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Alcohol in Unicoi County

Is a moonshine distillery in the future for the Town of Unicoi?
This is a question the town’s Planning Commission discussed during a meeting Monday evening at Unicoi Town Hall. Present at the meeting were Jerry Prosser and Earl Ponder – two North Carolina men interested in opening a distillery on Scott Lane in the town. Prosser told the panel that he and Ponder first planned to open a distillery on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, but due to the number of restrictions on distilleries in the state, they decided to investigate opening a distillery in Tennessee.
Prosser and Ponder, both of whom reside in Spruce Pine, said they have been familiar with the Town of Unicoi for many years.
“We have been working on this project for 6-8 months …” Prosser told the panel. “What we are trying to do is have a distillery and draw tourists in to sell T-shirts and memorabilia, things of that nature. In North Carolina, you can’t sell anything at a distillery. It all has to go to a broker, from a broker to the ABC [Alcoholic Beverage Control] board and then to the general public.”
He said once a distillery is permitted and licensed in Tennessee alcohol and other items, such as memorabilia, can be sold on site.
“Tennessee is set up under the heritage law as a very friendly place to accomplish this,” Prosser said.

For the remainder of this article please see the February 12, 2014 edition of The Erwin Record.