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How Long Has Moonshine Been Around? (Correct answer)

The term moonshine has been around since the late 15th century, but it was first used to refer to liquor in the 18th century in England. The American roots of the practice (and of modern American whiskey production in general) have their origins in frontier life in Pennsylvania and other grain-producing states.


When was the first moonshine made?

The Beginning of Moonshine The practice of creating moonshine began in England in the 18th century and quickly spread to the US.

Why was moonshine invented?

The term “moonshine” comes from the fact that illegal spirits were made under the light of the moon. In every part of America, early moonshiners worked their stills at night to avoid detection from authorities. Taxing liquors and spirits was an effective way to generate revenue for the government.

Who made the first moonshine in the United States?

4. America’s first legal moonshine distillery was launched in 2005. Piedmont Distillers, located in Madison, North Carolina, holds the title of being the first legal moonshine operation in the United States and their state’s first legal distillery since Prohibition.

How long has moonshine been legal?

Fast forward to the Civil War era, and making moonshine without paying taxes was officially deemed illegal. In 1862 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s (ATF) passed the 1862 Revenue Act.

Why is moonshine so illegal?

So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Today, federal rules say a household with two adults can brew up to 200 gallons of wine and the same amount of beer each year. (A few states have their own laws prohibiting the practice.)

Why is moonshine called white lightning?

White lightning, a white whiskey made surreptitiously and illegally, was once produced in great quantities in South Carolina. It got its name from its color and the kick it delivers when consumed.

What is the proof of illegal moonshine?

That’s because alcohol begins to attract moisture from the air at concentrations higher than 96% ABV, immediately diluting your moonshine. It’s worth noting that in most parts of the United States, it is illegal to distill moonshine above 160 proof (80% ABV) and it cannot be bottled at more than 125 proof (62.5% ABV).

Is moonshine bad for?

Illegal moonshine remains dangerous because it is mostly brewed in makeshift stills. It can be dangerous on two levels, both during the distilling process and when consuming it.

What state produces the most moonshine?

In fact, moonshine country extends beyond these states, but the largest number of illegal stills were seized from Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Today, visitors to the region can still experience the moonshine culture.

Is Everclear moonshine?

Both Everclear and Moonshine are unaged spirits; however, Everclear is made from grain and Moonshine from corn. Everclear is a brand name of a neutral-tasting, very potent grain alcohol. Moonshine is a general term used to describe illegally produced corn whiskey.

Do moonshiners still exist?

Moonshine production today comes in many forms. There are still plenty of backwoods blackpot stills throughout the South, the traditional home of illegal liquor production. The operations he sees today are larger and more professional, with more people involved and larger stills, he says.

What is the moonshine capital of the world?

Local History: Franklin County, Virginia – The Moonshine Capital of the World.

Is moonshining a felony?

7201, any person who willfully attempts to evade or defeat any Internal Revenue Code tax (including the tax on distilled spirits) has committed a felony and shall be fined up to $100,000, imprisoned for up to 5 years, or both, plus the cost of prosecution.

Is making moonshine a felony?

But federal law trumps state law, and to the feds, distilling at home for personal consumption is illegal, period. “If you distill without permits, you’re looking at roughly a dozen felonies,” says Tom Hogue, spokesman for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

What is the percentage of alcohol in moonshine?

Moonshine is usually distilled to 40% ABV, and seldom above 66% based on 48 samples. For example a conventional pot stills commonly produce 40% ABV, and top out between 60-80% ABV after multiple distillations. However, ethanol can be dried to 95% ABV by heating 3A molecular sieves such as 3A zeolite.

The History of Moonshine in the United States — Belle Isle Moonshine

Moonshine has played an essential part in the history of the United States. In fact, if it weren’t for the history of the United States, moonshine would not even exist today. Alcohol has been manufactured by mankind for thousands of years. The American government, on the other hand, was one of the first major governments in the world to tax and regulate the alcoholic beverage sector. The beginning of the moonshine business coincided with the beginning of the government’s efforts to tax and regulate alcoholic beverages.

Early moonshiners operated their stills at night in order to escape discovery by authorities in every region of the United States.

In the years after the Revolution, the United States struggled to pay the costs incurred by the protracted conflict with Great Britain.

In the early frontier days of American history, moonshine production was more than a recreational activity: it was a full-time occupation.

  • Low-value corn harvests have the potential to be transformed into high-value whiskey.
  • They despised taxes so much that when revenue agents, government officials who come to collect taxes, came to visit, they were sometimes assaulted, tarred, and feathered.
  • However, even though the Whisky Rebellion was a violent resistance movement, only about 15 people were murdered over the whole battle, according to official figures.
  • The Whisky Rebellion was put down by Washington with great success.
  • However, in the end, the rebels were victorious when, in 1801, Thomas Jefferson and his Republican Party repealed the tax, which was met with enormous approval from the general population.
  • Several violent fights erupted across the country as a result of Revenuers and Internal Revenue Service personnel cracking down on moonshiners.
  • After the Civil War, people’s attitudes began to change.

In 1920, moonshiners all throughout the country celebrated when Prohibition was implemented across the country.

Instantaneously, illicit booze rose to become one of the most successful enterprises in the United States.

Moonshine producers began to market watered-down versions of their products that were based on sugar rather than maize.

