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Why Do People Sell Moonshine? (Perfect answer)

It was during the prohibition era that moonshine making got it’s foothold. Now days moonshine is more of a hobby for those who like homemade whiskey, because alcohol of all types is readily available in stores. Because they like it and they can sell it for money to neighbors. And its cheaper to make than buy.

  • Moonshine is mostly known as a slang term that refers to strong and illegally-made alcoholic spirits. For this reason, it’s typically associated with bootleggers and the Prohibition in the USA. While moonshine is still used to describe illegal homemade alcohol, legitimate distillers will often sell beverages that are described as moonshine.


What is the purpose of moonshine?

What is Moonshine? Moonshine is any kind of alcohol, usually whisky or rum, that is made in secret to avoid high taxes or outright bans on alcoholic drinks. The term “moonshine” comes from Britain, where it originally was a verb, “moonshining,” that referred to any job or activity that was done late at night.

Why is selling moonshine 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.)

Is selling moonshine a felony?

Under 26 U.S.C. 5602, engaging in business as a distiller with intent to defraud the United States of tax is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Under 26 U.S.C.

How profitable is making moonshine?

And, moonshiners can make bank. They can haul in more than $100,000 a year in a legal operation [source: Harvison]. And probably make even more when it’s an illegal operation. One moonshine bust in Tennessee netted 1,000 jugs of moonshine thought to have a street value of $50,000 [source: Young].

Is moonshine illegal in the US?

The production of moonshine — or really any spirit — without a license is prohibited by the U.S. government and is very much illegal. Clear whiskey in the style of moonshine might be for sale, but technically speaking, moonshine is moonshine because it’s produced illicitly.

Is moonshine healthy to drink?

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.

Is it legal to own a still?

“The process of breaking it down, when the molecule gets broken down, it turns into something that’s very, very dangerous to living cells.” Distilling spirits at home without a license is illegal, but it is legal to buy distilling equipment.

Is moonshine legal in some states?

“Legal” Moonshining In contrast to Florida, some state’s home distilling laws allow “legal” moonshining, even though it’s considered illegal federally. Those states include Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

Can moonshine make you go blind?

If you’re drinking moonshine, yes. Although alcohol that’s properly manufactured and regulated does not by itself cause blindness, people sometimes do go blind from drinking bootleg beverages. One common concern with moonshine is lead poisoning, which has been linked to blindness.

How is moonshine legal?

To be clear, it’s illegal to make moonshine without a license from the federal government. If you’re willing to throw down the time, money and pain involved in getting a Federal liquor distiller’s license, you can make your own moonshine all day long legally.

How much time do you get for selling moonshine?

Within title 26 of the United States Code, section 5601 sets out criminal penalties for activities including the following. Offenses under this section are felonies that are punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for each offense.

How much whiskey can you make legally?

In general, most of the states hold distillation of whiskey (and other spirits) to be illegal, but there are some definite exceptions. Missouri, for example, allows residents to distill up to 100 gallons of spirits a year.

How much does 1 gallon of moonshine cost?

The selling price is around $25 a gallon if sold in bulk, or $40 for retail price. “They can make as much as $10,000 a month,” the task force said.

Can you make moonshine if you don’t sell it?

No. In the United States, distilling alcohol without a license is illegal in all 50 states. Doesn’t matter whether it’s personal or for resale, or in what volume. There is no such thing as a “home distillers” license/permit.

5 Reasons Why People Like Moonshine

People drank moonshine hundreds of years ago and still do. And that feeling of love hasn’t faded since. After Prohibition was repealed and the use of alcoholic beverages became legal once more, interest in illicit spirits began to wane—but it has recently begun to resurface. And it’s not only among the people of the South. Now, it appears like every average Joe and his granny in the United States desires a jug of booze. So what is it about it that people find so appealing? What exactly is the main draw?

A Taste of Rebellion

Bootleggers, covert operations, and gunfights—little there’s question that the appeal of moonshine has a lot to do with the fact that it was formerly illegally produced. It’s been prohibited for a long time, and yet people continue to be lured to criminal activities. They are just enthralled by the prospect of eating the forbidden fruit. They’re interested in learning more. They are curious as to what all the hubbub is about. They enjoy’shine because it is enveloped with an aura of toughness and coldness that no other alcoholic beverage can match.'”

