GATLINBURG, Tenn., March 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sugarlands Distilling Company, one of the fastest growing crafters of moonshine spirits in the country, is celebrating its two year anniversary in March.
Since distillation began in 2014, Sugarlands Distilling Company expanded its award-winning operation by introducing new varieties of spirits, distributing in more states, and initiating the Sugarlands Whiskey Project.
Over the past 12 months, the East Tennessee company has experienced significant growth—selling more than 80,000 cases of moonshine in 17 states—marking a 60 percent increase in sales from the previous year.
During the same period, more than 800,000 people visited the downtown Gatlinburg distillery to enjoy free tastings, live music, and behind-the-scenes distillery tours—making it America's top-rated distillery experience and the number one "thing to do" in Gatlinburg, Tenn., according to TripAdvisor.com.
"The growth we have seen over the past two years has been exciting," said owner and CEO Ned Vickers. "We fully expect it to continue as we expand our distribution westward and develop new, quality spirits."
Since November, Sugarlands Distilling Co. added five varieties of moonshine to their line of spirits, including Root Beer, Peppermint and Mark and Digger's Rye Apple Moonshine. Mark and Digger's Rye Apple was born from a partnership between Sugarlands Distilling Co. and East Tennessee legends Mark Ramsey and Digger Manes—stars of the hit Discovery Channel program Moonshiners.
In the coming year, Sugarlands Distilling Co. plans to introduce a line of whiskeys that will include a Tennessee Whiskey and a craft rye whiskey. The company also plans to expand its overall distribution into western states and is currently discussing potential distribution partnerships in California.
To keep up with increasing national demand for Sugarlands Shine, and to facilitate production and aging of whiskey, the company recently constructed a nearly 2,000 foot warehouse and installed a new 750-gallon copper still at their downtown Gatlinburg distillery.
Sugarlands Distilling Co. has also committed to matching its charitable efforts from 2015 by giving away $60,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations in 2016 through its MoonShare program. Twelve nonprofit organizations from across the U.S. have been chosen to receive $5,000 each from the company to help further their charitable missions.
"As we continue to reach new people at our distillery, at events, and through our distilled spirits, we will continue to help people improve communities nationwide through charitable donations and volunteer efforts," Vickers added.
To commemorate the two-year milestone, the company will host a celebration at their downtown Gatlinburg distillery April 15. The celebration will feature a live performance by bluegrass legends, The Hackensaw Boys. The show begins at 7 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public; seating is limited.
Sugarlands Distilling Company is a producer of craft quality moonshine and whiskey and is also a popular attraction in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Inside the distillery, guests can taste free samples of authentic Sugarlands Shine, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the production, and purchase a variety of moonshine flavors, mountain merchandise, and apparel. To enhance their experience, guests can enjoy live music, Appalachian storytelling, and book outdoor adventure tours in the Sugarlands, an area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park historically referred to as "moonshiners' paradise." The company is East Tennessee-owned, with a focus on bettering the local community through a variety of events and charitable giving. Sugarlands Shine is currently available for purchase in FL, AL, MS, SC, NC, TN, KY, IN, IL, WV, MD, NY, CT, MI, VA, MN and TX. Since opening in 2014, Sugarlands Shine has won 21 awards at spirits competitions in the U.S. and abroad.
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Source:Sugarlands Distilling Co.