The good days couldn’t endure indefinitely for moonshiners, of course.

Moonshine is seen in a very different light today than it was only a few decades ago.

In New Zealand, for example, home distillation is permitted for personal consumption only, but not for commercial sale.

Whether you’re officially distilling moonshine or operating a clandestine distillery, every time you pour yourself a glass of moonshine, you’re sipping on a piece of American history.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Moonshine’s History

A significant part in American history has played moonshine. Because of the history of the United States, moonshine would not even exist today. Throughout history, mankind has been producing alcohol. But the United States was one of the world’s first major governments to impose taxes on and regulate the alcohol business, making it one of the world’s pioneers. Moonshine production occurred at the same time as the government began taxing and regulating alcoholic beverages. “Moonshine” gets its name from the fact that unlawful spirits were created under the light of a full or nearly full moon.

  1. Shortly after the American Revolution, the United States began taxing alcoholic beverages and spirits.
  2. Government money was generated by the taxation of alcoholic beverages and spirits.
  3. When times were tough, many farmers turned to moonshine production for help.
  4. Americans resented having to pay liquor taxes back in the day.
  5. In 1791, during George Washington’s administration, the growing friction between the government and its citizens culminated in a war known as the Whisky Rebellion, which began in the United States.
  6. In order to put down the insurrection, George Washington led a coalition of 13,000 militia forces into western Pennsylvania, which was at the time the epicenter of the uprising and the heart of America’s frontier territory.
  7. Because it demonstrated that the newly established country could repress violent revolutions within its own borders, this was a watershed moment in American history.

Excise taxes were levied on American people once more during the American Civil War in order to raise funds for the conflict.

Whisky Rebellion moonshiners were presented as heroes who stood up to an oppressive government during the period of the Whisky Rebellion.

Moonshiners were now seen as dangerous criminals by many in the general public.

There was no longer any legal alcoholic beverages accessible.

To keep up with demand, distillers sprung up all throughout the country to meet the demands of organized crime, which eventually took over the moonshine business.

There were speakeasies in every city in the United States.

For moonshiners, the good times could only last so long.

Compared to only a few decades ago, moonshine is now regarded with a great deal more disapproval.

Personal drinking is permissible in New Zealand, however it is not permissible to sell alcohol made at home. You’re drinking a piece of American history every time you pour yourself a glass of moonshine, whether you’re making it legally or running a clandestine distillery.

1. Not all moonshine is illegal, nor is it dangerous.

Moonshiners have always produced their own booze in order to circumvent compliance with laws, taxes, and regulations. Bad batches or poor manufacturing procedures (such as distilling in vehicle radiators) might result in a product containing high levels of potentially hazardous substances, such as methanol, if there were no FDA inspectors present to guarantee that safety and quality criteria were fulfilled. Consuming methanol can cause the blood to become acidic, which can result in blindness, convulsions, and even death.

If their booze was substandard, or if people became ill or died as a result of drinking it, the moonshiner responsible would be forced out of business.

Because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) does not have an official definition for moonshine, it is often classified as a “other” or “specialty spirit” under the categorization “other spirits.” According to Colin Blake, Moonshine University’s Director of Spirits Education, “Moonshine continues to be the Wild West of spirits, but not for legal reasons.” As opposed to other spirits, legally manufactured moonshine can be prepared from any source material, at any proof, with any coloring or flavoring added — the whole shebang.

There are no guidelines regarding how it should be classified.” In other words, the “moonshine” name that we see on a variety of spirits today is a movable feast.

In other words, the moonshine you buy at your local liquor shop is legal and safe for use under reasonable conditions.

2. A triple X once indicated a moonshine’s quality.

You might recall seeing allusions to moonshine in a jug with the letter XXX in it throughout popular culture. Due to the fact that these Xs were formerly used to denote how many times a batch of moonshine had been put through the still in typical DIY fashion, Prior to the invention of current distillation processes and equipment, moonshiners were required to execute three runs in order to get a higher, purer alcohol level – typically much above 80 percent ABV. A batch of beer ended up in a jug labeled with three double X’s by the time it was truly completed.

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Although early moonshine was made illegally, this does not imply that the distillers were unconcerned with the quality of the product they were producing.

That sentiment lives on in many modern (and now legally concocted) moonshines that are enjoyed today, and it will be forever etched in the annals of moonshine history for generations to come.

3. Moonshine inspired NASCAR.

For the avoidance of doubt, moonshiners produce the whiskey while bootleggers carry it. The name “bootlegger” was used in the 1880s to describe smugglers who would conceal flasks in the tips of their boots. Of course, as automobiles entered the scene, the term’s definition was broadened to include anybody involved in smuggling booze. As troops returned home from World War II, equipped with new mechanical abilities, they immediately found work as bootleggers in their own areas. Modifying automobiles allowed these modern bootleggers to increase the amount of moonshine they could carry while also gaining the driving abilities essential to escape the authorities.

More than just a source of bragging rights, this rite laid the groundwork for the modern-day NASCAR.

To this day, the official spirit of NASCAR is produced at the moonshine-based distillerySugarlands Distilling Co.

There, they manufacture ” Sugarlands Shine ” in a range of unique tastes ranging from old fashioned lemonade and blueberry muffin to maple bacon, root beer, and peanut butter and jelly.

