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Gainesboro’s Roaring River Distillery Hoping For November Opening

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Gainesboro’s Roaring River Distillery Hoping For November Opening

A new distillery will soon open its doors in downtown Gainesboro.

Roaring River Distillery is a family business that will see a variety of products ranging from moonshine to homemade pottery, to homemade jams and jellies. Owner Sheila Hunt said that the distillery is the only one in the Upper Cumberland that distills its product in-house.

“It’s still exactly that it is back in the day. My grandfather did it and we just, like my son said, we really enjoy doing it and we just want to carry on the tradition and keep history alive especially for all the people that have never been around it and don’t know exactly how it’s done.”

Hunt said their entire process is done by hand, from bottling to labeling to corking. She said that they also have future plans for distilling bourbon, rum, and whisky.

Hunt said that they hope to open their front of shop on November 1st. She said at a later date, they plan on having their courtyard ready for live music and events.

Sheila’s son Chad Hunt is the master distiller for Roaring River. He said that like his mother, he wants to keep the tradition of moonshine alive in the community.

“So in our distilling process, we do it the old-fashioned way,” Hunt said. “We have a copper pot still, it’s all copper and consists of the pot, stump keg and condensers. When we make our mash we don’t use any manmade yeast we sprout mulch-grown corn and use enzymes from that to get the fermentation process going. Once its completed its fermentation process we put it in the still and start cooking it. Once it reaches about 170 degrees the alcohol starts coming off the mash evaporating and it’ll go through the entire system touching copper at all times which takes out sulfites and other impurities that cause the and taste and all that. Once it condenses back down in the condenser, it comes out as the pure, white lightning moonshine.”

It’s the same community aspect that has the Hunts excited for the opening.

“Once we all got into it and starting doing it,” Chad Hunt said. “We found out how much we actually enjoy doing it and conversating with the customers and hearing their stories and telling our stories, we decided to keep on doing it and keep the tradition alive.”

Roaring River Distillery is located at 208 South Main Street, under the Texaco star sign.


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