Authentic American Goodness

Over the past few years, there has been a growing backlash against corporate America. People are fed up with having to spend their hard-earned money on things that are manufactured in other nations. Mass-produced goods are those that are in large quantities. People have begun to recognize the value of handcrafted items as works of art. And when you purchase moonshine that has been micro-distilled in tiny quantities rather than the factory-made product produced by Big Whiskey, you can feel good about yourself knowing that you are helping craftspeople.

  1. It has been created with care and consideration.
  2. It’s high-quality food in a jar.
  3. With each drink, they gain a greater sense of accomplishment.
  4. They have a distinct taste of genuine, true American deliciousness.


Moonshine is fantastic since it can be used in so many different ways. The drink can be consumed plain, chilled, on ice, mixed with other ingredients, or used in cocktails. There is a drink for everyone, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy the intense taste and kick of drinking it straight, the fruity taste of drinking it with some moonshine mix, or the smooth taste of drinking it in your favorite mixed beverages; there is a method to consume it that meets your tastes.

It’s Become Legal…Sort Of

Some distillers in specified counties are now permitted to legally create and sell moonshine, provided that they have applied for and received the necessary licenses. Due to the fact that individuals may now legally purchase moonshine at a liquor shop or on the internet, it is now simpler than ever for average people to consume it. In the past, it was only available if you knew a man who knew a guy who knew a person who covertly created it, making it a difficult commodity to obtain.

However, the relaxation of liquor restrictions has played a significant role in the increase in the number of individuals who are now testing and appreciating white lightning.

It’s an Experience

Drinking moonshine is about more than simply getting drunk. It’s about participating in a social event that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. For some reason, passing a jar of booze around a circle of friends produces a bonding experience that simply cannot be replicated with a bottle of wine or a few glasses of martinis on the table. It all comes down to camaraderie.

Give It a Taste

If you’re still trying to persuade yourself to give’shine a go, don’t be afraid to give it a shot. There’s a reason why so many people enjoy it; in fact, there are at least five causes for this popularity. Besides the fact that it’s authentically American deliciousness with a dash of rebellion that makes for a fantastic drinking experience, its flexibility and newly legal status make it easy for everyone to enjoy.

Illegal Moonshine Is Still Flowing

The 9th of April, 2002 – In the hills of southern Virginia, the moonshining industry is still going strong, as shown by the potent, illicit white lightning that has been produced in backwoods stills for hundreds of years. Following a combination federal and state operation on illicit booze in Virginia known as Operation Lightning Strike, many people were convicted. The convictions represent the latest chapter in the centuries-old conflict between moonshiners and the authorities. Over the course of three years, Operation Lightning Strike dismantled a multimillion-dollar ring that supplied tons of sugar, bottling supplies, and other equipment and materials used in the production of thousands of gallons of moonshine to customers throughout the country.

  • According to federal investigators, Stanley and other members of his family operated an illicit booze company for more than 30 years before being forced to close their doors.
  • The Farmers Exchange in Rocky Mount was also closed as part of the combined federal-state operation, according to officials, which provided enough sugar to moonshiners to produce about 1.5 million gallons of the illicit alcoholic beverage in the backwoods.
  • Who is responsible for it?
  • Throughout the South, which has long been the center of illegal booze manufacture, there are still plenty of backwoods blackpot stills to be found.
  • Distilleries are sometimes tucked away in houses, garages, secret subterranean basements, or even caves cut into the side of mountains.
  • Marijuana and stolen items are occasionally dealt in by the more established businesses.
  • While the moonshine industry in Virginia may be booming, it may be on the verge of extinction in other parts of the country.
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According to him, “we’re still putting out anywhere between two and four stills a year, largely in east and northeast Texas, mostly with older people.” “I think it’s simply a sort of ancient family custom; they’ve been doing it for so long that they don’t know how to stop,” says the author.

Hale believes that after they are gone, the production of moonshine in the region may come to a stop.

The low cost of moonshine and the lengthy heritage of moonshine production ensure the survival of the illegal liquor trade.

According to the cheapest white lightning available, it can be purchased for as little as $5 a gallon, which is a fifth to a tenth of the price of legal liquor.

A large part of its appeal can be attributed to its inexpensive cost.