4. America’s first legal moonshine distillery was launched in 2005.

Piedmont Distillers, based in Madison, North Carolina, boasts the distinction of being the first legal moonshine business in the United States, as well as the state’s first legal distillery since Prohibition ended the prohibition era. Additionally, in addition to being a part of the history of moonshine, Piedmont’s whole company is dedicated to telling the unique tale of moonshine. A triple-distilled moonshine (remember those three Xs?) made with formulas given down from famed moonshiner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, their Midnight Moonmoonshine is made using recipes passed down from Junior Johnson.

Since 2005, several legal moonshine distilleries have sprung up around the United States, including Sugarlands (Tennessee) and Call Family Distillers, which is likewise situated in North Carolina but produces in Tennessee.

5. Mountain Dew was originally created as a chaser for whiskey.

The brilliant yellow beverage you’re undoubtedly familiar with was called after a slang phrase for mountain-brewed moonshine, which you may not have realized at the time of its introduction. Yes, you are correct. In Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1932, brothers Barney and Ally Hartman invented the lemon-lime cocktail as a whiskey chaser for their friends. In accordance with the Smithsonian Institution, the name “Mountain Dew” was chosen to stress the intended usage of their beverage, which was emphasized further by the existence of the original brand mascot, “Willy the Hillbilly,” and his slogan, “It’ll tickle yore innards.” As a result of PepsiCo’s acquisition of Mountain Dew in 1964, distribution was increased beyond Tennessee and throughout the rest of the United States.

  1. Although the brand’s link with moonshine has developed since then, its legacy is still alive and well.
  2. Check out this article.
  3. You’ll receive comprehensive, practical, and hands-on training from industry professionals throughout the program.
  4. More information is available here: Content that is related Moonshine University is holding a celebration of the “Moonshine.” The StaveThief Society has officially launched.

The History of Moonshine

The phrase “moonshine” is said to have originated in Europe and was first used in England in the 1700s. The term “night work” originally referred to “occupational pursuits that necessitated night labor or employment by the light of the moon,” according to the dictionary. There needs to be a compelling reason for going to all of the difficulty of creating moonshine correctly in the first place. To be honest, there have been a variety of factors contributing to this, but they all boil down to one thing: government control of the alcohol trade.

  • A short time after the Revolutionary War, the United States found itself unable to pay for the enormous expenses of fighting a lengthy and costly battle in Europe.
  • The American people, on the other hand, who had recently waged a war to free themselves from heavy British taxation, were less than enthusiastic about the new notion.
  • Bootlegging was born out of the belief that people did not want to pay the new taxes, and it was the first step in the evolution of the term.
  • It is thought to have originated in colonial America in the early 1600s and to have been used in relation to the sale of alcoholic beverages to Native Americans.

In order to conceal bottles of whiskey in the top of their boots, these determined colonists used the leg of their pants to wrap around the bottles, giving rise to the phrase “bootlegger.” Making and selling alcohol wasn’t just a pastime or a method to make some extra money for early moonshiners; it was a means of ensuring their survival and providing for their families.

  • These individuals believed that paying the tax would prevent them from being able to provide for their family.
  • All of this animosity over the taxes culminates in the siege of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1794, when several hundred enraged people took control of the whole city.
  • This was known to as the Whisky Rebellion, and it served as the nascent government’s first big actual test of federal power in a significant way.
  • Because excise duties on alcoholic beverages were not repealed, moonshiners were able to continue to operate in complete defiance of the law.
  • This series of conflicts became increasingly bitter in the 1860s as the federal government tried to collect more excise taxes to help pay for the Civil War.
  • The moonshiners’ tactics became increasingly desperate and brutal as time went on, frightening residents who might be able to provide information about the locations of stills and attacking IRS inspectors and their families.
  • As the United States entered the twentieth century, the temperance movement, which aimed to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages, gained momentum.

This, on the other hand, was the best thing that could have occurred to the moonshiners at the time.

Moonshiners were unable to keep up with the demand, which resulted in cheaper and more sugar-based moonshine that was of inferior quality and more watered down in its final product.

Organized crime was thriving, and the concept of speakeasies was spreading across the country.

Despite the fact that moonshine has been a source of concern for federal authorities since the 1960s, only a small number of illicit alcohol cases have ever gone to trial.

As a result, while certain counties in the southern United States remained alcohol-free for decades following the end of national Prohibition, even those localized liquor prohibitions would eventually be lifted.

One of the primary reasons for the existence of moonshining is the desire to defy the authority of the federal government.

Creating moonshine is mostly for the purpose of evading government taxes and restrictions.

Moonshiners haven’t always had a good reputation for taking good care of their hygienic conditions.

You may have even heard stories of people who drank moonshine and become blind or even died as a result of their actions.

Thousands of people died as a result of drinking contaminated moonshine during Prohibition, when moonshine was produced and sold in underground nightclubs throughout the United States.

When created properly, it is just a very powerful alcohol with a very rough flavor, which is due to the fact that it has not been matured for a long period of time.

It is possible that the high alcohol concentration is hazardous in and of itself.

They tried a variety of other substances to see which would give the drink a little more zip, including manure, embalming fluid, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and even paint thinner.

