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A Modest Goal: Parity for Distilleries under Tennessee Law
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A Modest Goal: Parity for Distilleries under Tennessee Law

11.01.15
We sense that many distillers want to see Tennessee law changed to give distillers similar rights to wineries and breweries.  We keep hearing the word "parity."  It is not fair for breweries and wineries to have more privileges than distilleries under Tennessee law.

Many, including us, think there is a bias against laws governing spirits because of a long-held and incorrect presumption that whiskey is more dangerous than wine and beer.  Our college days taught us that you can get just as smashed on Miller Lite as on shots of Jose Cuervo.

Jack Daniels Master Distiller Jeff Arnett captured a key sentiment in this very memorable quote:

"There is no drink of moderation – only the practice of it."


Another consideration is that laws governing manufacturing of spirits date from the 1930's.  Beer and wine manufacturing laws are relatively new, and reflect more-modern sentiments that generally accept alcohol in contemporary society.

Reminds us of the classic Van Halen song "Take Your Whiskey Home"

Well, I think that you're headed for a whole lot of trouble. 
If you take your whiskey... 
Well, that liquor in the nighttime leaves strange memories.


In our humble opinion, there is no reason for Tennessee state law to give wineries and breweries more rights than bestowed to distilleries.  For example, why can wineries and breweries have a restaurant; but not distilleries?  Why are distillery tasting rooms limited to small samples, without mixers and palate cleansers like crackers and cheese?

We encourage lawmakers to remember who butters the bread in Tennessee.  Distilleries generate huge tax revenue, jobs and tourism for the state.  Jack Daniels gives Tennessee world-wide recognition, more so than country music, Memphis blues or the Tennessee Waltz.  Jack is certainly a premier Tennessee product, taxpayer and employer.

Show whiskey some respect and give the industry parity.

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