Larger enterprises frequently sell to wholesalers, who package the booze in six-packs of thick, plastic gallon jugs and distribute it to retailers.

“They’ve been drinking it for so long that they’ve come to enjoy it,” Driskill adds.

Home Brew beer and wine, but not alcoholic beverages…

There are also state and local regulations prohibiting the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, as well as a variety of levies levied on the production of alcoholic beverages.

Even while moonshining is normally simply a misdemeanor under state law, the federal government often imposes substantially harsher penalties.

Bill Davis, a Rocky Mount attorney who has defended a number of moonshiners over the years, is critical of Operation Lightning Strike’s “heavy-handed” methods, which he describes as “unnecessarily harsh.” His opinion: “I believe that the administration overstated everything, as they typically do.” As far as he is concerned, moonshining is a small-scale problem that should be dealt with by local authorities.

  1. Moonshine is not only illegal, but it may also be quite deadly.
  2. Some distillers have also used dangerous additives like as lye, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, and other chemicals.
  3. Making Moonshine is a simple process.
  4. The name itself goes back to the 15th century, and it is said to have referred to work done at night, under the illumination of the moon.
  5. However, just a little portion of it is aged in order to soften the unusually sharp flavor.
  6. It is the first stage in the production of moonshine to ferment in “mash” kegs a mixture of rye, sugar, maize, yeast, and/or other components.
  7. Modern stills often just employ electric power or propane, in order to minimize the unmistakable plumes of smoke that are released when the mash is “cooked.” In order to bring in fresh water without being noticed, some people employ intricate plumbing systems.

Some bootleggers even offer tasting facilities where consumers may try out their wares before purchasing them.

One type of whiskey, known as milky whiskey, is said to have more in common with lighter fluid than Jack Daniels by some consumers.

Fresh apples, red damsonberries, bananas, hazelnuts, and any other ingredients that strike the distiller’s fancy are frequently used to make illegal “brandy” whiskey.

Because of the wide variation of quality — as well as the lack of health and safety regulations — moonshine consumers have developed centuries-old methods of evaluating their brews.

The approach is not recommended by health professionals.

After Prohibition and the Great Depression took their toll on the economy, there was an increase in production, which was met with resistance at first by “revenuers” from the Treasury Department, and subsequently by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

“That was the time period when moonshine was extremely popular – in the 1950s and 1960s,” recalls Thomas Allison, 76, who worked as an agent for the Treasury Department and subsequently the ATF, pursuing illegal liquor manufacturers.

They began doing nighttime infrared flights in order to detect illicit stills cooking in the dark.

However, as the federal government shifted its attention elsewhere, the moonshine trade began to revive once again. “It’s a simple matter of supply and demand,” Allison explains. Learn about the history of moonshine by clicking on the links below.

Why Is Making Moonshine Illegal? A Brief History with an Unexpected Bite

Moonshine has seen somewhat of a rebirth in recent years. Moonshine, the colloquial term for clear, non-barrel-aged whiskey — and, on occasion, other home-distilled spirits — has piqued the interest of a younger generation of drinkers, prompting the publication of books on the subject and the launch of upscale whiskey brands that use the term “moonshine” in their branding. In fact, there’s a Discover Channel show called Moonshiners that focuses on the American folk heritage of home-brewed handmade whiskey production.

  1. The manufacturing of moonshine — or, for that matter, any spirit — without a license is strictly outlawed by the United States government and is considered to be highly unlawful.
  2. Despite the fact that clear whiskey in the manner of moonshine is available for purchase, moonshine is still considered moonshine since it is created illegally.
  3. Because of this, those who violate the federal law may face various federal offenses, including tax evasion, which may result in up to 10 years imprisonment on top of confiscation and forfeiture of the land that was utilized for the illicit activity.
  4. NPS

Why is Moonshine Illegal?

“While many individuals are aware that distilling alcohol at home is against the law, many are unsure as to why or how these rules came to be,” says the author. According to Colin Spoelman, co-founder of Brooklyn’sKings County Distillery and author ofGuide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey, Inverse is a great source of information. On the surface, the legislation appears to be illogical, but when you dive a bit further into its history, it becomes a little more evident. Instead than the government being concerned that you’ll go blind from drinking moonshine, the limitations on moonshine are mostly based on taxation.

