Tennessee's first legal moonshiners welcome 4 million visitors

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Nine years ago moonshine was illegal in Tennessee -- fast forward to today and a Sevier County distillery says more people come here instead of famous liquor attractions like Kentucky’s Bourbon Road.

Ole Smoky has rolled out a new product of moonshine peaches!

The Ole Smoky Distillery in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg says more than 4 million people came through their doors last year. They came up with this number using people counting technology installed in store entrances.

The brand is now so popular, they're expanding.

"We're expanding to Nashville. We find that they're an appeal for our product in general, moonshine and whiskey," said Robert Hall, Ole Smoky Moonshine CEO. "We're opening 'The Garden very close to downtown in April."

Now sold in all 50 states, Hall says favorites like apple pie and mountain java will soon be on the shelves at your local spirits store.

Gatlinburg spokesperson Marci Claude says as Ole Smoky has expanded. They've also spread the word about Gatlinburg and a place to bring families.

"Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler is a welcoming family-friendly environment. They have great shows and great music on a daily basis, they have great merchandise for sale," said Claude.

She says they've also been a good community partner.

And if you want to try the newest batch, you'll always have to buy it first in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

"And even if they don't [buy any] they get a good feeling about the brand walking away. Our brand brings a smile to people's face," said Hall.

The Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler in Gatlinburg welcomed over 2 million visitors; Gatlinburg's Ole Smoky Whiskey Barrelhouse welcomed over 900,000; and the company's Pigeon Forge distillery, The Barn, welcomed 1.1 million.

Ole Smoky has planned their next set of summer concerts. May 7th will be The Band Perry performing at the Island in Pigeon Forge.