Categories Moonshine

When Was Moonshine Invented? (Best solution)

The practice of creating moonshine began in England in the 18th century and quickly spread to the US. For the first 200 years of its consumption in America, it was not illegal to produce moonshine, and issues surrounding the taxation of moonshine played a role in the American Revolution and Civil War.

When was moonshine invented?

  • Moonshine was especially important to the Appalachian area. The white whiskey most likely entered the Appalachian region in the late 18th century to early 1800s. Scots-Irish immigrants from the province of Ulster, in the north of Ireland, brought their recipe for uisce beatha, Gaelic for “water of life”.

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 America?

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.

When was moonshine made?

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 did people start running moonshine?

During the 1930s, moonshiners began to race their whiskey cars at local fairgrounds and racetracks, where they discovered that people—sometimes tens of thousands of them—were willing to pay to watch them showcase their driving skills. It wasn’t just the drivers who had moonshine in their blood.

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.)

When was moonshining illegal?

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 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 liquor did America invent?

It is illegal to make liquor in Bourbon County. But yes: Bourbon—whiskey made from corn, aged in new oak barrels—is an American invention and it has to be made right here in America.

What state is known for moonshine?

The liquor has seen a popular, albeit legal, resurgence, but its roots are found in the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The liquor has seen a popular, albeit legal, resurgence, but its roots are found in the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee as well as West Virginia and Kentucky.

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.

In what year did prohibition end?

On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, as announced in this proclamation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment of January 16, 1919, ending the increasingly unpopular nationwide prohibition of alcohol.

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).

Who is the most famous moonshiner?

1. Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. Of course, we wouldn’t be talking moonshine without the man, the myth, the legend, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. The most recognized modern moonshiner, good old hillbilly Popcorn Sutton was born in Maggie Valley, North Carolina in 1949.

What percentage of alcohol is 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.

Finding and drinking moonshine is considered a rite of passage in the Southern United States. With its rebellious past and deadly image, moonshine has secured a position in popular culture as a result of its presence in the country’s history. When it comes to moonshine, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is described as “whisky or other powerful alcoholic beverages that have been prepared and marketed illegally.” As a result of this classification, it may be perplexing to walk into a liquor store (or Costco) and see drink that has been classified as moonshine.

Part of the difficulty stems from the fact that there are no legal rules for designating something as moonshine at this time. Unlike whiskey, which must be prepared from grain, distilled and bottled at a specific alcohol concentration, and matured in oak barrels,’shine does not have a comparable product in the marketplace. It, like vodka, may be manufactured from any fermentable material, including fruit, sugar, grain, and milk. There is no upper limit to the amount of alcohol in this drink, unlike vodka.

  1. With the exception of putting white whiskey on the label, you may create it any way you want it to be.
  2. As a result, despite what you might have read in the Oxford English Dictionary, legally produced booze called “moonshine” can be found all over the world.
  3. In spite of the fact that it has a strong Southern connotation, hooch is not exclusively a Southern beverage.
  4. Although the phrase “moonshine” has been present since the late 15th century, it was only in the 18th century that it was used to refer to liquor in the United Kingdom.

The practice’s American roots (as well as the foundations of contemporary American whiskey manufacturing in general) may be traced back to frontier life in Pennsylvania and other grain-producing regions throughout the nineteenth century. When grain mills were operating at the time, farmers who had extra produce would distill it in order to keep it from spoiling. Whiskey was also used as cash in various parts of the world back then. The “whiskey tax,” as it was known at the time, was imposed by the federal government on liquor produced within the country in 1791.

For the following three years, distillers used less-than-legal tactics to keep tax collectors at bay, which resulted in the dispatch of a U.S. marshal to Pennsylvania to collect the taxes owed. The residence of the area’s tax inspector general was stormed by more than 500 men. Their leader was assassinated, which sparked a massive demonstration that drew approximately 6000 people. The Whiskey Tax was finally repealed in 1801, and the events of the decade preceding became known as the Whiskey Rebellion (or Whiskey Revolt). There is a lot of truth to the folklore and legends around moonshine.

  1. It is possible that bad batches or specific manufacturing procedures (such as distilling in automobile radiators) can result in liquor that will cause you to become blind—or worse—if consumed.
  2. Despite the fact that some moonshiners say that these stories were published in an effort to discredit their work, legitimate producers are of the opposite opinion.
  3. In any case, the federal government hired Louis Armstrong to record radio advertisements warning people about the hazards of drinking it.
  4. Don’t make the mistake of conflating moonshiners with bootleggers.

Moonshiners create the booze, while bootleggers transport it out of the country. Around the 1880s, the term bootlegger was used to refer to the practice of concealing flasks in the boot tops of automobiles; however, with the development of automobiles, the phrase evolved to refer to anybody who smuggled alcoholic beverages. Mechanics rapidly devised methods of modifying motors and automobiles in order to conceal and convey as much moonshine as possible. During their time spent evading the cops, these whiskey runners picked up some serious driving talents.

During their spare time, they’d compete with one another in races, which would eventually give birth to NASCAR. NASCAR and moonshiners were so intertwined, in fact, that a moonshiner provided seed money to Bill France, the organization’s founder. Robert Glenn Johnson, best known by his stage name Junior Johnson, is another well-known connection. After inheriting the fortune of his father, who was an infamous moonshiner, this former driver and NASCAR team owner recently teamed up with a North Carolina distillery to create “Midnight Moon.

” No matter what you choose to call it—moonshine, white lightning, firewater, skullpop, mountain dew, or just moonshine—its rebellious past and controversial present make it a terrible drink. Sign up for our newsletter now! SIGN UP RIGHT NOW


Type Whisky
Alcohol by volume At least 40%
Proof (US) At least 80°
Colour Clear
Ingredients Grain, sugar
Related products Bourbon whiskey, Corn whiskey, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, Rye whiskey, Tennessee whiskey

Known as moonshine, this high-proof whiskey has been and continues to be manufactured illegally, without the permission of the government. The term comes from a habit of making alcoholic beverages by night in order to avoid being discovered by law enforcement officers. Outside of a licensed distillery, the production of such beverages is still prohibited in the majority of nations. Recently, commercial manufacturers have begun to label some of their goods as “moonshine,” a term that has become more popular.


A variety of monikers are used to describe moonshine in English, including mountain dew, choop (also known as hooch), hooch (also known as homebrew), mulekick (also known as shine), white lightning (also known as white/corn liquor), white/corn whiskey (also known as pass around), firewater (also known as bootleg). Moonshine is known by several names in different languages and nations (see Moonshine by country).

Moonshine stills

  1. In most countries, it is illegal to sell, import, or own a moonshine still unless you have authorization from the government.
  2. However, guidelines produced by home brewing aficionados and published on local brewery forums that explain where to find inexpensive equipment and how to build it into a still are frequently found.
  3. Stainless steel vessels are frequently replaced by plastic (e.
  4. g.
  5. , polypropylene) vessels that can tolerate high temperatures in order to save costs.
  6. However, the principle of plastic remains the same.
  • It is possible to reach a vapor alcohol level of 95 percent ABV using a column or spiral still.
    On the basis of 48 samples, moonshine is typically distilled to 40 percent ABV and is seldom higher than 66 percent ABV. For example, ordinary pot stills typically generate 40 percent alcohol by volume and reach a peak of 60-80 percent alcohol by volume after numerous distillations. The ethanol, on the other hand, may be dried to 95 percent alcohol by heating 3A molecular sieves, such as 3A zeolite.