Because, after all, they had recently won a battle against the British government’s tax duties, the American farmers who produce the grain used in moonshine were not going to take it lying down.

Fast forward to the age of the Civil War, when it was formally declared that creating moonshine without paying taxes was unlawful.

This legislation, among other things, formally put a tax on alcoholic beverages, making it much more difficult to get away with distilling without a permission.

Unfortunately, this included the production of homemade spirits, and it has been unlawful to produce spirits in private residences in the United States ever since.

Is It Actually Dangerous?

Despite the fact that many individuals are aware that distilling alcohol at home is against the law, they aren’t clear why or how these regulations were put in place,” says the article. Tells Inverse that Colin Spoelman, co-founder of Brooklyn’sKings County Distillery and author ofGuide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey, is a co-founder of the distillery. It appears that the law is unjust on the surface, but when you dive deeper into its past, you will realize that it is not.

  1. According to Spoelman, it all started shortly after the American Revolution, when the government began to levy excise taxes on alcoholic beverages in order to pay off its debt from the Revolutionary War.
  2. In the end, this friction resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion, in which George Washington launched a crackdown on farmers who were making money by distilling their grain into moonshine for sale.
  3. It was in 1862 that the ATF’s (Assistance to the Federal Government in the Fight Against Illegal Drugs) Revenue Act was ratified.
  4. Taxes, especially extremely profitable duties on imported distilled alcohol and tobacco goods, are intended to be collected under the statute.

So How Come People Still Make Moonshine?

You might be thinking at this point if it’s really worth the effort to make your own moonshine in the first place. Despite the fact that moonshining is illegal, each state approaches the issue in a somewhat different way. As a result of their past with renegade moonshiners, states in the South, such as the Carolinas, Virginia, and Florida, tend to have stronger enforcement, according to Spoelman. In spite of the fact that you may reside in a state such as Missouri, where a person may legally create up to 100 gallons of spirits per year without obtaining a licence, Spoelman warns that distilling your own moonshine is still an extremely dangerous endeavor.

As it turns out, while it’s simple to acquire the equipment needed to produce moonshine online, the Tennessee Bureau of Liquor Control has been known to crack down on unregistered stills.

According to the providers, this is necessary in order to remain within the legal parameters. In other words, you should distill your moonshine according to your own preferences.

Why is it against the law to make moonshine?

Moonshine On Wednesday, two Georgia men entered guilty pleas to charges of running a moonshine still in the Chattahoochee National Forest, according to court documents. Bootleggers risk up to 35 years in jail for their offences, which include manufacturing the beer, selling it, and failing to pay taxes on the revenues of their sales. When the Explainer was in college, he had pals who made their own beer, which was not against the law at the time. So, why is moonshine still prohibited in the United States?

  • A tax of $2.14 is levied on each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared to 21 cents for a bottle of wine (with 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer, according to Uncle Sam.
  • In 2005, spirits produced lawfully contributed about $5 billion to the federal excise tax on alcoholic beverages.
  • However, a rising number of oenophiles and beer lovers wanted to produce their own, and they worked to persuade Congress to legalize homebrewing across the country, which was ultimately successful.
  • (A number of states have passed legislation outlawing the practice.) The 1978 legislation, on the other hand, did not legalize moonshining; you are still not permitted to make spirits for personal use.
  • (In certain places, commercial distillers sell a legal form of moonshine, which you may obtain from them.) Despite popular belief, not everyone who consumes moonshine does so just for the purpose of becoming drunk quickly and cheaply.
  • These days, moonshine is even becoming more posh, thanks to a new generation of amateur distillers in the United States.
  • Authorities have said that moonshine poses major health hazards, including heavy metal poisoning, as a result of its production.
  • Because there is no inspection throughout the production process, the quality—as well as the degrees of contamination—can vary.
  • Other than getting drunk and doing something stupid—like assaulting someone with a chainsaw with a fire extinguisher—the biggest concern is lead poisoning, which may occur when a homemade still is constructed from car radiators or pipes that have been hazardously soldered together.
  • Inquire with the Explainer.

Correction received on October 26, 2007: Brewing any type of alcoholic beverage at home was prohibited under the original version of the law. Prior to 1978, the government had essentially granted permission for winemaking. (Return to the sentence that has been fixed.)

Why Is It Called Moonshine?

