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Sullivan East grads take a 'shine to distillery business

Madison Mathews • Oct 20, 2012 at 8:49 AM

PINEY FLATS — While illegal moonshine once flowed throughout the “hollers” of Northeast Tennessee and its surrounding areas, the potent beverage commonly associated with the Volunteer State is now available on liquor store shelves, and one of the latest ’shines is made right here in the Tri-Cities.

East Tennessee Distillery, located in the former Paty Lumber Co. facility on Piney Flats Road, began rolling out Roberson’s Tennessee Mellomoon a little more than a week ago.

The 100-proof Tennessee-made white whiskey is the first in a line of commercial moonshine made by Sullivan East High School graduates Byron Reece, Neil Roberson and Gary Melvin, all of whom founded East Tennessee Distillery in August 2011.

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