Hook and Ladder co-owner Drew Draper, stands beside a barrel in his distillery. Hook & Ladder Tennessee Moonshine opened recently in downtown Kingsport. Photos by Nick Shepherd.
Moonshine will now be made a little closer to home after Hook & Ladder Tennessee Moonshine opened up a distillery in downtown Kingsport.
The distillery is located between Church Circle and Center Street at 316 Broad Street. It will operate between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
"We're open, we do tours and free tastings," said Drew Draper, co-owner of Hook & Ladder. "We want to see everybody's smiling faces down here."
Draper said he is about to retire in a couple of years and was looking for something to get into after he does. So he and his son decided to open a moonshine distillery because they believed they could make better shine than is currently available.
Draper is a decorated Senior Captain for Kingsport Fire Station One with 26 years of service to his credit. So when it was time to come up with a name, the duo wanted to honor firefighters across the country. And Hook & Ladder Tennessee Moonshine was born.
While the drinks are the main attraction, the decor is just as alluring. The distillery has exposed brick walls with firefighting memorabilia to honor those who served. Once inside, visitors will find an old, thumper-style still which the father-son duo use to produce a high proof moonshine with quality mash and superior taste.
Hook & Ladder offers five flavors, with new ones introduced each month. So far there are a 140 proof straight shine, 100 proof straight shine, cinnaburn, salted carmel, mango and honey.
"We wanted to come out with stuff that's not on the shelves now," Draper said.