Have you ever wondered where the term “moonshine” came from? What is the origin of the term “moonshine”? Moonshine, which is often created from maize, is a kind of whiskey that has not been matured. You would question, though, why it isn’t called maize whiskey or grain whiskey instead. How did the term “moonshine” come to be, which is today a well-known brand of alcoholic beverage? The solution to this question is centered on the unlawful state that is related with the question. Typically possessing a high concentration of alcohol, moonshine is whiskey that has been illicitly made at home by a family member.

  • Originally, this verb referred to any action that took place throughout the night, but when it entered the United States, the meaning of the word changed.
  • The whiskey was not created just for recreational purposes, but also to provide food for families.
  • Paying hefty taxes meant that they had less cash to spend on their families’ food.
  • Every penny they earned was extremely valuable to them, and they needed to retain it.
  • The moonshiners proceeded to conduct their operations in the depths of the backwoods, where it would be difficult to detect them in order to escape being apprehended by the police.
  • Hence, moonshine became the term for the spirit.
  • This is somewhat correct, however any illegally produced alcoholic beverage is referred to as moonshine.
  • This, however, was not whiskey, but rather rum.
  • Moonshine was the name given to this alcoholic beverage since it was created illegally and late at night with the help of the moonlight.
  • Then there’s the great question: is the legalized alcohol still referred to as moonshine, despite the fact that the word moonshine is used to refer to alcohol that has been unlawfully distilled?

Although the moonshine seen in shops has been legalized, the processes and formulas used in distilling the illicit moonshine have remained the same, resulting in the same product with the same experience, and therefore the word “moonshine” has been retained. TN Shine Company, Inc.

Moonshine Laws

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, the phrase “moonshine” can apply to a variety of distinct types of liquor. Historically, the term “moonshine” referred to whiskey that was produced and distilled in one’s own house. When alcohol was outlawed in the United States during the Prohibition era, the phrase “bathtub gin” was used to refer to home-brewed moonshine, which was produced in bathtubs. Moonshine is often created from a type of maize mash or a combination of corn mashes. People today manufacture artisan moonshine out of a sense of nostalgia and a desire for a particular flavor profile.

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However, distilling alcohol in one’s house, even for personal consumption, is prohibited under federal law.

These facilities produced legal moonshine for the purpose of sale and distribution.

Moonshine has always held a prominent position in the American imagination, and its resurgence in popularity in the twenty-first century has resulted in increased tourism revenue for local vendors.

Is Moonshine Illegal?

There are federal and state laws that prohibit the manufacture of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of distribution or sale to the general public. It is allowed under federal law to own a still of any size without obtaining a permission; nevertheless, a permit is necessary in order to make alcohol with the still. Regardless of how large the still is, it is still a still. Stills pose genuine dangers and concerns, which is why they are subjected to extensive regulation. A federal distilled spirits permit is required in order to lawfully manufacture and distribute alcoholic beverages for the purpose of sale and distribution.

They are both pricey and difficult to get by in large quantities.

Is Moonshine Illegal in my State?

State regulations on the legality of home distilling differ significantly from one another. The possession of a still is prohibited by law in certain states, although it is not prohibited by law in others. It is sometimes lawful to own a still, but you may be subject to a modest fine for the act of making and producing alcoholic beverages. If the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau demands them, still titles and permissions may be necessary. It is against the law in every country to sell alcohol to minors.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have been charged with home distilling, you should speak with a drug attorney as soon as possible.

A lawyer will assist you in determining your alternatives and developing your best case, as well as representing you throughout plea negotiations and in court. The most recent update was made on June 19, 2018. Disclaimer for the Law Library

NC Moonshine: How to Sell It

Moonshine from North Carolina Travelers who are thirsty might ring the bell on this tree, take a short stroll, and then return to discover a drink waiting for them on the other side. They would then leave some money in the tree when they had quenched their thirst, and then continue their journey. From the John C. and Olive Campell Collection at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. According to the federal authorities, the true problem with moonshine isn’t the production of it, but the distribution of it.