Evaporation stills

A plastic still is a distillation equipment that is specifically designed for the separation of ethanol from water. Plastic stills are capable of producing vapor alcohol with a level of 40 percent ABV. Plastic stills are popular for homebrewing moonshine due to the fact that they are inexpensive and simple to construct. Essentially, a smaller volume of liquid is placed in an open smaller vessel inside a bigger vessel that is sealed. This is the basic concept.

The liquid is preserved at around 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) by an immersion heater, which causes it to gently evaporate and condense on the inner walls of the outer vessel. It is possible to guide the condensation that collects at the bottom of the jar to the bottom of the vessel by using an activated carbon filter. Because the finished result contains nearly double the amount of alcohol found in the beginning liquid, the process can be repeated many more times to produce an even stronger distillate.

The approach is labor-intensive and inefficient, making it unsuitable for large-scale production.

Boiling stills

  1. Washing
  2. Steaming
  3. Liquid removal
  4. Vaporizing alcohol
  5. Components that have been recycled and are less volatile
  6. The most volatile components
  7. The condenser
  1. *Steam is used to pre-heat the columns on both sides.
  2. A column still, also known as a continuous still, patent still, or Coffey still, is a type of still that is made up of two columns that are connected together.
  3. A column still is capable of producing vapor alcohol with a concentration of 95 percent ABV.
Spiral still

A spiral still is a form of column still that has a basic slow air-cooled distillation equipment that is widely used for bootlegging and other illegal activities. The column and cooler are made of a copper tube that is 5 feet (15 meters) long and twisted in a spiral pattern. The tube is initially raised to serve as a basic column, and then lowered to chill the substance being processed. Cookware is often comprised of a 30-litre (6.6 imperial gal; 7.9 US gal) wine bucket made of polypropylene (pp).

Typically, a 300W dip heater is used as the heat source. Spiral burners are popular because, despite their simplicity of construction and low manufacturing costs, they can produce 95 percent ABV despite their low production costs.

Pot still

This kind of distillation device or still is used to distill flavored spirits such as whiskey or cognac, but not rectified spirits since they are ineffective at extracting congeners from the distillate. Pot stills are used for batch distillation, as opposed to continuous distillation (as opposed to a Coffey or column stills which operate on a continuous basis). Pot stills, which are traditionally made of copper, are available in a variety of forms and sizes, depending on the quantity and kind of spirit being produced.

Geographical differences in still design are evident, with particular stills becoming increasingly popular in Appalachian regions. Spirits produced in pots typically have an alcoholic content of 40 percent and reach a peak of 60 to 80 percent after numerous distillations.


Improperly manufactured moonshine can be polluted, mostly as a result of the materials used in the building of the still. Vehicle-based stills that use vehicle radiators as condensers can be particularly hazardous; in some situations, glycol generated by antifreeze might pose a health threat. Radiators that are used as condensers may also contain lead at the points where they connect to the plumbing. These procedures frequently resulted in blindness or lead poisoning in people who drank polluted liquor as a result of their use.

  1. This was a problem during Prohibition, when many people died as a result of taking harmful chemicals.
  2. Consumption of lead-tainted moonshine is a significant risk factor for saturnine gout, a painful but curable medical illness that affects the kidneys and joints and is associated with a high mortality rate.
  3. Despite the fact that methanol is not created in dangerous quantities by the fermentation of sugars from grain starches, contamination can nevertheless occur when unscrupulous distillers use low-cost methanol to raise the perceived strength of the beverage.

It is possible to make moonshine more appetizing while also making it potentially less harmful by removing the “foreshot,” which is the initial few ounces of alcohol that drips from the condenser. The fact that methanol vaporizes at a lower temperature than ethanol leads to the widespread belief that the foreshot contains the vast majority of the methanol present in the mash (if any). However, according to study, this is not the case, and methanol may be found in the product until the very end of the distillation process.

Despite this, distillers will often continue to collect foreshots until the temperature of the still exceeds 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit). Aside from that, the head that follows immediately following the foreshot is frequently contaminated with trace levels of other undesirable substances, such as acetone and other aldehydes. Fusel alcohols are another type of undesired byproduct of fermentation that is found in the “aftershot,” and which is normally discarded as a result of this.

At greater strengths (concentrations above 24 percent ABV are considered harmful by the Global Harmonized System), alcohol concentrations are flammable and hence dangerous to handle.

As a matter of fact, if proper ventilation is not given during the distillation process, vaporized alcohol can collect in the air to dangerous levels.

Adulterated moonshine

  1. The use of impure moonshine has been shown to greatly increase the risk of kidney illness in people who consume it on a regular basis, principally as a result of the high lead level.
  2. When methanol is used to adulterate moonshine, it has been known to cause outbreaks of methanol poisoning (bootleg liquor).


Shaking a transparent container of the distillate can provide a rapid estimate of the alcoholic strength, or proof, of the distillate (the ratio of alcohol to water) in a few seconds. When there are many large bubbles that dissolve quickly, this indicates that the alcohol concentration is high, whereas smaller bubbles that disappear more slowly suggest a lower alcohol content. The use of an alcoholmeter or a hydrometer is a more reliable means of testing.

When determining the potential alcohol percent of moonshine during and after the fermenting process, a hydrometer is utilized, whereas an alcoholmeter is used after the product has been distilled to ascertain the volume percent or proof.


A typical jar of moonshine is shown here. It was formerly mistakenly thought that the presence of a blue flame indicated that the water was safe to drink. A popular folk test for the quality of moonshine was to pour a tiny amount of it onto a spoon and then light it on fire to see how it turned out.

  • Apparently, a safe distillate burns with a blue flame, but an unclean distillate burns with a yellow flame, according to this theory: This simple test was also used to determine whether or not lead was present in the distillate, which resulted in a crimson flame when a radiator coil was used as the condenser, according to practitioners of the simple test.
  • As a result, the mnemonic “Lead burns red and kills you” or “Red signifies dead” came to be popular.

In addition, other harmful components, such as methanol, cannot be discovered with a simple burn test since methanol flames are blue in color and difficult to spot in natural light.


The Moonshine Man of Kentucky, an image from Harper’s Weekly published in 1877 depicting five episodes from the life of a Kentucky moonshiner, may be found here. Museum exhibit featuring a vintage moonshine distillation apparatus When it comes to illicit booze, moonshine has traditionally been defined as “clear, unaged whiskey,” which was previously manufactured using barley in Scotland and Ireland or corn mash in the United States, however sugar has become just as frequent in the last century.

