Ole Smoky Distillery Moves to Liberate Term ‘Mountain Dew’ for Benefit of Industry

With history on moonshine’s side, Ole Smoky files to open the term “Mountain Dew” for use by anyone in the entire spirits industry

GATLINBURG, Tenn., March 13, 2019 – Ole Smoky, home of the world’s most visited distillery and most awarded moonshine, announced it has asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to disclaim the term “Mountain Dew” from its pending federal trademark application for the mark OLE SMOKY MOUNTAIN DEW MOONSHINE under the application serial number 8676239.

In the late 1800s, Kentucky distiller John W. McCulloch first began selling spirits under the “Mountain Dew” brand name. Ownership of John W. McCulloch’s trademark eventually passed to his present-day ancestor John Robert McCulloch, who revived the brand and sold spirits under the name in 2011. Ole Smoky acquired Mr. McCulloch’s rights to the Mountain Dew brand in 2015 and filed to register "OLE SMOKY MOUNTAIN DEW MOONSHINE" as a trademark for distilled spirits. PepsiCo objected via opposition number 91235107 soon after in response to Ole Smoky’s attempt to register this trademark. Given the legal actions necessary to further the case, Ole Smoky has now decided to release what it claims to be its exclusive rights to “Mountain Dew".

“Ole Smoky Distillery was founded with the historical understanding that ‘Mountain Dew’ means moonshine and we strongly believe that no single corporation, including Ole Smoky, should have a monopoly over its use for moonshine,” said Joe Baker, Founder of Ole Smoky Distillery LLC. “We know the term Mountain Dew evokes different cultural interpretations and references, but that does not void its original meaning and historical connection to spirits and moonshine culture.”

About Ole Smoky Distillery LLC

Ole Smoky is the leading craft distiller in the US and the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee. Founded in 2010, Ole Smoky’s roots can be traced to the Smoky Mountains’ earliest settlers, families who produced moonshine with enduring pride and Appalachian spirit. In 2009, Tennessee laws changed, and suddenly, it was legal to make, distill and sell the infamous and illicit
moonshine the region had become known for — and Ole Smoky was born, with products crafted from a century-old recipe. In 2016, Ole Smoky debuted its line of premium whiskeys, many of which have been launched nationally. Today, Ole Smoky retails globally and offers more than 25 creative moonshine flavors and 17 inventive whiskey flavors. Ole Smoky can be found at the company’s distilleries, online, in grocery and liquor stores nationwide, as well as in on-premise establishments, including some of the biggest music and sporting venues in the country. Ole Smoky is the home to the most visited distillery in the world and in 2018 alone, more than four million people visited Ole Smoky’s three famed East Tennessee locations: The Holler & The Barrelhouse in Gatlinburg and The Barn in Pigeon Forge. In 2019, Ole Smoky will open a fourth location in Nashville. For more information, please visit and follow Ole Smoky on social media @olesmoky.

Media Contact
Stephanie Warner
Ole Smoky Distillery

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