Tennessee Distillers Guild Announces New President, Board of Directors

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The Tennessee Distillers Guild announced today that Old Forge Distillery General Manager Kris Tatum has been elected President of the 2-year-old group that promotes and advocates for the state’s distilled spirits industry.

Tatum, a veteran in the construction and restaurant industries, started the distillery project in Pigeon Forge in 2012 and opened the doors in June of 2014. This marks his second term on the Board of Directors, and he follows Jeff Pennington and Billy Kaufman in the role of President. The members of the Tennessee Distillers Guild (TDG) selected the Board of Directors during a quarterly meeting recently at the offices of Bone McAllester Norton in Nashville. Officers were elected soon after.

 “This is an exciting time to lead the [Tennessee Distillers] Guild. The spirits industry is booming in Tennessee and we have some game changing projects in the works,” said Tatum. “We’re more ready than ever to claim our history and heritage as Tennessee distillers.”

The Board also appointed Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller at Jack Daniel Distillery, as Vice President, Greg Eidam II, Head Distiller of Sugarlands Distilling Company, as Treasurer, and Tyler Crowell, Chief Operating Officer of Corsair Distillery, as Secretary.

Other Board members for 2016 include:

  • Chris Canale, Founder of Old Dominck Distillery
  • Heath Clark, Founder of H Clark Distillery
  • Allisa Henley, Distiller of George Dickel Distillery
  • Billy Kaufman, President of Short Mountain Distillery
  • Jeff Pennington, Co-founder of Speakeasy Spirits

Founded in 2014, the Tennessee Distillers Guild is the state’s voice for Tennessee Whiskey and spirits issues. There are currently 23 (DSP holder) members- Beechtree Distillery, Big River Distilling Company, Blackberry Farm, Bootleggers Distillery, Corsair Artisan Distillery, Duck River Distillery, George Dickel Distillery, H Clark Distillery, Jack Daniel Distillery, Knox Whiskey Works, Nashville Craft, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Old Dominick Distillery, Old Forge Distillery, Old Glory Distilling Co., Short Mountain Distillery, Southern Pride Distillery, SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery, Sugarlands Distilling Company, Tenn South Distillery, Tennessee Distilling Company, Tennessee Stillhouse, and Thunder Road Distillery.

The TDG’s membership includes distilleries from across the state, from the oldest registered distillery in America to some of the newest. Worldwide brands and micro craft distilleries alike are working together to bolster Tennessee’s heritage as a producer of quality whiskey and spirits.

Tennessee’s registered distilleries have skyrocketed in the last six years from three to more than forty. Laws allowing the manufacturing of distilled spirits across the state changed in 2009, opening the door for the resurgence. New distilleries include entrepreneurs as well as the resurrection of pre-Prohibition brands.

“2016 presents the Guild with opportunities to show off not only where we’ve been as a globally recognizable brand, but also where the future is heading in the Tennessee spirits industry,” Tatum said.

The Tennessee Distillers Guild was founded in 2014 as a non-profit trade association to responsibly promote and advocate for the distilling industry in Tennessee through the collective voice of its members.

For more information about the Tennessee Distillers Guild, visit TNdistillersguild.org.