The term was coined in the British Isles as a result of excise rules, but it only gained significance in the United States after a levy was enacted during the Civil War that prohibited the use of non-registered distilleries. During the Prohibition era (1920-1933), when the Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution enforced a comprehensive prohibition on alcohol manufacture, illegal distillation increased in popularity. Since the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in 1933, legislation has focused on the evasion of taxation on all types of spirits and intoxicating liquors.

Formerly enforced by the United States Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, applicable statutes are now more often handled by state authorities in most cases. Enforcement agents were once referred to as “revenuers,” which was a vernacular term for them.


  • The first documented usage of the phrase “moonshine” being used to refer to illegal alcoholic beverages dates back to a 1785 edition of Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, which was published in England.
  • The term “moonshine” once applied to anything that was “illusory” or to the physical light emitted by a rising or setting moon.
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Consequently, because the United States Government deems the phrase “fanciful term” and does not control its usage on the labels of commercial products, legal moonshines may include any type of spirit, as long as the type of spirit is clearly mentioned elsewhere on the label.


The moonshine distilling process was carried out at night to avoid detection. While moonshiners could be found in both urban and rural locations across the United States during the Civil War, moonshine production centered in Appalachia because the region’s poor road network made it simple to dodge tax collectors and because transporting maize crops was difficult and expensive. According to the findings of a survey of farmers in Cocke County, Tennessee: “If the maize was first transformed into whiskey, it would be possible to carry far more value.

One horse could carry 10 times the amount of liquor that it could carry in corn on its back.” Moonshiners in Harlan County, Kentucky, such as Maggie Bailey, made a living by selling moonshine in order to support their households. Others, such as Amos Owens of Rutherford County, North Carolina, and Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, made a living selling moonshine in the surrounding area. The Discovery Channel broadcasted a documentary on Sutton’s life called “Moonshiners” that chronicled his life.

  • It was reportedly stated by a bootlegger that the malt (a blend of maize, barley, and rye) is what makes the basic moonshine formula function properly.
  • Although the phrase “moonshine” is no longer in common usage, it nevertheless indicates that the liquor is unlawfully made, and it is often used on the labels of legal products to sell them as delivering a banned drinking experience.

Drivers known as “runners” or “bootleggers,” who transported moonshine and “bootleg” (illegally imported) whiskey around the region in automobiles that had been particularly modified for speed and load-carrying capability, were known as “bootleggers” or “bootleggers.” In appearance, the automobiles were conventional, but on the inside, they had been upgraded with beefier engines, more interior space, and heavy-duty shock absorbers to hold the weight of the illicit booze.

As a result of the repeal of Prohibition, the out-of-work drivers were able to keep their talents sharp by participating in organized races, which resulted in the founding of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). A number of previous “runners” went on to become well-known drivers in the sport.

See also

  • Applejack (drink)
  • Bootleggers and Baptists
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • Congener (alcohol)
  • Dixie mafia, farmhouse ale, free beer, homebrewing, Kilju, and other terms.
    Moonshine as depicted in popular culture
    Nip joint, rum-running, and sour mash are all options.

Further reading

  • The image above depicts “cow shoes worn by American moonshiners during the Prohibition era to conceal their tracks, 1924.” 14th of May, 2021, according to Retrieved on the 4th of October, 2021.


  1. Kevin Kosar (born 1970) is a writer and musician from the United States (15 April 2017). The History of Moonshine on a Global Scale Spoelman, Colin (ed.). London: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-78023-742-8. CS1 maint: numerous names: authors list (link)
  2. What you need to know about urban moonshining from the Kings County Distillery, including how to create and enjoy whiskey Haskell, David, 1979-. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 1-4197-0990-9. OCLC 843332480
  3. “Spiralbrännaren” (PDF) (in Swedish)
  4. Holstege, CP
  5. Ferguson, JD
  6. Wolf, CE
  7. Baer, AB
  8. Poklis, A. Holstege, CP
  9. Poklis, A (2004). “Analysis of moonshine for the presence of pollutants.” 97866750
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  11. 97866750 Carmo, M. J., and Gubulin, J. C. (2001). (September 1997). A study on the effects of ethanol and water on commercial 3A zeolites was published in the journal “Kinetics and Thermodynamics”. ISSN 0104-6632
  12. Burfield, David R.
  13. Hefter, Glenn T.
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  15. Koh, Donald S. P. Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 14. doi: 10.1590/S0104-66321997000300004. ISSN 0104-6632
  16. (1984). “Desiccant efficiency in solvent and reagent drying 8. molecular sieve column drying of 95 percent ethanol: An application of hygrometry to the assessment of solvent water content” is the title of the paper that was published in the journal. Chemical Technology. 34 (4): 187–194. doi: 10.1002/jctb.5040340408
  17. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. Chemical Technology. 34 (4): 187–194. Simo, Marian
  18. Sivashanmugam, Siddharth
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  21. Brown, Christopher J (21 October 2009). Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research. 48 (20): 9247–9260. doi: 10.1021/ie900446v
  22. “Why Your Copper Moonshine Still Needs To Be Lead Free – Whiskey Still Company”
  23. “Why Your Copper Moonshine Still Needs To Be Page 97 of Peine Schafft’s 2012 book
  24. Sam R. Dalvi and Michael H. Pillinger are co-authors of this work (May 2013). Saturnine gout, revisited: a survey of the literature Issn 1555-7162
  25. PMID 23510947
  26. “Distillation: Some Purity Considerations”. Moonshine Still. doi: 10.1016/j.moonshinestill.2012.09.015. ISSN 1555-7162
  27. “Distillation: Some Purity Considerations”. 5th of May, 2015
  28. Retrieved Nermina, Spaho, Nermina (28 June 2017). “Distillation Techniques in the Production of Fruit Spirits” is the title of this paper. Innovating Applications and Modeling for Distillation [DOI: 10.5772/66774], ISBN 978-953-51-3201-1
  29. Warburton, Rob, and Warburton (9 January 2019). “How to Make Rum: A Quick Start Guide” is a guide to making rum. The Rum Guys’ “Making Moonshine – The Dummies’ Guide” is available online. Copper Moonshine Still Kits – Clawhammer Supply. Retrieved 25 November 2018
  30. “Hazardous Goods Management.” Retrieved 31 August 2017
  31. “Risk of End Stage Renal Disease Associated with Alcohol Consumption.” Retrieved 25 November 2018
  32. “Hazardous Goods Management.” Retrieved 25 November 2018
  33. “Risk of End Stage Renal Disease Associated with Alcohol Consumption” (PDF). Publications by the University of Oxford.

    The document was archived from its original form (PDF) on October 20, 2016. “Application to Include Fomepizole on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines” (Application to Include Fomepizole on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines) was published on December 24, 2011. (PDF). The article “Proofing your Moonshine – Shake Test, Gun Powder Test, and Hydrometer Test Explained” was published in November 2012 on page 10. Learn how to make moonshine. The 21st of November, 2014. It was published on November 26, 2018, and it is titled “Alcoholmeter or Hydrometer: Do You Know the Difference?”.

