M & T Distilling
By: Dan Gibbs
Hendersonville has a long history of moonshine that dates to the mid-19th century. Prohibition during the 1920’s was when the Moonshine industry in Hendersonville became notorious for its violence, and it was big business as well. The Moonshine trade in Hendersonville was so prominent that the federal government formed a task force, the Federal Prohibition Raiding Squad, to hunt down the illegal stills and arrest the operators. Areas in Henderson County such as Cathead and the Dark Corner became widely known for their illegal activity.
As of November 5, 2022, Hendersonville now has its own legal Moonshine Distillery with the opening of M & T Distilling at 711 Maple Street in Hendersonville. It is the first, and only, legal Moonshine Distillery in Hendersonville.
Co-owners Bill and Robin McConnell and Joe and Suzanne Taylor are natives of Hendersonville and decided it was time for Hendersonville to get back in touch with its Moonshine heritage and open a place of their own.
Bill is the Distiller and gained his inspiration from Tim Smith from the popular reality show Moonshiners. Tim Smith is a legal Moonshiner based out of Virginia with his own brand of Moonshine. Bill and Joe had the opportunity to meet Tim and discuss their operation. The video is available on YouTube.
Bill’s uses a copper still on site where the alcohol is mashed, fermented, distilled, bottled and labeled on site and distilled twice for its smooth flavor.
I received a phone call from Joe one afternoon inviting me down to M & T Distilling to check out their place. I met with Bill and Suzanne one afternoon back in March to see their operation and to sample some of their different flavors of Moonshine. I got to see the entire process and I was impressed. The Moonshine was very good as I tried the Apple Pie flavored and the Lemonade, but they have several other flavors as well and are always developing more. They offer free tastings of their products and although they do not serve food, they invite you to bring food with you. There are several restaurants within a short walking distance of M & T Distilling.
Suzanne came up with the tag line “Sippin’ On Seventh” as M & T Distilling is located right off of Seventh Avenue on Maple Street and near Hendersonville’s Historic Train Depot. More information can be found on their website mandtdistilling.com and it is well worth the short trip down Seventh Avenue.