, makes constant comparisons to wine. Now, why would Jesus make something, God promise to bless his people with something, and compare his "beloved" people to something, which he prohibits? These are good questions for someone using the Bible to say alcohol is immoral. That's the point I think Dailyreader was making, and is, in any case, the point I'm making now.

The prohibition of alcohol doesn't make since to me, although advice about it's moderation does. I can respect why people do not promote the drinking of alcohol, or why they choose not to drink themselves (for it can become a temptation for some people in a way different than for other people), but again, if some want to try to bring the Bible into the alochol issue, I think some false views need to be corrected.
November 12, 2010 at 9:48pm
i have been reading back on this thing for awhile now and it sure looks like doo is obsessed with reader. and i like what pcm said.
November 13, 2010 at 8:06am
corey, i'd like to nominate you as cannon county's next good will ambassador. lisa, i quit shopping here a long time ago, except for the new ace hardware. cool store with very "helpful" people. and the general's not bad in a pinch, except watch out for all the junk from china.
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