End of the Line
“Made like an outlaw, tastes like home!”
By Polly Dean
Featured photo by Jimmy Jacobs
Looking for a unique spot to quinch your thirst after a day on the trout waters of the northern portion of the Peach State?
The moonshine distillery in Blairsville, Georgia first came to my attention as I sat in the audience one evening listening to the music of Tommy Townsend as he and his band performed his own music, along with the music of Waylon Jennings, my all-time favorite musician. Tommy’s career didn’t start as a moonshiner, but as a musician who played for decades with the great “Outlaw” Waylon Jennings. Tommy still writes music and tours, but is never far from his guitar.
Back in the day, the North Georgia countryside was covered with bootleggers. One of the most famous was Jack “Mimm” McClure, who happened to be Tommy’s great grandfather. Tommy stumbled on his granddaddy’s legendary recipe, and the rest is history. Today, as the founder of Mimm’s, he distills their moonshine using the same recipe, but will admit that he does pay “a little extra in taxes.”
The distillery is open every day, except Sunday, for tours and tastings. Visitors can take a glimpse into how moonshine was made years ago and why the process was passed down for generations to come. In addition to moonshine, Grandaddy Mimm’s makes vodka, whiskey, sorghum rum, and even beer. Flavors include peach, blueberry, blackberry, wild cherry and a couple of varieties of apple, such as Apple Brown Betty, that is good for sippin’ on a fall evening.
Tours are offered in a variety of lengths, but always a tasting is part of the experience. And speaking from experience, I wouldn’t recommend beginning your sampling with the 140-proof Mule-Kickin’ Shine. As they say, “It’s the closest thing to the illegal stuff you can get!”
Look out for Grandaddy Mimm’s products at a few select outlets in Georgia and Florida. The distillery’s website lists a variety of seasonal recipes, many designed by their bartending staff.
Even better, visit Grandaddy Mimm’s in person, sit at the bar or a table and order one of their many cocktail offerings made with their home brews. Also look for Tommy who just may be in his favorite corner booth at the distillery, As Tommy believes, “Country music and moonshine have a good way of mixing, and we feel it’s always best to enjoy them together. Anyone can enjoy moonshine if it’s made the right way!”