The Golden Rule
The distillery is owned and operated by the Kaufman brothers. In 1910 their great grandfather, Jesse Shwayder, founded the iconic American brand Samsonite. Shwayder never missed an opportunity to attribute his company’s success to the Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
He deep conviction had him start a tradition of handing out marbles engraved with the Golden Rule. The Kaufman brothers carry on this tradition to honor their great grandfather with a collectable coin inscribed with this philosophy on every 750 ml bottle.
Short Mountain Distillery is partnered with local legends of moonshine, Ricky Estes & Ronald Lawson. These men have retired from their days of illegal wildcatting, but their craft is undisputed. We're also partnered with our farm manager and moonshiner, Blake Hunter. Although younger, he too is an experienced distiller.
Our moonshiners bring to the table over 100 combined years of distilling experience. Short Mountain Shine is made with the time-honored skills of Cannon County moonshiners and is refined by the modern distilling practices of our Master Distiller Josh Smotherman. Short Mountain Shine is the best-tasting shine ever made, made even better. Higher quality, higher Proof.
The Kaufman Brothers
Billy Kaufman is a rural Cannon County farmer who lives and works in Short Mountain, TN. Kaufman came to Cannon County in 2001 and runs the first farm in Cannon County to attempt organic certification. Working with the USDA, Kaufman installed erosion protections, water conservation systems and fencing. The stringent requirements protect streams, wildlife and drinking water for generations to come while providing healthier food for the community.
Short Mountain Farm is nestled in 400 acres of land that Kaufman wants to protect and make a viable part of our community. His work as a farmer providing food to locals and various markets got him thinking about ways that can better sustain local farmers.
Billy proposed an idea to his brothers (David, Ben, and Darian) to start a distillery called Short Mountain Distillery. It would create jobs, help keep local farmers in business and bring another unique Tennessee brand to America and the world. Most important to the Kaufman brothers, Short Mountain Distillery would be a locally owned and family funded business that’s a productive part of the community generating needed revenue that will stay in the county.
In the summer of 2010, Kaufman began seeking approval from his friends and neighbors by collecting signatures for a referendum. A law passed in 2009 by the state legislature cleared the way for distilleries to operate in Tennessee. On November 2, 2010 voters granted Kaufman permission to build a distillery in Cannon County through a general election referendum.
Since then, Short Mountain Distillery worked to receive both state and federal permits becoming Tennessee’s sixth distillery making a 105 proof authentic Tennessee Moonshine on Kaufman’s 300 acre farm. Short Mountain Distillery has become an internationally recognized moonshine with thousands of loyal followers.
And we're only just getting started.