Aside from the use of deadly additives, there are at least two production faults that might result in a dangerous batch of moonshine.

Creating a safe batch of data may need more than one pass. Because of the high temperature of the still, more than alcohol can boil out and eventually condense, resulting in more than alcohol making its way into the finished product.


In North Carolina, moonshine, a type of illicit, untaxed whiskey made by the “light of the moon,” has been a part of folklore and culture for hundreds of years. North Carolinians have been involved in the production of unbonded whiskey for centuries, from the eastern swamps and pocosins to the state’s remote mountain coves. Unbonded whiskey has been known by various names, including mountain dew, blockade, white liquor, white lightning, corn liquor, popskull, stumphole whiskey, forty-rod, and shine, among others.

An entire lexicon developed around the practice of moonshining as time proceeded.

By the early twentieth century, a bootlegger was officially the seller of illegal alcoholic beverages, a moonshiner was technically the manufacturer of illicit alcoholic beverages, and those who delivered the product were referred to as “runners” or “blockaders.” However, these responsibilities frequently overlapped, with moonshiners delivering their own products and runners selling some of their own as well.

Revenuers were law enforcement officers who attempted to apprehend moonshiners and confiscate their equipment.

Before the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919, bootleggers traveled on regular routes, much like milkmen, carrying whiskey in saddlebags and hot water bottles to residents of their respective neighborhoods.

However, it was the solitary stills of the rural South that gave birth to the life and mythology most associated with moonshine, which arose out of areas such as Dawson County, Ga.; Cocke County, Tenn.; Franklin County, Va.; and Wilkes County, N.C.—once known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World.” A decent automobile was essential to any successful moonshine business, aside from producing a high-quality product.

  1. Bootleggers made modifications to their automobiles in order to maximize smuggling room and driving performance as much as possible.
  2. Box-like traps beneath the seats and a fake back seat with a built-in door may be added to the 1929 Chevrolet touring vehicles to make them more functional.
  3. In other cases, mechanics even transformed their gasoline tanks into “shine tanks,” in which they concealed up to 35 gallons of whiskey in a phony tank while the actual fuel tank was concealed beneath the floorboards.
  4. For many years, moonshining was a hugely successful business.
  5. Moonshiners might lose every third car and cargo and still make a profit, according to some estimates.
  6. Frequently, the agents themselves drove automobiles that they had seized from bootleggers.
  7. Two-by-six boards with many huge nails buried in them would be thrown into a road in front of a moonshine automobile, shredding the tires and causing the driver to come to a complete halt.

Although Amos Owens, a native of Cherry Mountain and the famous originator of the enormously renowned “Cherry Bounce,” is widely considered to be the most notorious moonshiner in the state, he is said to have maintained his gentlemanly demeanor.

As soon as they refused, he gave them some Cherry Bounce, which they enthusiastically consumed.

Owens made no move to flee and instead sat calmly, waiting for the agents to restore their faculties of reasoning.

Owens was back on Cherry Mountain the next day, brewing whiskey and entertaining guests who had traveled from far and wide to see him there.

In the bootleggers’ garages of North Carolina, especially on the routes between North Wilkesboro and Charlotte, the sport of auto racing began to take root.

When local Saturday night race events were over, several of the winning entrants were discovered to be transporting illicit liquor the next morning.

During the late 1910s, Moonshine Kate achieved widespread popularity in Georgia with songs like as “The Drinker’s Child,” setting the stage for the development of a thriving business of bootlegger songsters.

In the literature on moonshine, there is a significant body of work that is certain to grow in the twenty-first century as the actual practice of moonshining is displaced by trafficking in other contraband and bootlegging is pushed back into the realms of romantic nostalgia.

In fact, even as late as the early 2000s, Stokes Countywhite liquor has gained popularity in the non-backwoods, apparently sophisticated Research Triangle area of central North Carolina, where it was formerly illegal.

Wilbur R.


Moonshine: A Life in Pursuit of White Liquor is a book written by Alec Wilkinson (1985).

“North Carolina Moonshine: A Survey of Moonshine Culture 1900-1930,” published in 1997, is a survey of moonshine culture in North Carolina.

Image credit: Moonshiner’s cave, unknown year and location in North Carolina. N 81 10 40 is a negative from the General Negative Collection at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Available beginning on July 9, 2012).

History of Moonshine – Learn to Moonshine

The government’s taxation of whiskey and the clandestine distillation of spirits is not a new phenomenon. The Whisky Rebellion of 1791 occurred as a result of a tax on alcoholic beverages imposed by the Congress under President George Washington. The vast majority of distillers at the time were farmers who lived in distant places where it was difficult to get their grain to markets for processing. All of their extra grain was distilled to make whiskey. The “Whiskey Boys” of Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina demonstrated against the tax, at times violently, in order to stop it.