    Skylark Medical Clinic’s Moonshine page was last modified on October 28, 2014. The original version of this article was published on July 16, 2011. The article “Exploding moonshine: The New Golden Age of Outlaw Liquor” was published on July 23, 2008. Obtainable on the 2nd of July, 2017

  34. Guy Logsdon is a historian at the Oklahoma Historical Society. ‘Moonshine’ is a topic covered in the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma State University is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The original version of this article was published on October 31, 2014. Kevin Kosar, 1970- (Kosar, Kevin, 1970- )
  35. Retrieved on March 21, 2014
  36. (15 April 2017). The History of Moonshine on a Global Scale OCLC 1028980463. ISBN 978-1-78023-742-8. Spoelman, Colin. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  37. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  38. What you need to know about urban moonshining from the Kings County Distillery, including how to create and enjoy whiskey ISBN 1-4197-0990-9
  39. OCLC 843332480
  40. David Haskell, 1979-. New York: Springer-Verlag. Jason Sumich is the author of this work. This article is titled “It’s All Legal, Until You Get Caught: Moonshining in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.” Appalachian State University is located in Boone, North Carolina. On the 21st of March, 2014, I was able to get a hold of
  41. (2012), p. 98–99
  42. Peine Schafft 2012, p. Melissa Block is a writer who lives in the United States (8 December 2005). Maggie Bailey, dubbed the “Queen of the Mountain Bootleggers,” was featured on National Public Radio. Obtainable on the 4th of May, 2015
  43. “Popcorn Sutton Moonshine Recipe” is a recipe for making moonshine from popcorn. whiskey still company a b whiskey still company Cooper, William J.
  44. Terrill, Thomas E. Cooper, William J.
  45. Terrill, Thomas E. (2009). The American South: A History, Volume II (The American South: A History, Volume II) (4th ed.). Published by Rowman & Littlefield in Lanham, Maryland, on page 625 (ISBN 978-0-7425-6097-0)
  46. Jennifer Billock authored the article “How Moonshine Bootlegging Gave Rise to NASCAR.” Smithsonian. Obtainable on April 4, 2019


  • (Spring–Fall 2012) Peine, Emelie K., and Schafft, Kai A., Minnesota 13: “Wet” Wild Prohibition Days (2007) ISBN 978-0-9798017-0-9
  • Davis, Elaine. (Spring–Fall 2007). « Moonshine, Mountaineers, and Modernity: Distilling Cultural History in the Southern Appalachian Mountains» is the title of a research project. Journal of Appalachian Studies, published by the Appalachian Studies Association, volume 18, number 1, pages 93–112. Rowley, Matthew
  • JSTOR 23337709
  • Rowley, Matthew. Moonshine! A History, Songs, Stories, and How-Tos (2007) ISBN 978-1-57990-648-1
  • Watman, Max. Moonshine! A History, Songs, Stories, and How-Tos (2007) ISBN 978-1-57990-648-1 Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine (2010) ISBN 978-1-4391-7024-3
  • Jeff King, Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine (2010) ISBN 978-1-4391-7024-3
  • Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine (2010) ISBN 978-1-4391-7024-3
  • Chasing the White Dog: An The Home Distiller’s Workbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making Moonshine, Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, and a Ton of Other Spirits! The year is 2012, and the ISBN is 978-1-4699-8939-6.

External links

  • “Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style,” a joint exhibition by the Blue Ridge Institute and the Museum of Ferrum College, is on display through March 31.
    A one-hour Irish documentary film about the beginnings of the craft, Déants an Phoitn (Poteen Making), directed by Mac Dara Curraidhn (produced in 1998), is also recommended.
    North Carolina is a state in the United States. Moonshine – information, photographs, music, and video snippets from the past and present
  • The Alcohol and Drugs History Society maintains a moonshine news page.
    Georgia Moonshine – History and folklore of moonshine in the state of Georgia, United States
  • “Moonshine ‘tempts new generation,'” according to the BBC, when it comes to illicit liquor distillation in the twenty-first century.
    Still from the past: Moonshine in Franklin County, Virginia – Video

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. 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. The word “moonshine” derives from the fact that illegal spirits were produced under the light of the moon in the early nineteenth century. Early moonshiners operated their stills at night in order to escape discovery by authorities in every region of the United States. Shortly after the American Revolution, the United States began levying taxes on alcoholic beverages and spirits. In the years after the Revolution, the United States struggled to pay the costs incurred by the protracted conflict with Great Britain. Taxing alcoholic beverages and spirits was a successful method of raising income for the government. In the early frontier days of American history, moonshine production was not a recreational activity; rather, it was a part-time profession. Many farmers depended on the production of moonshine to help them get through difficult years. Low-value corn harvests have the potential to be transformed into high-value whiskey. Americans resented having to pay liquor taxes back in those days. 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. It was under George Washington’s administration that the friction between the government and its inhabitants ultimately boiled over and resulted in a war known as the Whisky Rebellion, which began in 1791 and lasted until 1812. 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. As part of his efforts to put down the rebellion, George Washington led a coalition of 13,000 militia forces into western Pennsylvania – which served as both the revolt’s epicenter and the frontier territory of the United States at the time. The Whisky Rebellion was put down by Washington with great success. This was a watershed moment in American history because it demonstrated that the newly created republic was capable of suppressing violent revolutions within its own borders. 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. During the American Civil War, the federal government levied excise taxes on its inhabitants in order to raise funds for the war effort. Several violent fights erupted across the country as a result of Revenuers and Internal Revenue Service personnel cracking down on moonshiners. During the Whisky Rebellion, moonshiners were presented as heroes who stood up to an oppressive government and resisted its demands. After the Civil War, people’s attitudes began to change. Many people now considered moonshiners to be violent criminals. In 1920, moonshiners all throughout the country celebrated when Prohibition was implemented across the country. There was no longer any legal alcohol accessible anywhere. Instantaneously, illicit booze rose to become one of the most successful enterprises in the United States. The moonshine industry was taken over by organized crime, and distilleries sprung up all throughout the country to keep up with the growing demand. Moonshine producers began to market watered-down versions of their products that were based on sugar rather than maize. Spookhouses — complete with hidden doors, passwords, and secret escape routes – were found in every city across the United States of America. The good days couldn’t endure indefinitely for moonshiners, of course. As a result of Prohibition being abolished in 1933, the moonshine industry was reduced to a shell of its former self. Moonshine is seen in a very different light today than it was only a few decades ago. Only a few industrialized nations in the world, including the United States, allow citizens to legally make their own homebrewed spirits. In New Zealand, for example, home distillation is permitted for personal consumption only, but not for commercial sale.

No matter if you’re officially distilling moonshine or running a clandestine distillery, every time you pour yourself a glass of moonshine, you’re sipping on a piece of American history.

Moonshine has a rich history that is as diverse as the many different forms of the spirit itself. The majority of people are aware of the infamous side of the country’s history, yet this uniquely American spirit has many attributes that should be honored today. Do you still not believe us? Here are five interesting facts about this specialized spirit that you probably didn’t know.

