Moonshine Trail to connect Kentucky makers, boost tourism

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:00 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 9:15 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) -The Moonshine Trail is connecting distilleries across the commonwealth, hoping to create a mission for tourists looking for a sip of shine.

With six distilleries solidified on the map, and several bonus businesses, the moonshiners’ answer to the Bourbon Trail is in its marketing stage. Gov. Andy Beshear announced $60,000 in funding for the project earlier this month, to be used for local advertising efforts, and $250,000 is expected to be diverted for national marketing next year.

“We live in such a beautiful state, with such rich culture and awesome heritage. So, being able to use this money to not only help Pikeville, but the surrounding areas as well, means a lot to me and I know other people as well,” said Asst. Director of Pikeville Tourism, Lauren McCoart.

Through the program, spearheaded by Pikeville Tourism, Eastern Kentucky distilleries like Pauley Hollow and Kentucky Mist are putting their communities on the map. Business owners say the extra push in marketing is helpful for their respective businesses and the tourism industry as a whole.

“Giving small distilleries and family businesses like us a ways to advertise in a bigger perspective,” said Pauley Hollow CEO Josh Martin. “Makes me feel proud. The people who live in this neighborhood- in this area- are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.”

Martin said highlighting the hill hooch is about celebrating history, while looking at the progress the area has made- through work and grit or water and grains.

“It’s all fused together. I mean, they brought it to us and we just made it better,” said Martin.

Martin said he hopes a topic on the ballot this election will help his distillery expand its offerings and he is excited to see how the trail lends to the growth for his business and his colleagues.

Organizers hope to see more distilleries join the tour. You can follow developments here.