  1. Many of the battles between moonshiners and the law are fought over the collection of taxes and the resolve of the moonshiners to avoid paying those taxes.
  2. People who are looking for moonshine must look for it in the proper areas and at the correct times.
  3. When moonshiners begin to sell their products on a wider scale, however, the methods of supplying the product shift slightly.
  4. Bootlegging is the term used to describe this practice, which often entails transporting moonshine in a vehicle or truck.
  5. One of the most frequent was to “soup up” or “improve” the engines of the automobiles they drove, which was one of the most prevalent.
  6. A scene from the film “Thunder Road” The video element cannot be shown because your browser does not support it.
  7. Memphis Minnie’s Moonshine is a distilled spirit.

Moonshiner and His Money is a novel written by Charlie Bowman.

Carolina Moonshine by Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters is a musical composition.

Moonshining’s Economic Implications A mother and her children in the heart of moonshine country; many moonshiners were not wealthy individuals.

and Olive Campell Collection is housed in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina.

On the basis of assuming that they operated 20 days a month, four months a year, and produced 15 gallons of liquor per day, federal agents concluded that moonshiners were depriving the federal government of $2,500,000 in uncollected taxes each year by selling illegal, untaxed liquor.

In spite of the fact that they did not pay, moonshiners were adamant about keeping the government out of their business.

In particular, they were drawn to the concepts of natural rights and republicanism that had sparked many of the protests against British rule, including the battle cry “no taxation without representation” that had been raised 100 years earlier.

Additionally, it compelled many moonshiners to expand their markets; if they wanted to supply more and more people, they had to transport the liquor further and further away from their original location.

In other words, moonshining was growing in importance as a commercial enterprise, with bootleggers, the people who transported the liquor, playing an increasingly important role in the process.

This was especially true prior to Prohibition, when the majority of their customers came from small towns and mining camps, as well as larger towns such as county seats.

Moonshining and ProhibitionA moonshine still that was captured.

and Olive Campell Collection at the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Beginning in the late 1870s, the prohibition or temperance movements began to slowly infiltrate the South, town by town or county by county, and eventually reached the entire region.

If a municipality prohibited the sale of legal alcoholic beverages, the demand for moonshiners and their products would skyrocket.

As a result of Prohibition, many moonshiners were forced to lower their quality standards, with the emphasis instead being placed on the quantity of liquor that could be produced rather than the quality.

It was no longer just about taxation and revenue collection; it was now about eradicating alcohol from society as a whole, and thus was as much a moral battle as it was an economic one.

This proved to be a much more difficult task for both federal and local agents, and the task only became more difficult with the rise of national Prohibition, which became law with the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1920.

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

‘Moonshine’ produced in North Carolina When thirsty travelers ring the bell in this tree, take a short stroll, and then return, they will be met with a refreshing drink on the way. They would then leave some money in the tree when they had quenched their thirst, and then they would walk on. The photograph is from the John C. and Olive Campell Collection, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. According to the federal authorities, the true problem with moonshine isn’t the production of it, but rather the distribution of the substance..

  1. The fight to collect taxes, as well as the resolve of moonshiners to avoid paying them, is at the heart of most of the conflict between moonshiners and the state.
  2. If you’re looking for moonshine, you have to look in the correct areas and look for it.
  3. When moonshiners begin to sell their products on a greater scale, the methods by which they supply their product alter.
  4. Bootlegging is the process of transporting moonshine in a car or truck, and it is a legal activity in several states.
  5. In order to “soup up” the engines of their automobiles, one of their most prevalent methods was to boost their performance by adding more fuel.
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Drawings from the John C.

Federal officials calculated that moonshiners were robbing the federal government of $2,500,000 in uncollected taxes each year based on the assumption that they worked 20 days a month, 4 months a year, and generated 15 gallons of whiskey each day.

They were persistent in their desire to keep the government out of their business, even when they didn’t pay their taxes.

In particular, they were drawn to the ideals of natural rights and republicanism that had spurred many of the uprisings against British authority, including the battle cry “no taxation without representation” that had been raised 100 years previously.

Additionally, it compelled many moonshiners to extend their markets; if they wanted to serve more and more individuals, they had to move the booze further and further away from their home base.

These included North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and West Virginia.

The majority of moonshiners’ clients came from small towns and mining camps, as well as bigger places such as county seats.

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Numerous consumers were unable to afford to drink on a regular or frequent basis.

The photograph is from the John C.

It had already begun to develop an unpleasant connection with moonshine before the 18th Amendment made it illegal to sell or consume alcoholic beverages in the United States.