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

  1. Moonshiners have always produced their own booze in order to circumvent compliance with laws, taxes, and regulations.
  2. The absence of FDA inspectors to guarantee that safety and quality requirements are fulfilled might result in a product that contains excessive levels of potentially hazardous substances, such as methanol, due to faulty batches or inefficient production practices (such as distilling in vehicle radiators).
  3. Consuming methanol can cause the blood to become acidic, which can result in blindness, convulsions, and even death.
  4. Of course, many moonshiners in these tiny towns were concerned about maintaining their good reputations among their regular customers, many of whom were friends and neighbors.
  5. 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.
  6. Today, the word “moonshine” is still used to denote illicit alcoholic beverages, but it has acquired a new connotation in the distilling industry as a result of recent developments.
  7. 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.
  8. ” 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.
  9. ” As opposed to other spirits, legally manufactured moonshine can be prepared from any source material, at any proof level, with any coloring or flavoring added – the whole shebang.
  10. There are no guidelines regarding how it should be classified.
  11. ” In other words, the “moonshine” name that we see on a variety of spirits today is a movable feast.
  12. It is used to refer to liquor that does not fall into a single category and is used as an all-encompassing word.
  13. 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 remember 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 – generally 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. Yes, you are correct. Although early moonshine was made illegally, this does not imply that the distillers were unconcerned with the quality of the product they were producing. The operations that could demonstrate a high level of professionalism in their communities were held in high regard.

That emotion continues on in many current (and now legally created) moonshines that are consumed today, and it will be indelibly 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” dates back to the 1880s, when smugglers used to conceal flasks in the tops of their boot tops. When automobiles were introduced, the term’s meaning was broadened to encompass anybody involved in the smuggling of alcoholic beverages. 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. On their off-days, these bootleggers would put their abilities to the test by competing against one another in races. More than just a source of bragging rights, this rite laid the groundwork for the modern-day NASCAR. Naturally, it was a mooshiner who provided the initial seed money for the sports group, which was founded by Big Bill France, a former bootlegger himself. Sugarlands Distilling Co., a moonshine-based distillery in Texas, is now home to the official spirit of the NASCAR Cup Series. Sugarlands began its Gatlinburg, Tennessee, business after visiting Moonshine University. 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, has the distinction of being the first legal moonshine business in the United States, as well as the state’s first legal distillery after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. 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. Their Midnight Moon moonshine is triple distilled (remember those three Xs?) and made using recipes passed down from famed moonshiner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson. infusions of actual fruit, including anything from watermelon and strawberry to raspberry and peach, are utilized in limited edition batches. As of 2005, there have been an increasing number of legal moonshine enterprises springing up around the United States, notably Sugarlands (Tennessee) and Call Family Distillers, which is situated in North Carolina as well.

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, the name “Mountain Dew” was chosen in order to stress the intended usage of the drink, which was emphasized even more by the existence of the original brand mascot, “Willy the Hillbilly,” and his catchphrase, “It’ll tickle yore innards.” As a result of PepsiCo’s acquisition of Mountain Dew in 1964, distribution was expanded beyond Tennessee to include the whole United States. Although the brand’s link with moonshine has developed since then, its legacy is still alive and well. Interested in learning more about the distillation process? Check out this article. Check out the 6-day Distiller Course offered by Moonshine University. You’ll receive comprehensive, practical, and hands-on training from industry professionals throughout the program. By the end of the course, you will have a thorough understanding of all aspects of distillery operations, from the construction of the first brick to the placement of a finished product on the market. More information is available here: Related Content Moonshine University is celebrating the “Moonshine” in its name.

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Moonshine, in the traditional sense, hasn’t been moonshine for a very long time. Originally used to denote any job done at night under the light of a full moon in England, the term “illegal liquor” didn’t become widely accepted until the late nineteenth century. As a side note, the process of distilling moonshine did not begin as a violent enterprise, yet violence soon became ingrained in the culture of moonshiners. It is true that they played an important role in the early American Revolution and that tax fights throughout the Civil War shaped the loose structure that we are acquainted with today, but they did not truly establish themselves as moonshiners until Prohibition. Interesting to note is that before Prohibition, the production of moonshine was not considered criminal. That’s a good two hundred years of American history during which the mountain drink that the feds despised was totally lawful, according to the law. Taxes, like with other problems in the United States, were at the heart of the controversy. Making and consuming as much as you wanted was fine, but when it came to selling it, things became more complicated. So, in light of the current revival in popularity that moonshine has had, here’s a look at where moonshine has been throughout American history.

Origins in Immigration

An influx of Scotch-Irish migrants from the northern Irish counties to the English colonies in North America occurred in recent years, leading up to and including the American Revolutionary War. Even though they weren’t the only immigrants, as the Germans were also arriving in great numbers, there were significant contrasts between the two groups…. “When the English arrived in the new world, the first thing they would do would be to build a church, the Germans would build a barn, but the Scotch-Irish would build a whiskey still,” they claimed of the migratory population of the period. Being Scotch-Irish, in the eyes of colonial Americans, wasn’t significantly better than being Irish in general. Even if they were Protestants, this did not help to redeem them as a group to a significant extent. For the most part, established colonists were apprehensive about having them in the area. As a result, the Scots relocated to the Appalachian Mountains, which separated them from the English colonies on the outskirts of the English colonies. They rebuilt their lives, adding a Scottish flavor to traditional Ulster culture as they went. Fortunately for us, that culture featured an almost obsessive love of whiskey, as well as the distilling expertise necessary to legitimate that love of liquor. Their existence in the Appalachian Mountains were mostly focused on subsistence farming, and what little money they did have came from either selling their spirits or bartering with other people. Alternatively, they might have cut out the middleman entirely and used whisky as their money. It wasn’t long after they landed in the colonies that they earned a reputation as drinkers and brawlers, thanks to their isolation and reliance on homemade whiskey and mental instability. When you despise the English, it must take a long time for you to forget about it, since, during the Revolutionary War, the descendants of those early immigrants were ruthless in their treatment of the invading army. They were credited with one of the war’s initial triumphs, killing hundreds of British men, including a general, and earning great acclaim from President George Washington personally. They were a formidable force in a conflict that, at the outset, lacked a considerable number of substantial forces.

It was throughout the early years of the constitutional United States that they would continue to be a strong force, and, in typical Scots-Irish manner, they would pose quite serious issues for the young government.

