George Dickel loses master distiller to head Popcorn SuttonThe Tennessee whiskey war waged on as Popcorn Sutton Distilling announced John R. Lunn will take over the position of master distiller, leaving his position at the George Dickel Distillery.

Lunn most recently served as director of the southern hub and master distiller with multinational alcoholic beverage company, Diageo. In this role, John was responsible for distillation, maturation, bottling and visitor center operations at the George Dickel Distillery.

“Americans love authentic craft brands, white spirits and bourbon, which I think makes Popcorn Sutton perfectly positioned for growth. I can’t think of a better person to lead us into the future than John,” said Megan Kvamme, CEO of Popcorn Sutton Distilling. “Not only has he spent the last ten years perfecting his craft, but his passion for authenticity and quality is the perfect match for the Popcorn Sutton brand. We’re looking forward to many big things to come.” 

Lunn said he considers the job to be an incredible opportunity.

“It’s not often you get to be associated with an American folk hero like Popcorn Sutton,” he said. “The uniqueness of that, combined with the talented team and state-of-the-art production facility that’s been developed here, were simply too good to pass up.”

According to the company, Popcorn Sutton takes its name from its creator, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, a legendary bootlegger from Cocke County, Tenn., which is known as the moonshine capital of the world. Sutton used a 100-year-old family recipe passed down through generations to make his so-called “likker” by hand that he then sold out of the back of his truck. Sutton took his own life in 2009 to avoid federal prison after being convicted of several offenses related to moonshine production.

 Today the company uses the same recipe at its nwe50,000-sq.-ft. distillery is located just a few miles from Popcorn’s home in Newport, Tenn. Popcorn Sutton is currently available in 20 states across the Southeast and Midwest.