  • In 1794, the violence escalated to the point of armed insurrection.
  • Washington replied by dispatching a large number of militiamen into the countryside to apprehend and confine the rabble.
  • The whiskey tax was abolished in the year 1803.
  • The astronomically high levies were as much as eight times the cost of the alcoholic beverages themselves.
  • Tax collectors were turned into police officers by the Revenue Bureau of the United States Treasury Department.
  • As we progress through history, we get to the early 1900s, when the selling of alcoholic beverages was actually rendered illegal in many jurisdictions due to popular opposition to taxation.
  • As a result of the growing demand for alcohol, quality standards were dropped as manufacturers focussed on producing bigger quantities to fulfill the increased demand.
  • Among the medical conditions that have been identified is Jake Leg Syndrome, which causes partial paralysis of the feet and legs after drinking a drink known as “Jake.” The fact that the operation was conducted secretly meant that health problems were frequently overlooked.
  • ” alt=””> ” alt=””> Popcorn Sutton is a character in the film Popcorn Sutton.
  • In order to avoid doing time in a Federal Prison for yet another arrest, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, age 61, committed himself on March 16, 2009.
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It was between 1965 and 1972 that “the heyday of moonshining occurred,” he says, “when you could purchase likker approximately every 200 feet in certain spots.” One of Popcorn’s most recent arrests occurred in 2007, when a fire broke out at his home in Parrotsville, and his stills were uncovered in the ensuing blaze.

  • He was apprehended once more in 2008, and at his trial, evidence of his illicit actions dating back to the 1970s was shown.
  • He was adamant in his refusal to take such treatment and ultimately committed suicide.
  • Moonshining is still practiced today.
  • During the decade from 1954 to 1964, federal agents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi destroyed more than 72,000 still photographs in their possession.
  • In October 2009, a “white liquor” distiller in Wilkesboro was apprehended, and 929 gallons of moonshine were seized from his premises.
  • Gewndolyn Brown-Johnson, a Charlotte community leader who ran a child day care center, was arrested in December 2009 for selling moonshine from her facility.
  • Brown-Johnson said she had no idea what was in the bag, which the agent had purchased for $80.

This triple-distilled flavor moonshine is created in Madison, North Carolina, and it is completely legal to drink and drink responsibly.

Real moonshine is available in two distinct “flavors”: legal and illicit.

It’s all about the taxes these days.

A gallon of whiskey is subject to a $15.50 federal excise duty.

However, if you wish to create any alcohol in your still, even for your own personal consumption, you will need to get a federal license.

“Yes, you may have a still, but it must be allowed, and you can only manufacture spirits for use as fuel,” said Art Resnick, director of public and media affairs for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the United States Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

  1. The process needs a federal distiller’s license and is too expensive for anybody other than a commercial distiller.
  2. Small amounts of “craft” moonshine are currently being produced by artisans.
  3. This is still a violation of the law.
  4. When it comes to alcohol, what is the difference between beer/wine and liquor?
  5. A bottle of whiskey is taxed at more than $2, but a bottle of wine of the same quantity is taxed at around 20 cents.
  6. It is possible to receive a license after completing reams of paperwork and spending upwards of $20,000, but this is not a cost that is worthwhile for the home distiller to incur.

Branch Water, White Lightning, Kickapoo, Moonshine, Happy Sally, Ruckus Juice, Joy Juice, Hooch, Panther’s Breath, Mountain Dew, Hillbilly Pop, Skull Cracker, Bush Wisky, Catdaddy, Cool Water, Old Horsey, Rot Gut, Wildcat, Rise’n Shine and Splo are some of the other names for moonshine that have been used.

6 Fun Facts About the History of Moonshine in Gatlinburg and the Smokies

According to what regular visitors to Gatlinburg, TN are undoubtedly already aware, our Smoky Mountain city is home to a variety of amazing distilleries where you may sample some authentic moonshine! However, while legal moonshine distilleries are a relatively new development in town, the practice of creating “white lightnin'” has long been a tradition in East Tennessee, even if it hasn’t always been done in an ethical manner. Six interesting facts about the history of moonshine in Gatlinburg and the Smokies have been compiled by The Appy Lodge to pique your curiosity before you take a tour of one of the distilleries.

1. Moonshine Has ItsOrigins Across The Pond

Our Smoky Mountain city is home to a number of amazing distilleries where you may sample authentic moonshine, as regular visitors to Gatlinburg, TN are surely already aware of. However, while legal moonshine distilleries are a relatively new development in town, the practice of creating “white lightnin'” has long been a tradition in East Tennessee, albeit one that hasn’t always been done in an ethical manner. The Appy Lodge has compiled six interesting facts about the history of moonshine in Gatlinburg and the Smokies to pique your interest before your next distillery visit.

2. A 20 Cent Tax Hike Drove Distilling Underground

Distilleries in the Smoky Mountains were dissatisfied when the federal government increased the excise levy on whiskey from $1.50 per gallon to $2 per gallon. Because this 20 cent increase in the tax was perceived to be overly oppressive, many people in Appalachia opted not to pay the additional tax. For the purpose of avoiding detection by authorities, distillers would complete their operation at night, under the light of the moon. Within a short period of time, these guys were known to as “moonshiners,” and their unaged corn whiskey was referred to as “moonshine.” A number of farmers in the Smoky Mountains made the decision to start moonshining in order to gain some additional money from their surplus corn harvest.

3. Moonshiners Used to Hide Out in Forbidden Caverns

Because of its secluded position and subterranean lake, Forbidden Caverns is a famous tourist destination in the Smoky Mountains today, but it was formerly a favored moonshiners’ refuge due to its subterranean lake and underground lake (from which the distillers got their water). The Forbidden Caverns trip will include a stop at an antique moonshine distillery that is still in operation in the cave. Other popular moonshining locations were Pittman Center, English Mountain, Wears Valley, and Cosby, among others.