Whiskey Rebellion

However, the goodwill that the Scotch-Irish had established did not survive long. The Revolution was a costly affair for a newly minted country, and the fledgling republic was in desperate need of funds. Despite the fact that taxes were the reason for the Revolution and that no one liked them, Congress determined that it needed to earn a quick buck. In 1791, Treasury Secretary Hamilton enacted an excise tax on alcoholic beverages, resulting in a significant increase in the price of whiskey. The Whiskey Rebellion began when Appalachian distillers in western Pennsylvania became enraged by the levy, which they despised almost as much as they despised the English. To demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the tax, the rebels began tarring and feathering any tax collector brave/stupid enough to venture up the mountains in the hope of collecting. Their opposition was motivated by the belief that the tax disproportionately affected small farmers and frontier citizens. When a rebel army assaulted and damaged the residence of a tax inspector in 1794, the occasional violence gave way to a genuine invading force rather than just periodic violence. If Occupy Wall Street had truly taken over New York City and burnt down Goldman Sachs, rather than merely causing inconvenience to the NYPD in a few parks, it would have been a very different story. Overall, the occupation was not a positive omen for a constitutional government that was still in its early stages, such as the early United States. After discussions broke down, Hamilton demanded a military reaction, which Washington agreed to after the negotiations failed. A force of 13,000 federal troops marched into western Pennsylvania, led by President George Washington, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and Virginia Governor Henry Lee. They were prepared to meet a violent revolt. That epic, months-long conflict between courageous freedom fighters and an oppressive, tax-loving government has already taken place if you were anticipating one of those scenarios. To summarize, as awesome and completely livable as a country founded on freewheeling and unregulated whiskey distillation and consumption sounds, it’s a good thing the American Revolution was the only successful rebellion of the late 1700s, because if the Whiskey Rebellion had turned into a hostile military conflict, it’s unlikely the Constitution’s brand of democratic republicanism would have survived for very long at all. By the time the federal forces arrived in Pittsburgh, the rebels had scattered and the Whiskey Rebellion had come to an end, according to historians. Fortunately for whiskey, the story does come to a satisfactory conclusion. Following the insurrection, only two people were convicted, and both were pardoned by President Washington. The tax was likewise removed by Jefferson a few years later, putting the rebels, as well as the Scotch-Irish, back in a position similar to that which they had enjoyed throughout the Revolution. Even though the disagreement between the federal government and whiskey distillers was not resolved, there was a brief respite in the fighting.

In the meanwhile, taxes came and went, and moonshiners kept attempting to figure out how to get past them. The Civil War, on the other hand, is a different story.

Civil War Tax Conflict

Approximately the same time as people realize that other conflicts are going to be expensive, the government realized that the Civil War was going to be expensive. If the project does not finish by the nearest holiday, it is considered a failure. A tax on luxuries such as booze and tobacco was enacted by Congress in order to help offset the costs of the war. The Internal Revenue Service was formed to collect taxes on these items. To be fair, the IRS’s founding tale is significantly more interesting than we had anticipated, and we applaud them for it. As previously stated, even a hundred years after the Whiskey Rebellion, the manufacture of moonshine was still not prohibited. The unlawful act consisted of failing to pay the applicable taxes on the spirits. And it was because of a large number of persons who were not paying their taxes that active patrols in the Appalachian Mountains were reinstated in the 1870s. Before the war, distillers were viewed as farmers who were attempting to make a little extra money by selling something that everyone liked, such as whiskey. During and after the war, the public’s attitude of the federal government and the agents, known as revenuers, who were dispatched to hunt down the moonshiners began to alter in favor of the government. This transition occurred as a result of a long-running fight over taxation, particularly in northern Georgia, which received extensive publicity in the news media. It’s one of the first instances in which the attitude and methods of illicit booze gangs were seen, a mentality that would unquestionably persist throughout Prohibition and afterwards. Moonshiners not only engaged in violent confrontations with agents attempting to enforce the law, but they also targeted residents who were or were suspected of being assisting revenue officers in their search for lawbreakers. At some point during the 1870s, the Ku Klux Klan, the ever-present authority on sound judgment and reasoned thought, decided to take a stand on the side of the moonshiners. As a general rule, if the KKK is on your side, you should reassess your position. This is the point at which the contemporary meaning of the term “moonshine” actually took root. As a result of the federal government’s crackdown on illegal alcohol sales, distilleries were forced to operate only at night. Because their operations were carried out under the light of the moon, and because people are rarely inventive when it comes to nicknaming criminals, the term “moonshiner” came to be used to describe them. By the way, consumption has never been prohibited, not even during the Prohibition era. The act of drinking has never been prohibited by the law since the text of the legislation prohibits tax evasion or production. By the 1880s, public opinion had moved significantly, and the temperance movement had begun to gain some momentum in the United States. Perhaps, and this is pure speculation, if the moonshiners hadn’t been such jerks about killing federal officials and refusing to pay taxes, taxes would have ended up in the same place as those that triggered the Whiskey Rebellion. Moonshiners could’ve carried on shinin’ with only a temporary delay in their otherwise lucrative industry because the taxes weren’t truly supported by the general public in the first place.

As a result, they began engaging in shootouts and ratting each other out because, when you have a good thing going, it’s just a matter of time until you end up destroying it yourself. Let’s speak about Prohibition while we’re on the subject of destroying things.


