Straight Up Whiskey: Film Premiere in Nashville

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The 2nd Annual Nashville Whiskey Festival plays host to the premier of Straight Up: Tennessee Whiskey, a documentary by Eric Byford, in the Ford Theatre, Saturday, Sept.14. The festival brings together whiskey fans and professionals from around the world at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, Wednesday, Sept. 11 – Sept 14.

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I wanted to talk about why this heritage is important to the state and highlight Tennessee’s reputation as a global leader in the art of making some of the best liquor on the planet.

As part of the final day of the Nashville Whiskey Festival, producer/director Eric Byford will be premiering his documentary 'Straight Up: Tennessee Whiskey,' Saturday, Sept. 14. The film tells the age-old story of Tennessee’s rich distilling heritage and offers an in-depth glimpse into the artistry that produces one the world’s most renowned liquors.

The premier is a special highlight of the Nashville Whiskey Festival. In addition to 'Straight Up: Tennessee Whiskey,' the four-day event will feature a wide range of whiskeys from around the globe. Festival goers will also be treated to hors d’oeuvres and have the chance to enjoy live music by several local artists.    

“The documentary describes the art of whiskey making in Tennessee from start to finish. I wanted to talk about why this heritage is important to the state and highlight Tennessee’s reputation as a global leader in the art of making some of the best liquor on the planet,” said Byford.

The premier of Tennessee Whiskey adds a unique flair to this year’s event, following along the Tennessee distiller experience from their struggles during Prohibition to the recent craft distillery revival. Byford’s documentary explores each element of the process, from sugar maple charcoal filtration to the American-made copper stills. It then dives head-strong into the colorful history that has helped make whiskey’s Tennessee roots strong and deep.

The film also emphasizes the positive impacts whiskey has had on the region’s economic growth. According to an Associate Press article, by Bruce Schreiner, revenues from Tennessee whiskey exports reached heights of upwards to $892.2 million in the first 11 months of 2012. Distilled Spirits Council Chief Economist, David Ozgo, is also quoted as saying the past two years have seen a positive growth for bourbon and Tennessee whiskey and that consumers are branching out to try different things.

“I developed this film to bring a heightened awareness to the rich heritage of whiskey making in Tennessee,” said Byford. “Tennesseans are finally back to making their ancestors proud, and in turn, lifting the state back to the forefront of what was once its greatest economic force, whiskey making.”

The movie premier is part of a bigger vision that hopes to see more distillers and artisans receive the recognition they deserve. The Nashville Whiskey Festival strives to bring greater attention and awareness to those who devote their time, passion and talent to handcrafting the brown liquor beverage. While doing this they are also helping to create a more informed and educated whiskey consumer.

The Festival will take place Wednesday, Sept. 11- Saturday, Sept. 14. and is co-produced by Midtown Wine and Spirits and Horton Group. A portion of the proceeds will go to Nashville Clean Water Project. Tickets are still available for purchase online at the Nashville Whiskey Festival website.

About Midtown Wine and Spirits:
Midtown Wine and Spirits - one of the largest retailers of fine wine, distilled spirits and beer in Nashville, TN is located in the Midtown/Downtown Area. Midtown Wine is dedicated to providing our customers with as wide of a selection as possible. Our constantly expanding inventory allows us to cater to most customers’ tastes.

About The Country Music Hall of Fame©:
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the non-profit, educational Country Music Foundation (CMF). The mission of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is to identify and preserve the evolving history and traditions of country music and to educate its audiences. Functioning as a local history museum and as an international arts organization, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum serves visiting and non-visiting audiences including fans, students, scholars, members of the music industry.

About Nashville Clean Water Project:
The Nashville Clean Water Project provides residents and corporations across Middle Tennessee a platform to demonstrate their environmental dedication and service commitments to improving and maintaining Tennessee’s waterways.

About Horton Group:
Horton Group has been working with clients of all shapes and sizes since 1996. The full service Nashville advertising agency provides web design, web development, email & mobile marketing, social media management, search engine optimization, and more. They are dedicated to providing businesses and organizations in and outside of the Nashville area with effective and engaging ways to interact with their customers and expand markets.

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Jeff Recker
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