Moonshiners benefited greatly from the growth of the movement in the 1890s, which occurred across the country.

In the early twentieth century, Prohibition spread over most of the South on a state-wide basis.

Having little choice, thirsty consumers were not always discerning, and they often took “bad whiskey.” The anti-moonshine campaign shifted the emphasis of the fight against moonshine.

This proved to be a far more difficult assignment for both federal and local officers, and the task only became more onerous with the emergence of national Prohibition, which became law with the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919.

10 Reasons to Not Make Moonshine – Part 1

Firstly, a quick reminder that distilling alcohol is unlawful unless you have an approved federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant authorization in addition to the appropriate state permissions. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes. We encourage you to read our comprehensive legal statement for further information on the legality of distillation.

1. Making Moonshine is Illegal

Please keep in mind that distilling alcohol is unlawful unless you have a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit as well as any necessary state permissions. Let’s get started. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information included in this page is provided solely for educational purposes……………………………. For additional information on the laws of distillation, please see our entire legal statement (PDF).

2. Many Have No Idea What They Are Doing

Please keep in mind that distilling alcohol is unlawful unless you have a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit as well as any necessary state permissions. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information included in this page is provided solely for educational purposes. For additional information on the laws of distillation, please see our entire legal overview.

3. Explosions

We weren’t joking when we mentioned the rocket explosion in the last section. Alcohol vapor is extremely explosive; this is a proven fact. If you still don’t believe us, have a look at this video, which shows an alcohol vapor explosion. During the functioning of a still, a number of circumstances might result in the combustion of alcohol vapor. 1. The still has the potential to get blocked, and if subjected to enough heat and pressure, it might explode completely. In accordance with our sources (and depending on the type of still being utilized), the top of the still will simply snap off prior to an explosion occurring.


A flash heat source might ignite the vapor, causing it to erupt and shock the environment violently.

More safety information may be found in this post on safety guidelines for moonshiners.

4. Drinking Moonshine Will Make People Go Blind

Yeast converts sugar into alcohol during the fermentation process. The great majority of the alcohol created by the yeast is ethanol, which is the beneficial component of the alcohol produced. However, a trace amount of harmful material (methanol) is created as well. This occurs regardless of whether one is fermenting beer, wine, or a mash for whiskey production. Methanol is present in minute amounts in all of that material, and 5 gallons of beer should have approximately the same amount of methanol as 5 gallons of whiskey wash, if not more (before it is distilled).

Because of the danger of methanol poisoning, commercial distillers usually discard “foreshots” at the start of each distillation operation..

Methanol has a slightly lower boiling temperature than ethanol.

This portion of the run should either be thrown away (and not consumed) or blended in evenly with the remainder of the run.

a. That’s how the best commercial distilleries go about their business. We covered the fundamentals, but some people may still be interested in more information. Take a look at this link to find out more about how much methanol to discard – ” Does drinking moonshine cause blindness?”

5. Making Moonshine Takes a Long Time

This isn’t a stretch at all. Creating quality commercial moonshine requires a significant amount of time. Making a mash may take the better part of a day. Fermentation might take many weeks. On a tiny still, it can take an entire day to distill a batch of mash that holds 10 gallons of alcohol. On a larger still, it can take only a few hours. Part 2 is available by clicking here. It’s important to remember that distilling alcohol at home for personal consumption is against the law. This should not be done.

Moonshine Laws – Burke County Sheriff

In Georgia, the production of moonshine has a lengthy history that dates back to the Civil War, when moonshine was legal but restricted owing to a lack of laws. Following the Civil War, legislation was established making moonshine illegal and establishing tax rates for legal alcoholic beverages. The battle-weary people of Georgia regarded it as a means of escaping poverty, as Georgia’s natural resources had been badly reduced as a result of the conflict. Producing moonshine under the cover of night and then selling it without paying taxes undoubtedly boosted the income of the general public, but the high risks associated with illegal business kept it from spreading widely until the Prohibition era, when moonshine operations grew to the point where 1,000 gallonstills were being used in some concealment locations.