In order to talk about moonshine during Prohibition, we must first discuss the temperance movement. As a result of some severe religious revivalism in the early 1800s, as well as the moonshiners’ violent opposition to taxes, the temperance movement gained significant momentum from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Through public rallies and commercials, the campaign persuaded the public that alcohol was to blame for immoral conduct, violence, and the general loss of traditional American values. Ultimately, the effort was successful. However, speeches and advertisements were not the only tools they utilized to convey their case. Temperance campaigners used a hatchet to smash bar windows and kegs of beer, but their actions didn’t actually accomplish much to support their contention that alcohol was the root cause of physical violence. Unless they were under the influence of alcohol, in which case they might not have been there for the appropriate reasons. As a result of the movement’s gaining strength, the “noble experiment” known as the 18th Amendment was finally approved. The manufacturing, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages were all prohibited. Perhaps if they had foreseen what was to come, they would not have pushed so hard to encourage everyone to give up their alcoholic beverages. First and foremost, NASCAR owes a debt of gratitude (or blame, depending on your point of view) to bootlegging, and to NASCAR’s credit, the organization has completely embraced its roots. According to NASCAR’s official website, they have a complete analysis of what transpired between the passage of the 18th Amendment and the first legal left turn. Basically, those Appalachian men about whom we’ve been talking so much didn’t have many alternatives for earning a living, just as they haven’t in years before. Bootlegging was an obvious choice for them, and because stylish, fast driving is something that people like to brag about, contests on makeshift courses quickly sprung up around them. And now we have NASCAR to look forward to. Since we already discussed the irony of the temperance movement and their brutality, we’ll go over it again. They’re at least largely to blame for one of the most devastating outbreaks of violent crime in the history of the United States. Prior to Prohibition, organized crime was a very small and localized enterprise. During and after Prohibition, organized crime exploded, as did a whole slew of other things, including people. Among those who benefited from Prohibition are the Irish and the Italians, who are the two most prominent examples. Meanwhile, the Irish nearly entirely dominated local politics and law enforcement, with a particular concentration on Boston and New York, while the Protestant-majority United States was distracted by its local drunken Paddy. It was not uncommon for thieves, police officers, and politicians to all be descended from the same Irish clan. Their efforts to shut down practically every aspect of the moonshining trade resulted in the establishment of a criminal and political empire that took decades to even begin to dissipate. It is simply enough to look to President 35 in order to see an example of Irish prosperity during Prohibition. John F. Kennedy was the son of Joseph P. Kennedy, a former bootlegger who wished to eliminate the poor reputation that Irish immigrants and Irish Americans had as criminals when he was growing up. He didn’t understand his own message, so he exploited mob ties to help JFK win the election. To be sure, it aided in the development of a good image with the general public, but he eventually became hungry. His other son, Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, contributed to the deterioration of already tense ties between Irish and Italian citizens. The Italian engagement in Prohibition was similar to that of the United States, although it was significantly more organized. Loyalty to the brand was assured by the family’s structure and ties. They were never able to achieve the same level of control over Prohibition as the Irish, in part because they did not have the same level of influence in the police force. However, when you have two groups of people with deeply rooted senses of community, one tribal and one family, conflict was unavoidable. Final results showed that well-organized Italian families survived hastily-assembled Irish gangs, yet the Irish influence on politics and law enforcement continued to pose issues for the Italians. The tremendous rise of organized crime that occurred during Prohibition did not come to an end with the passage of the 21st Amendment. Devastating violence and drug misuse are still prevalent, owing in great part to the “achievements” of the temperance movement in the nineteenth century. So far, with the advent of NASCAR and unimaginable brutality, the history of moonshine in the twentieth century is not looking good. So let’s add one more ghastly item to the mountain of bad news. Thousands of people perished as a result of the consumption of deadly moonshine, which was mostly the responsibility of the government. Prohibition simply prohibited the consumption of alcoholic beverages for recreational purposes. Not in those exact words, but that was the gist of it. However, industrial alcohols were still available, and with their usual sources of supply no longer available, individuals were desperate. It was risky enough before the government got involved, but after the feds got engaged, people were still getting pissed off at the prospect of being exposed. As an additional deterrent, they ordered that other deadly compounds be mixed in with the booze in the hopes of increasing its potency. Evidently, “industrial alcohol” was insufficient. However, bootleggers continued to steal and sell it, and estimates put the number of poisonings caused by officially sanctioned poisonings at about 10,000 by the time Prohibition was repealed. By the way, that’s only fatalities, and it’s a lot more people than we’re happy with our government poisoning our bodies with toxins. For the record, we’re quite content with a value of zero. In the form of methyl alcohol, this toxin is added to the already dangerous ingredients found in moonshine, increasing the hazards even more. When it comes to moonshine production, those who are skilled at their craft know how to eliminate or prevent it; nevertheless, as we will see in the following point, not everyone who makes moonshine is skilled at their craft. People were attempting to profit off people’s ignorance and impulsive purchasing in the same way that today’s pirated movies, knockoff iPhones, and payday lenders do. Those items, just like they are today, were not necessarily of the highest quality. The difference today is that you are less likely to be murdered by a terrible movie download than you were in the past. The resurgence of interest in American whiskey has a lot to do with the lifting of Prohibition. People ran back to the legitimate stuff since a lot of the booze that had been consumed in the meantime had been deadly, blinding rotgut. If they were going to die of alcohol poisoning, they were going to do it the old-fashioned way: by drinking too much too soon. That is, they would consume so many Old-Fashioneds that they would pass away.

That’s exactly what Grandaddy intended. We haven’t finished yet. In spite of the fact that moonshine is still around, you’ve probably certainly seen its distinctive packaging on the shelves of your local distributor. In 2016, there will be more to say about moonshine.

Modern Moonshine

People are continuously dying as a result of the international market for moonshine. In 2015, a faulty batch of homemade moonshine in Mumbai claimed the lives of over a hundred individuals, with another forty-six people being sent to the hospital. However, hundreds of individuals were poisoned by illicit alcohol in a recent event in West Bengal. One hundred sixty-eight individuals perished in the 2008 catastrophe, which may have resulted in as many as 180 deaths in total. Nigeria is also facing issues with Ogogoro, a local brand of bootleg gin that has gained popularity in recent years. It’s still an issue in the United States, as well as elsewhere. We’re not at the heights of illegality or ubiquity experienced during Prohibition, but make no mistake: you won’t be able to walk about hawking “Mountain Mike’s Bathtub Magic” at your neighborhood pub. Despite this, scumbag distillers continue to sell illegal, lethal, unclean booze to people in impoverished areas of the country. In addition, law enforcement is more concerned with health issues than with tax collection at the moment. It appears that they are attempting to make up for all of the deliberate poisoning they committed during the Roaring Twenties. Interestingly, there was a significant urbanization of the moonshining industry in the United States. They discovered that it was simpler to avoid taxes and conceal their stills on private land since law authorities must get a search warrant in order to enter the facilities. There has also been a shift in who is in charge of enforcing the rules. Since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is in charge of busting contemporary moonshine, the Internal Revenue Service is no longer as fearsome as it once was. In the end, though, the term “moonshine” today refers to the type of liquor rather than the legality of the beverage. You are not purchasing true moonshine if you purchase it from your local liquor shop rather than a distillery. Yes, it was produced the same manner and came in a mason jar, but you purchased it from a store. That is essentially the point at which it ceases to be prohibited. At this point, moonshine is really just another term for whiskey, much like bourbon, scotch, cognac, or any of the other a thousand different synonyms for wine. As a result, Moonshiners, the program about backwoods males trying to avoid the authorities, isn’t based on a true story. Those people aren’t in jail for the same reason that Bryan Cranston hasn’t been jailed for making meth for the same reason. Because the moonshine they brew on the show can be purchased directly from the producers, everything you see on television is fairly legal. In fact, your uncle with the wine barrels in his cellar is most likely breaking more rules than the folks on Moonshiners do in their operation. In fact, because moonshine is so legal, it is in danger of becoming a corporate cash grab, according to some analysts. It’s almost depressing how bad things are getting. Craft beer firms are being bought up by the boatload, and moonshine’s long and storied past is slowly being supplanted by larger corporations trying to capitalize on a trend and make a profit. In response to the popularity of products such as Ole Smoky, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels each introduced their own white whiskies to the market. If you look closely, you’ll see that Jim Beam and Jack Daniels aren’t the names of the two people who approached you on the trail and tried to sell you a triple x clay pot. The remedy in this case, as with craft beer, is to do a little study before making a purchasing decision. Even if it is not unlawful, you can still partake in a traditional American pastime. But, for the sake of all those soldiers who battled against the government for so long, stick to tradition and get your moonshine from a small firm instead. Alternately, and this is not intended to be an endorsement or legal advice, you can create your own.

We have a sneaky hunch that the small company owners that sell legal moonshine would completely understand why you made the decision to construct your own still and would be quite OK with the loss of sales. In fact, they may even be able to provide you with some helpful hints.

