Matt Cunningham recently stood in front of a packed house and announced his plans for the Old Glory Distilling Company in Clarksville, TN. This was also the first day he publicly showcased the first suite of distilled spirits. He’s nervous and excited and clearly moved as he finally shares his dream with the masses. The Kickoff event was well attended, including project collaborators, friends, family members, local press and leaders in the Clarksville business community.
The Old Glory site sits just off I-24 at Exit 4. Once complete, a very large, open neon sign modeled after the famous Budweiser brewery sign in St. Louis will beacon passers by to the distillery. Hoping to bring additional tourists to Clarksville, Matt notes that he wants to be “Clarksville’s distillery, something the whole community can be proud of.”
Plans for the distillery, event space and tasting room were first unveiled. The distillery will house two American-made stills, a stripping still plus a 500-gallon Vendome pot still. The two-story multi-use event space can host up to 350 people for private events and will have full view of the working distillery through large glass walls. Barrel warehouses are set to occupy some of the remaining 7 acres of property on Alfred Thun Road.
Next, Cunningham showed off his logo flagship brands. The American flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, purity and innocence and vigilance, perseverance and justice in its red, white & blue. Cunningham’s branding embodies each of these American characteristics in a modern way. Old Glory’s proximity to Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division doesn’t go without a respectful patriotic nod, either. Reading from what will be the back of one of the label’s flagship brands, Jumper’s Stash, Matt described his rum:
In honor of their fighting spirit, we’ve crafted a rum distilled from primo sugar cane molasses, which imparts it with distinct flavors, and makes it great for mixing, sipping, pouring and toasting to missions accomplished.
Additional brands include Smooth Shine Tennessee Moonshine, Old Glory Tennessee Vodka and White Hat Whiskey. Cunningham exhibits both ingenuity and respect for those who paved the way with his wheat-based shine saying, “working in the shadow of whiskey making royalty here in Tennessee we weren’t about to come out of the gate with a high-octane, corn and sugar based hooch that can peel paint off an M1-Abrams tank!”
The vodka will be filtered with the same sugar maple charcoal that makes a whiskey Tennessee Whiskey. Matt is quick to point out that Old Glory will primarily be a Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon producer but that those releases are several years down the road… at least 4.
Projected to be open by Fall of 2015, Matt hopes his distillery will be the “gateway” between the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the newly developing Tennessee Whiskey Trail. Old Glory is a member of the Tennessee Distillers Guild.