Bars, Shine and Wine: Drinking Establishments in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are family friendly towns, but adults like to have a drink sometimes, and here are some of the notable bars, distilleries, winemakers and other drinking establishments in the area.

Good Bars

Many restaurants in the area have a good bar, and here are a few we like. Some people prefer to sit at a good bar even to eat dinner, or to spend time there before moving to a table, and Chesapeake‚Äôs Seafood and Raw Bar has a great bar that serves that purpose well, with a spacious layout that matches the feel of the restaurant. Harpoon Harry’s has a fun bar too, a seafood restaurant and one of the few sushi places in town.

The Greenbrier is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in craft cocktails and has a large selection of whiskies as well as a membership Whisky Society that allows for the tasting of many varieties. They also have a Women of Wine group for a similar purpose.

Gaucho Urbano has a nice bar, and has a great atmosphere throughout the restaurant, offering a place to lean and watch the activity, and work up an appetite. You expect a steakhouse to have a decent bar, and The Peddler and its sister, The Park Grill, both have nice ones to spend time at, with a good selection of drinks. Cherokee Grill is another great place, very cozy and a perfect place to go early and spend time at the bar before eating.

Celtic pubs are always worth a visit, and the Fox and Parrot Tavern is a unique pub with slow-food home cooking of English favorites and all the beers you’d expect – and then some. Its sister pub, The Rampant Lion, goes beyond British to full-on Celtic, and offers a phenomenal range of whiskies. Both are small places that offer a family-friendly and engaging experience – come ready to spend time there. One more Celtic pub is Boudicca’s, another small place with hard wood seats, but with the essential Guinness and great food for the hungry.

Lots of people like a craft beer and Smoky Mountain Brewery offers a good choice. Located in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the Brewery also offers spirits and wines, as well as standard American fare on a large menu that takes care of any hunger you might have. The family-friendly atmosphere is good, not too rowdy for a TV count that matches a sports bar, but bustling and comfortable with a mix of beer hall and ski lodge vibe.

Moonshine

Even more interesting than the home brews might just be the home distilled. The area has several distilleries offering varieties of spirits, and notably of course the infamous Appalachian Moonshine. Now legal in Tennessee, and coming in a variety of flavors and colors that the old bootleggers probably never dreamed of, moonshine is something that many feel they have to try on a visit to the Smokies – and you can buy and ship home too.

Ole Smoky is the oldest legal moonshine venue in the area, and now offers two locations in Gatlinburg. There’s The Holler, the original venue, a comfortable nook to stop in and enjoy the live music and the ‘shine sampling, and there is also the Barrel House, just 3 blocks along Parkway, which specializes in the establishment’s own whisky. Ole Smoky also has a location at The Island in Pigeon Forge.

While you’re in Pigeon Forge, check out the Old Forge Distillery in the Old Mill District. This was the first distillery in Pigeon Forge and still uses grain from the historic Mill next to it. The Old Forge offers moonshine, of course, and also whisky, gin and cream liqueur. It’s historic, family friendly and has much to sample and buy to take home.

Back in Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Distilling Company offers a range of moonshine flavors to sample, along with great live music, and more historic tales of an epic period in American history, in a family friendly setting. The distillery also offers vodka and whisky, as well as cocktail mixtures.

Doc Collier’s used to be one of the prominent Gatlinburg moonshine distilleries, and now it has a change of name and focus, as the Tennessee Shine Company. With several locations in the area, the venue produces a milder alcohol content shine with a variety of flavors, which is all designed to make a longer drink with less of the head effects.

A new venue in Pigeon Forge worthy of mention is Junction 35 Spirits. We’ve written this place up for its outstanding food menu, but it shines (sorry) for its moonshine offerings also. The distillery offers moonshine of course in many flavors, and also whiskey, vodka, gin, rum and tequila. The bar is great and the cocktails are creatively good.

Wine

Wine is everywhere in America nowadays and most dinner restaurants will satisfy for a glass or half bottle. The area also hosts a number of excellent wineries, enough to inspire a Rocky Top Wine Trail. This great tour will take you through some of the top winemakers in the area, and includes hard cider in a variety of flavors that may surprise you.

One winemaker that has featured on the Trail and may not at this time of writing is Little Bear Winery, in downtown Gatlinburg and offering tastings of its enormous range of varietals 7 days a week. Tennessee Homemade Wines offers a large range of wines and also hard ciders for your sampling delight, and has a Gatlinburg and a Sevierville location.

Last but absolutely not least, the quaint Smoky Mountain Winery is a Gatlinburg hidden gem worth exploring for its range of wines and the immersion into the subtleties of East Tennessee flavors.