4. The Smokies Had Their Own Robin Hood

Because of its secluded position and underground lake, Forbidden Caverns is a famous tourist destination in the Smoky Mountains today, but it was a popular moonshiners’ hideout many years ago (from which the distillers got their water). Your guide will point out an antique moonshine still present in the cave when you visit Forbidden Caverns. In addition to Pittman Center and English Mountain, moonshiners frequented Wears Valley, and Cosby.

5. Al Capone May Have Hid His Stash in the Mountains

In 1920, when Prohibition was enacted, businesses (and criminals) all throughout the country began illegally manufacturing and selling alcoholic beverages.

Rumor has it that Al Capone, the famed mafia leader, hid his illicit spirits in the Smoky Mountains before transferring them to his hometown of Chicago. The Smokies would have been an excellent hiding place, no doubt about it!

6. A 2009 State LawLegalized Moonshine Distilleries in Gatlinburg

In 2009, a change in Tennessee state legislation permitted a number of moonshine distilleries to open their doors in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In exchange for a $5 sampling charge, visitors to these distilleries can drink true moonshine. The best part is that everybody who participates in a tasting will receive a $5 voucher that can be used toward any purchase in the distillery’s gift store afterward. Currently available flavors include apple pie, blackberry, pina colada, and even sweet tea in addition to the traditional varieties.

  • Sugarland Distilling Company
  • Ole Smoky Moonshine
  • Doc Collier Moonshine
  • Sugarland Distilling Company

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg

While staying at The Appy Lodge, you will be only a few minutes away from all of the greatest moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg, which are all within walking distance. Our hotel is conveniently located on the Parkway, close to all of the exciting sights, restaurants, and stores that The Strip has to offer. The Appy Lodge has everything you need for a fantastic holiday, including free parking, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, walk-in showers, and a complementary breakfast. To get started on your vacation planning, have a look at our variety of hotel rooms!

A Brief History Of Moonshine • Moscow Mule Cocktail

Moonshine has been the subject of much discussion in the spirits business, as well as in the general public, more than ever before. There are books about it, periodicals about it, and even a television program about it (that is, at best, a semi-reality show). These days, you can walk into any reputable liquor store and find several mass-produced products with the word “moonshine” prominently displayed on the label. A vintage mason jar or jug may even be used to package the product. However, what exactly is moonshine remains a mystery.

  1. Because of its rebellious past or its obviously DIY philosophy, its mystery roots continue to captivate people today.
  2. This is due to the fact that, unlike whiskey, which must be created from grain and distilled before being bottled at a specific alcohol concentration, moonshine does not have a comparable product.
  3. There is no upper limit to the amount of alcohol in this drink, unlike vodka.
  4. The name “moonshine” has been in use since the 15th century in Europe, despite the fact that it is most commonly associated with the American South.
  5. A common practice at the time was for farms with grain mills to distill their extra crop in order to keep it from spoiling.
  6. Several months after the American Revolutionary War ended, the newly independent United States government found itself in a difficult situation: it had just finished an expensive war to break out from under the British – notably, their oppressive taxation – and it now needed money.
  7. As a result, the ‘whiskey wars’ erupted, a brutal series of confrontations in which individual colonies fought agents sent by the government to collect taxes on their home-brewed alcoholic beverages.
  8. The history of moonshine as we know it began.
  9. All types of individuals jumped on the’shine wagon,’ expecting that it would help them secure their financial futures.
  10. Moonshine has been less popular since Prohibition was repealed and massive liquor corporations have risen to dominate the industry.

It transports you back to a time when copper stills were nestled into hollers and bootleggers carried Tommy guns as they smuggled barrels under the cover of night (no pun intended).

What is the History of Moonshine Laws?

Natural American Indian tribes have been creating alcoholic beverages from native plants for thousands of years, even before alcohol was forbidden during the Prohibition era. (2)As early as 1100 A.D., Scottish monks were already concocting a highly alcoholic liquor known in Latin as aquae vitae or “breath of life,” which subsequently became known to the general public as Scottish Whiskey. Private alcohol distilleries were also in operation prior to the establishment of the United States Constitution.

  1. (10)Cultural history demonstrates that alcoholic beverages and their widespread use functioned as a way of communicating ideas, breaking news, and interacting with strangers during a time when information transfer was sluggish.
  2. So, how and when was the manufacture of alcoholic beverages ruled illegal?
  3. Based on the historical documents provided below, the process of prohibiting the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages was a long and drawn-out process that took centuries to complete.
  4. 1600-1700 Detailed guidelines for reducing excessive alcohol drinking and the “evils” that go along with it are detailed in the records of the Virginia Colonial Assembly from 1629.
  5. At 1637, the state of Massachusetts enacted a law stating that no one shall remain in any bar “for longer than necessary causes.” As early as 1633, Plymouth Colony forbade the selling of spirits “of more than 2 pence’s worth” to anybody other than newcomers to the colony.
  6. Fines were also levied on those who engaged in drunken behavior.
  7. I couldn’t sleep because of the clamor of some of the Town Tope-ers in the neighboring room, which kept interrupting my slumber.
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Tother Gill was continually requested, and while they were swallowing there was a little intermission in their conversation But, like Oyle to fire, he increased the intensity of the flames.

