Short Mountain has a long history in the production of some of the finest moonshines and Tennessee Spirits in the country. After the Civil War, there were 18 legal distilleries in Cannon County. Distilleries were the pinnacle of the local agricultural framework, providing added value to surplus crops. In 1920, prohibition shut down the relationship between farming and distilleries, but the heritage of whiskey making lived on, nowhere more so than Short Mountain, Cannon County, Tennessee. During this time, famous Moonshiners like Cooper Melton used their farm’s cave spring to make moonshine that is said to have supplied Al Capone’s speakeasies throughout the North East.
The distillery is owned and operated by the Kaufman brothers. In 1910, their great grandfather, Jesse Shwayder, founded the iconic American brand Samsonite. Shwayder never missed an opportunity to attribute his company’s success to the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' He believed in this deep value so much that he started a tradition of handing out marbles engraved with the Golden Rule. The Kaufman brothers carry on this tradition to honor their great grandfather with a collectable coin inscribed with this philosophy on every 750 ml bottle.
Billy Kaufman is a rural Cannon County farmer who lives and works in Short Mountain, TN. Kaufman came to Cannon County in 2001 and runs the first farm in Cannon County to attempt organic certification. Working with the USDA, Kaufman installed erosion protections, water conservation systems and fencing. The stringent requirements protect streams, wildlife and drinking water for generations to come while providing healthier food for the community. Short Mountain Farm is nestled in 400 acres of land that Kaufman wants to protect and make a viable part of the community. His work providing food to locals and various markets got him thinking about ways that can better sustain local farmers. Billy proposed an idea to his brothers to start a distillery called Short Mountain Distillery. It would create jobs, help keep local farmers in business and bring another unique Tennessee brand to America and the world.
Short Mountain Distillery is partnered with local legends of moonshine, Ricky Estes & Ronald Lawson. These men have retired from their days of illegal wildcatting, but their craft is still undisputed. Short Mountain Distillery also partnered with their younger but experienced farm manager and moonshiner, Blake Hunter. Together they bring over 100 combined years of distilling experience to the table. Short Mountain Shine is made with the time-honored skills of Cannon County moonshiners and is refined by the modern distilling practices of their Master Distiller Josh Smotherman. Short Mountain Shine is the best-tasting shine ever made, made even better. Higher quality, higher proof.
In addition to quality spirits, the Kaufman brothers wanted to ensure Short Mountain Distillery was locally owned, family funded, and a productive part of the community. With the help of their community, Short Mountain Distillery worked to receive both state and federal permits, becoming Tennessee’s sixth distillery to make an authentic 105 proof Tennessee Moonshine. Short Mountain Distillery has become an internationally recognized moonshine with thousands of loyal followers, and they’re only getting started.