NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Distillers launched a 25-stop whiskey tour across Tennessee on Monday with the hopes of bringing tourists to all corners of the state.
The trail was announced by the Tennessee Distillers Guild, comprised of distillers from some of the largest distilleries like Jack Daniel's, as well as some brand new distilleries and boutique distilleries that produce just a fraction of the whiskey in Tennessee.
Visitors can get a free passport booklet online or at some distilleries and collect stamps at each distillery.
Everyone who collects all 25 stamps will get a commemorative gift.
“This could be a game changer in that people could literally see Tennessee as a spirit destination as much as a music destination," Jeff Arnett, master distiller at Jack Daniel's, said of the whiskey trail. “It is an opportunity really to showcase the craftsman from Memphis to Bristol and all across the state, and the great heritage, not just of music, but of whiskey making we have here, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
One of the focuses of the whiskey trail was to make sure it was a collaborative effort between the distilleries across the state, all being given a chair at the table.
“For a guy that makes a barrel a week to be able to stand next to and shoulder to shoulder with the oldest registered distillery in the United States making 2,000 barrels a day, that’s pretty cool, and I think that sort of spirit of cooperation is what’s going to set us apart," Heath Clark of H Clark Distillery said of working with Jack Daniel's and other distilleries.
The hope is that the Tennessee Whiskey Trail will become one of the main reasons people travel to, and revisit Tennessee.
“We want the Tennessee Whiskey Trail to become as big as what they’ve been able to do in Kentucky and maybe even beyond that," Arnett said. "We think we have more to celebrate here. We have a lot of history and heritage to be explored, and we’re hoping that becomes everybody’s next vacation.”
The trail can be completed at a visitor's own pace. The trail's website will offer a 10-day itinerary for enthusiasts who want to finish it in one trip.