KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville’s first small-batch distillery of the modern era has hired a head distiller.
East Tennessee veteran and distiller Ryan Catlett will lead production at Knox Whiskey Works, located at 516 West Jackson Avenue. Catlett will handle everything from grain sourcing, fermentation, distillation, barrel maturation and bottling.
“The opportunity to add a talented and experienced distiller to our team at Knox Whiskey Works was too much to pass up. We are excited to announce that Ryan will be leading our distilling efforts in Knoxville,” said Knox Whiskey Works manager Stanton Webster.
The new head distiller said one of his goals is to create a safe, quality distillery that is part of the community. “We want to craft spirits that people will love, and we want to make them the right way. Our goal is to utilize seasonal ingredients from the East Tennessee region in our pursuit to develop truly native Knoxville spirits,” he said.
“The energy and opportunities in Knoxville right now are amazing,” said Knox Whiskey Works owner Cindy Nichols. “Ryan’s skill set will be a major asset to the entire Knoxville community. Ryan brings a wealth of working knowledge in distilling and brewing at a time when Knoxville is exploding with growth potential in both areas,” said Nichols.
Catlett is a graduate of Oak Ridge High School and Air Force veteran. He previously worked as the production manager at Popcorn Sutton distilling.
“I really enjoy the interplay of science and seasonality and my ability to express this professionally through brewing and distilling,” said Catlett.