There’s Stills In Them Thar Blairsville Hills!
Moonshining in Blairsville, Georgia……
And revenuers are welcome to visit, because guess what? Moonshining is now legal (up to a point), and Blairsville, Georgia has their own family operated “still” to prove it. Grandaddy Mimm’s is an easy drive from Blue Ridge and Helen, Georgia, Murpy, North Carolina and other popular mountain destinations. So don’t miss it!
Bootlegging As We Know It
The history of bootleg moonshine runs deep in the North Georgia mountains. Most everyone you meet who is local to Blue Ridge or Blairsville has a story about their grandaddy’s still. For many years, moonshining was quite literally a way of life, and to this day, the word “revenuer” is spoken with complete contempt and loathing. Around these parts, our grandparents, even those who didn’t participate in the moonshine business, taught most of us that there just wasn’t anything much lower than a revenuer – the men sent by the government to shut down the stills and cart the owners off to prison, assuming they could find them that is. The moonshiners were ingenious in devising ways to hide their stills, and themselves.
As was often the case, the moonshiners became something of local “Robin Hoods” and took it upon themselves to share their bounty with less fortunate families in their areas. From all accounts, Grandaddy Mimm was one of them.
History Of Grandaddy Mimm’s
The story behind Grandaddy Mimm’s Distillery goes all the way back to The Great Depression, when men were out of work and most families were struggling just to stay alive. Jobs were pretty much non-existent and many of the hill families turned to the making and distribution of moonshine.
Prohibition had created a huge demand for bootleg liquor in the US, so it was basically a no brainer. The mountains provided numerous hiding places for the illegal stills to operate, and before long, mountain made moonshine became a burgeoning industry.
One such ‘shiner was Jack “Mimm” McClure of Young Harris, Georgia, who was reported to have begun his career in bootleg corn whiskey in 1930. Mimm soon developed a reputation as a keen businessman, with a superior product. Evidence would suggest that he enjoyed a tremendous success, and along the way saw fit to share in his good fortune, frequently giving aid to other suffering families in the region.
Today, Tommy Townsend, the grandson of Mimm McClure is serving up the old recipe in Blairsville, Georgia at Grandaddy Mimm’s Distillery and Museum. If you want to head over for a glass of their homebrew and some good conversation, they are located at 2743 Pappys Plaza.
Grandaddy Mimm’s is a family run business- Tommy’s sister Debbie Townsend is the manager, and his father Roy handles the bottling machine – but the business is growing. Their label can be found in several Georgia based liquor stores, and they are getting ready to spread into California and Florida.
In addition to offering their moonshine, Grandaddy Mimm’s also features a twenty minute tour of the moonshine museum and the rest of the works.
Currently, Grandaddy Mimm’s offers eight flavors of homebrew moonshine and brandy and are currently working on some new high octane clear flavors. Below is what is now available which you can order by the drink or just pay to taste test them!
- Mule Kickin High Octane
- Authentic Apple Brandy
- Cherry Cobbler
- Apple Brown Betty
- Fresh Peach Cobbler
- Blueberry Cobbler
- Indian Corn Recipe Corn Recipe
Grandaddy Mimm’s location at Pappy’s Plaza also offers a seating venue for up to 1000 people- and they put it to use with various musical acts including The Tom Floyd Band, Scooter Jennings and Tommy Townsend himself with the Waymore Outlaws.
An interesting side note, before Tommy began his moonshine career, he took over for Waylon Jennings as the singer/frontman for Waylon’s group, which evolved into the Waymore Outlaws.
The Outlaws are in the middle of a reunion tour, so check out their dates here!
Many of Grandaddy Mimm’s music events have been to sponsor local charities such as Snack In A Backpack, Union County Sheriff’s Pet Rescue, Wholly Cats, Castaway Critters and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), so kudos to them for helping the community.
If you want to find out what upcoming events are being hosted at Grandaddy Mimm’s, check here.
Hours of Operation
Grandaddy Mimm’s is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
And remember the Mimm’s credo:
“Drink responsibly and tithe on Sunday.” From Grandaddy Mimm himself.