I grew up just a few miles from the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, so I can tell you a thing or two about the power of a distillery as a tourist attraction.
Seems like some governments are starting to catch on too:
[Some] states, increasingly aware of the power of agri-business to generate
tourism and tax dollars, have gradually begun loosening some of the
temperance-era laws that have lingered for decades, restricting who can
distill what, and where.[...]
The heyday for small distillers was actually during Prohibition,
which failed to deter extralegal production across the country. But
after Prohibition's repeal, each state was given broad powers to
regulate the sale and distribution of alcohol, with an overlay of some
standing federal requirements. Some states adopted stringent laws.
distilling is still against the law, largely because of the safety
hazards of working with flammable liquids. At minimum, distillers must
be licensed by the federal government and a state.)
past years, though, small steps have been taken toward loosening state
regulation -- moves that probably have as much to do with bringing in
revenue as anything going on with consumer tastes.
On a related note, you've really got to try 13th Floor Bathtub Gin. It's state-and-local-governmentastic!