Prohibition had become unpopular across the nation because of the rise in crime associated with moonshining and the black market for alcohol. Many of the people who had supported the 18th Amendment discovered that, instead of discouraging the use of alcohol, Prohibition merely sent the consumption of alcohol underground and caused an increase in the number and power of gangsters, who were making hefty profits from illicit alcohol sales.
Tennessee was the 19th state to ratify the 21st Amendment during a constitutional convention on August 11, 1933. The 21st Amendment did not, however, overturn any existing state laws regarding alcohol sales and consumption. Nor did the passage of the 21st Amendment affect Tennessee's ban on manufacturing alcoholic beverages, which would not be repealed until 1937.
Though it has been 80 years since the 21st Amendment effectively repealed Prohibition, some states still retain what are called "Blue Laws." These laws, religious in origin, date back to colonial times. They regulate the sale of alcohol and seek to monitor other forms of moral turpitude. For example, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, 12 states currently still enforce Blue Laws which ban the retail sale of distilled spirits on Sundays (Alabama, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia).
In 2009 Tennessee lawmakers passed a law allowing the legal production of whiskey and other distilled spirits in the 41 counties that already have approved retail package sales and liquor-by-the-drink sales (production was already legal in Moore, Coffee and Lincoln counties prior to the new law).
Passage of this law has generated much interest, particularly among entrepreneurs and investors, and Tennessee has already seen an increase in the number of new craft distilleries and microbreweries.