  1. Due to the legalization of moonshine in recent years, a significant portion of the illicit moonshine industry has been eliminated, and law enforcement agencies continue to crack down on stills.
  2. Junior learnt to race while moving whiskey over the North Carolina mountains.
  3. Manufacturing, transporting, receiving, possessing, selling, and distributing alcoholic drinks are all prohibited in Georgia.
  4. OCGA 3-3-27 (2010)3-3-27 says that no person should, knowingly and willfully, do any of the following:
  • Except as expressly allowed by this chapter, no distilled spirits may be distilled, manufactured, or produced
  • Manufacturing, making, brewing, or fermenting any malt beverages or wine, except as expressly permitted by this title
  • Transporting, shipping, receiving, possessing, selling, offering to sell, or distributing any alcoholic beverages or alcohol, except as expressly permitted by this title
  • And using any alcoholic beverages or alcohol in any manner, except as expressly permitted by this title. Failure to file any report required by this chapter
  • Filing any report required by this title that is either knowingly false or fraudulent, or both
  • Failure to file any report required by this title that is intentionally false or fraudulent, or both
  • If you fail to pay any tax or licensing fee imposed or permitted by this title, unless you are explicitly excluded from such payment, you will be in violation of the law. Failure to submit a sufficient bond with the commissioner as required by this chapter
  • Evading or violating, or conspiring to avoid or violate, any provision of this title
  • Or Failure to comply with any provision of this title
  • Anything that is utilized in the illicit distillation, manufacturing, or production of any alcoholic drinks is considered contraband, and it must be destroyed or otherwise disposed of according to the commissioner’s specifications. The following provisions of this Code section are violated: (Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years
  • Paragraphs (2) through (8) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years
  • Paragraphs (2) through

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most up-to-date versions available at this time. Georgia may have information that is more up to date or accurate. Neither we nor the state make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of the material included on this site or on any other site to which it is connected. Please refer to official sources for information.

Is Moonshine Really Moonshine If It’s Legal?

Although it is now well recognized as a very high-proof, illicitly made alcoholic beverage, moonshine was formerly exclusive to rural Americans, notably those living in Appalachia. Although moonshine has been around for centuries, it has only recently gained widespread acceptance, with it now being manufactured at above-ground distilleries and sold in liquor shops and bars across the United States, among other places. What was once solely available through nefarious ways is now so widely available that it can be purchased at Costco and other retail outlets.

Absinthe, on the other hand, has an artistic and bohemian aura, while having an equally deadly reputation.

According to Nicole Pearlman of theOle Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, “Moonshine, by definition, is any high proof alcohol that has been unlawfully produced.” The Ole Smoky Distillery is the first legal moonshine distillery in a state recognized for its history of moonshine manufacturing.

When it comes down to it, moonshine is just a high-proof alcohol with a distinctive flavor.

“It’s only a little moonshine.” It is not true moonshine, according to an elderly veteran moonshiner from Wilkes County, North Carolina (formerly regarded as the “moonshine capital of the world”) who volunteered to talk with me under the condition of anonymity.

“That’s one of the things that distinguishes moonlight as’moonshine.'” Each batch is unique.

According to her, “I’ve heard some individuals suggest our products aren’t true moonshine.” The legal definition of illegality, on the other hand, is more precise.

“Technically speaking, it is not a tax-based alcoholic beverage.

“Moonshine is a phrase that is culturally associated,” she explains.

It’s a sensory experience with the booze.

Because it was expected to be present, you didn’t give it any thought at the time.

The jar of stuff was continuously being passed about and shared,” says the author.

You sit and pass it around while conversing.

“I don’t really get the’real moonshine’ argument when it comes to places other than the South,” she says.

Our product is a dedication to the brand as well as to the history of moonshine in the United States.

Interestingly, the moonshiner with whom I spoke dismissed the notion that moonshine may be harmful because of the way it is made as untrue.

Is it possible that you might consume or drink anything that smelled bad?

“He did, however, become sicker than a dog.” It is the opinion of this moonshiner that tales of tragically terrible moonshine are highly overblown, having been propagated by outsiders in order to delegitimize both southerners and this unique Southern artform.

These debates arose as a result of the fact that moonshine is a product that is not, or was not, subject to taxation.

“However, it is no more dangerous than anything else that anyone can build,” he concludes.

Moonshine, like any other spirit, has a distinct history and legacy, and it is always growing in order to find its place in today’s society. The jar will be passed along for years to come, whether it originates from a mountain holler or an illegitimate distillery in the middle of nowhere.

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