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Chattanooga Whiskey forced to wait again by House

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- We should soon know if Chattanooga will be back in the whiskey business after almost a century. Legislatures held off on the final vote on the bill Thursday and moved it until next Wednesday.

"The community doesn't benefit until the product that is sold here is also made here," says Chattanooga Whiskey co-owner, Tim Piersant.

It's not often downtown bars are tuned into Tennessee Legislature, but Thursday was different.

"It's a big day for Chattanooga Whiskey, this is the last vote," says co-owner Joe Ledbetter.

Chattanooga Whiskey owners Piersant and Ledbetter held a viewing party downtown at Blacksmith Bistro. The bill to allow Chattanooga Whiskey to be made in Hamilton County was to hit the house floor.

Not an empty seat when it was time for House Bill 102.

"Alright we don't know what's going on right now," says Ledbetter, when the bill was supposed to hit the floor.

Not the worst news but no reason to celebrate as the bill was skipped.

"It's our government in action, we'll figure it out, or not one or the other. Something will happen," says Ledbetter.

The men received word that there would be no vote on Thursday, and it will again hit the house floor next week.

While they have the backing of the city, other distilleries in the state may be causing the hold up.

Ledbetter says, "There are other companies, other distilleries in the state that don't support what we're doing. We just hope our state leaders see this is a good thing for Hamilton County."

So for now the bottle remains half full, but Joe and Tim don't intend to stop until that bottle is full of whiskey made right here in Hamilton County.

"Is there quit left in us? No, absolutely not, never. This is a great thing for our city. We've come way to far now to stop," says Ledbetter.

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