(11) In addition, a paper from 1730 describes the British government’s opposition to alcoholic beverages by pointing out the detrimental effects it has on the human body, society, and the economy of the time.

It states that the greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the less food will be consumed, leading in a decrease in demand for edible commodities and, thus, a decrease in tax income collected by the government from food producers.

The Gin Tax was the British government’s means of participating in the rise in the sale of gin, rather than necessarily discouraging alcoholic beverage use.

As a result, it merely served to discourage the acquisition of gin licenses, as individuals resorted to purchase illegally on the black market, where no taxes were levied.

Because they were unhappy with the outcome of the case, farmers and moonshiners continued to produce whisky while refusing to pay the tax that they were required to do so.

The Whisky Rebellion took place in 1794, when unhappy residents rebelled against the new government and clashed with George Washington’s troops in what is known as the Whisky War.

Even George Washington indulged in a little moonshining in the comfort of his own house.

The whiskey that Washington created at the time would be less like today’s whiskeys and more like a “moonshine” sort of beverage, which would have been extraordinarily powerful in comparison to modern whiskey.

White Lightning never strikes twice since one strike is enough for this creature.

It has been more difficult for the moonshiners to assault IRS officers as well as intimidate people who are predisposed to providing the locations of stills as a result of their efforts.

The 20th century was a time of great change.

Demand for moonshine increased dramatically as a result of Prohibition, which was instituted in the 1920s and resulted in no legal alcoholic beverages being made accessible.

State Laws Regarding Moonshine Currently in Effect It is prohibited to distill alcohol in one’s house since federal law requires that one get a permission before doing any type of distillation.

Even now, moonshiners are still in business.

As history has demonstrated, it will never lose its allure. To quench the devil’s thirst, moonshine is used. Thunder Road, a film starring Robert Mitchum, tells the story of a moonshine runner who must avoid US Treasury agents. References: Posted byJason Stone on the internet

From moonshine to modern craft: The story of Tennessee distilling

Dwight Bearden opens a shack outside Thunder Road Distillery, just off I-40 east of Knoxville, showing a Prohibition-era, museum-quality display — pebbles arranged around a tarnished contraption alongside a worn wood barrel — that he hopes will inspire visitors. He points to a long-patched wound in the ground where the feds busted open his father’s copper pot still when he was deep in the woods. The white-haired Bearden recalls a day when he had to crawl over bottles of maize liquor to get into bed, and his father forbidding thirsty clients from entering the house because of the stockpile.

  1. They become intoxicated the first time they get their hands on it if you sell it to them.” The very first thing they do is slap their wife in the face.
  2. And that’s something I’ve kept in mind.” Josh Madore works behind a counter at Sugarrlands Distilling Co., which is located on the edges of the Great Smoky Mountains, about 25 miles south of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  3. Every year, about a million people pass through the doors of the museum.
  4. We’re the No.
  5. “Write a positive review.” When it comes to distilling in Tennessee, the contrast between the past and present is as stark as the difference between water and whiskey; and the tale of the industry’s growth, fall, and rebirth is as uniquely American as apple pie moonshine.
  6. Tennessee had just three distilleries in three counties prior to the relaxation of rules in 2009, but the state has subsequently awarded permits to more than 30 distilleries across the state.
  7. What are the elements that go into making moonshine?

What hasn’t changed is the essential components that are employed in its preparation.

The distillation process is on full display in the adjacent town of Pigeon Forge.

The Tennessee Distillers Guild’s president, Kris Tatum, is preparing for a trip to Nashville this afternoon in April, in order to push legislation that would enable distilleries to offer cocktails produced with in-house spirits, rather than just liquor, in their retail establishments.

According to Tatum, “other than tequila, champagne, and scotch,” “everything else is created in Tennessee,” including other spirits.

Kris Tatum, President of the Tennessee Distillers Guild, speaks about the history of moonshine in the state.

Tennessee approved the nation’s first prohibition legislation on Jan.

More than seventy years elapsed until the legislature formally prohibited the manufacturing, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages in 1909 – a decade before nationwide Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933 and was enforced by the federal government.

More than 70 years had elapsed before the state’s distilling laws were amended in 2009, enabling distillation to be permitted in an additional 41 counties.

Furthermore, the vast majority of states have some sort of restriction on where and how alcohol may be purchased.

Tim Piersant skateboards through a large old auto store in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about 140 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Distilling was formerly one of the most important industries in the state, and this was one of the state’s most important industrial areas.

They started a successful public campaign to repeal the prohibition in a city famed for its craft beer, and the effort was well supported.

They were, however, outspoken about the practice, using the industry’s “makers vs.

Following the change in regulations, the firm opened a tiny distillery in 2015 across the street from the renowned Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, where it produces around one barrel of whiskey every week.

The giants churn about 90 miles northwest of Richmond, near Lynchburg, which is surrounded by countryside.

As one former Sugarlands employee reported, master distiller Jeff Arnett sometimes teased visiting Sugarlands employees by saying, “I don’t intend to insult you, but we spill more in a year than you make.” Unlike bourbon, Tennessee whiskey requires at least 51 percent corn mash to be distilled to no more than 160 proof, and it must be matured for at least two years in new charred oak barrels before it can be sold.

It also must to be created in the state and filtered using sugar maple charcoal, a process known as the “Lincoln County Process,” according to state regulations.

Outside of the distillery, however, all alcohol sales are prohibited in Moore County.

While Arnett acknowledges that “we’re still famously a dry town,” he adds that “any brewery, winery, and distillery can offer a sample tour for a fee.” Billy Kaufman has found a new home at Short Mountain Distillery, which is located about 60 miles northeast of Nashville in the undulating countryside east of Murfreesboro.

While on tour, he’s discovered an equally inventive method to legally serve his spirits in mixed beverages such as mojitos, margaritas, and Old Fashioneds by giving miniature versions to customers.

In this interview with Billy Kaufman, President and CEO of Short Mountain Distillery, he discusses the way of life and the process of distilling spirits in Cannon County, Tenn.

Tatum, the guild president, travels 65 miles northwest to the busy city of Nashville, where he attends a rally at the state legislature in favor of the effort to allow distilleries to offer drinks.

Broadway is crawling with pedal taverns.

Customers sip handmade drinks in smoky speakeasies and sophisticated rooftop bars, among other venues.

It was Charles Nelson’s great-great-great-grandchildren who were responsible for resurrecting Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, which was formerly the largest in the state.

Andy and Charlie Nelson explain about their family’s company, which has been in their family for centuries, and why they decided to restart it.

Brian Downing, a whiskey connoisseur and brand ambassador for George Dickel, has a sample of whiskey from a rocks glass at the hip Pinewood Social in New York City.

Cunningham, the company’s founder, explained that the name was inspired by the World War II era, a time when people took tremendous pleasure in their work.

He’s also accelerating the usual whiskey-aging process by using a small batch of tiny barrels, which have a higher surface area to volume ratio than larger barrels.

Matt Cunningham, the owner of Old Glory Distilling Company, talks about his love for Clarksville, his career in firefighting, and his passion for distilling and brewing.

The craft distilling sector, according to Cunningham, is following in the footsteps of the craft beer industry, although he and the bulk of his clients prefer cocktails than plain booze.

“We’re not like beer and wine, which are intended to be consumed directly from the bottle,” says the author “he explains.

Moonshine tales are shared by an old timer himself, as well as by the youthful operator of a small distillery, in this documentary.

West Tennessee is still in the early stages of distilling.

He then constructed a tasting area out of materials left over from his prior business.

Although it cannot be called tequila since it is not produced in Mexico, TNKilla is the only agave-based liquor produced in the state of Tennessee “Bryant expresses himself.

Memphis lies another 90 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Old Dominick Distillery, which launched on May 1 and is owned by Chris Canale, whose family used to be an Anheuser-Busch distributor.

Days later, Tennessee’s alcohol legislation continued to develop, much like a barrel of whiskey.

Bill Haslam into law, allows distilleries to sell drinks to the public.

“It’s basically about going back to what we’re good at.” The distillation system, which will have a capacity of 1,800 gallons, will be among the largest in the state.

The forklift he’s using to put the barrel of whiskey at the foot of a big steel tank is part of his preparations for opening Sugarlands’ first barrel of whiskey.

Eidam inserts two copper tubes into the barrel, which are held in place by bungee cords that are attached to the barrel’s ends.

President and co-owner Ned Vickers holds the barrel in his hands to keep it from sliding as it is raised over the open-top container.

He then carefully slides the barrel over the vessel’s mouth, allowing the amber liquid to flow through a stainless steel screen. While their whiskey is being poured from the barrel, the couple takes photographs.

Craft brewing facts

  • Earlier this year, the American Craft Spirits Association reported that there were 1,315 active craft distillers in the United States, accounting for $2.4 billion in yearly retail sales, representing a 28 percent increase over the preceding five years. Since Prohibition was repealed in 1933, there has been no federally recognized category of liquor known as moonshine, which has traditionally been any untaxed and therefore illegal spirit transported at night — or under the light of the moon
  • Benjamin Prichard’s opened in Lincoln County in 1997, becoming the state’s first new legal distillery since the repeal of Prohibition
  • A tiny “experimental distillery” was established by the Chattanooga Whiskey Co. in 2015, immediately across the street from the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, following a change in the local law. Frank Sinatra was laid to rest with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a pack of Camel cigarettes, a Zippo lighter, and a stack of 10 dimes, which he carried with him so he always had change for a pay phone
  • Nelson’s Green Brier was relaunched by bottling spirits produced outside of the state, similar to what Chattanooga Whiskey did, and selling the rye-heavy beverage under the revived Belle Meade Because of a grandfathering exemption granted in 2013, Benjamin Prichard’s is the only distillery that can legally refer to its product as “Tennessee whiskey” without adhering to the Lincoln County Process. A liquor must have been aged for at least two years to be described as “straight. “
  • A liquor must have been aged for at least two years to be described as “straight.” This distillery is also the sole functioning distillery in Lincoln County
  • Spirits that had gone through three distillation operations were originally identified by the letters “3 X.” Modern stills are capable of doing the job and then some in a single pass.
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