The 19th of April, 2018 This entry was posted in 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. Moonshining was practiced very early in the history of the United States. 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. As a result, they came up with a solution: imposing a federal tax on alcoholic beverages. 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. As a result, they decided to just continue producing their own whiskey while fully ignoring the government tax. 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. The term “bootlegging” has a long and illustrious history in and of itself. 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. The notion was resisted by some colonists, but those who were more motivated pursued it and attempted to sell “spirits” in exchange for practical commodities. 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. Farmers were able to endure a bad crop year by converting their maize into lucrative whiskey, and the additional cash made the rough frontier existence nearly tolerable. These individuals believed that paying the tax would prevent them from being able to provide for their family. When federal agents, known as Revenuers, came around to collect taxes, they were assaulted, and many were even tarred and feathered as a result. 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. President George Washington summoned an assembly of militiamen under federal authority, and thirteen-thousand troops dispersed the crowd and seized the group’s leaders after ordering the gathering. 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. The moonshining industry continued to thrive after the failed revolt, especially in locations like Kentucky, Virginia, the Carolinas, and other southern states such as Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Because excise duties on alcoholic beverages were not repealed, moonshiners were able to continue to operate in complete defiance of the law. It wouldn’t be long before gunfights between moonshiners and revenuers were the stuff of folklore. 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. As a result of their collaboration, the moonshiners and the Ku Klux Klan would engage in a number of conflicts. 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. The tide of public opinion began to swing against the moonshiners in a bad direction. As the United States entered the twentieth century, the temperance movement, which aimed to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages, gained momentum. In the early 1900s, states began implementing legislation that prohibited the sale and use of alcoholic beverages altogether, and in 1920, Prohibition was officially declared nationally. This, on the other hand, was the best thing that could have occurred to the moonshiners at the time. When there was no longer any legal alcoholic beverages accessible, the demand for moonshine surged. 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. To maximize their profit margins, the distillers were willing to go to any length. Organized crime was thriving, and the concept of speakeasies was spreading across the country. Moonshine’s market quickly dwindled once Prohibition was ultimately lifted in 1933, resulting in its extinction. 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. Huge commercial distilleries are able to purchase raw ingredients on such a large scale that their products are not significantly more expensive than moonshine, even after deducting the taxes they must pay. 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. Consumers of alcoholic beverages would have little motive to seek out moonshine, except from the lure of purchasing and consuming something that is prohibited under this scenario. One of the primary reasons for the existence of moonshining is the desire to defy the authority of the federal government. Liquor made at home Although the overall technique for creating moonshine is similar to that used by commercial distilleries, there are a few differences that make consuming illegal booze a risky proposition for a number of reasons. Creating moonshine is mostly for the purpose of evading government taxes and restrictions. So there aren’t any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors stopping by the backwoods to make sure that all regulations are being adhered to. Moonshiners haven’t always had a good reputation for taking good care of their hygienic conditions. At any point during the fermentation process, insects or other tiny animals may become trapped in the mash. You may have even heard stories of people who drank moonshine and become blind or even died as a result of their actions. These are not urban legends; rather, they are genuine stories. 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. There is nothing fundamentally harmful about moonshine, or at the very least nothing that makes it any more deadly than any other alcoholic beverage.. 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 normally quite strong, and its proof can reach as high as 100 percent. It is possible that the high alcohol concentration is hazardous in and of itself. Some distillers discovered that the “kick” in moonshine was a significant element of the attractiveness of the drink. 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. There were several of these substances that were exceedingly harmful, and many individuals died after consuming it. Aside from the use of deadly substances, there are at least two production faults that might result in a dangerous batch of moonshine being produced. * Most of the time, it takes two or three runs through the still to completely purify alcohol of all of its contaminants.

It is possible that one pass will not be sufficient to make a safe batch. 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.

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. Tennessee and Kentucky, which had not yet been established, provided a safe refuge for distillers, otherwise they would have been forced to participate in the demonstrations. In 1794, the violence escalated to the point of armed insurrection. One tax collector got his head shaved, his horse taken, and then tarred and feathered as a result of his actions. Washington replied by dispatching a large number of militiamen into the countryside to apprehend and confine the rabble. The crushing of the revolt was unpopular and ultimately proved to be a liability for the Federalist Party. The whiskey tax was abolished in the year 1803. During the American Civil War, a new alcohol tax was enacted to help pay the federal government. The astronomically high levies were as much as eight times the cost of the alcoholic beverages themselves. Small distillers began to hide in the forests in order to avoid paying taxes on their products. Tax collectors were turned into police officers by the Revenue Bureau of the United States Treasury Department. This is when the Moonshiners and Revenuers first appeared. 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. Strangely enough, the manufacturing of moonshine rose as more local governments responded to the calls of the prohibition and temperance organizations to make the selling of alcohol a felony, which seemed to be incongruous at the time. 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. This inferior shine was dubbed “Mean Whisky,” and it was believed to be capable of causing major damage or even death. 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. A possible hazard to the customer might be posed by contaminants, pathogens, and harmful compounds in some instances. Popcorn Sutton is a character in the film Popcorn Sutton. Another Maggie Valley moonshiner who has been lauded as a hero has lately made headlines once more. Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, age 61, committed suicide on March 16, 2009, rather than go to prison for yet another arrest, which he had received in the previous year. He was descended from a long line of moonshiners in the western North Carolina mountains, and he died in Parrotsville, Tennessee, in the Appalachian Mountains, where he lived at the time of his death. 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 fined and sentenced to two years probation as a result of his actions. He was apprehended once more in 2008, and at his trial, evidence of his illicit actions dating back to the 1970s was shown. Although he was condemned to jail, it is probable that he would have served only a year or two in prison. He was adamant in his refusal to take such treatment and ultimately committed suicide. He is now regarded as a folk hero in the area because of his mountain ways, rugged individuality, and likker-making abilities. Today is a good day to moonshine. In the 1950s, moonshining was a common practice in the southern United States. 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. However, the practice of likker making continues. In October 2009, a “white liquor” distiller in Wilkesboro was apprehended, and 929 gallons of moonshine were seized from his premises. In November 2009, two brothers were apprehended in Whitakers, North Carolina, with 460 jars of shine in their possession. 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. The distiller, 82-year-old Ervin Preston Finger, was apprehended with 80 gallons of the booze in his possession. Brown-Johnson said she had no idea what was in the bag, which the agent had purchased for $80. With the purchase of Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, you may now legally own a piece of the American history. This triple-distilled flavor moonshine is created in Madison, North Carolina, and it is completely legal to drink and drink responsibly. Catdaddy was a word used in the shine community to indicate “the finest of the best.” Making Moonshine is subject to a number of laws. Real moonshine is available in two distinct “flavors”: legal and illicit. The most significant distinction is that one is subject to taxation while the other is not. It’s all about the taxes these days. You may purchase moonshine at almost any liquor shop, such as Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey, Platte Valley Corn Whiskey, or Catdaddy, among other brands. A gallon of whiskey is subject to a $15.50 federal excise duty. It is legal to own a still, and you can get one for less than $800 on the internet. 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. According to the alternative fuels regulation, you are allowed to produce up to 10,000 gallons of ethanol per year, which may be used to power engines when blended with gasoline. “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. “Let me be quite clear: making moonshine, which is untaxed spirits, is against the law.” Although it would be possible for a person to brew moonshine at home and avoid paying federal taxes, the process is not straightforward. The process needs a federal distiller’s license and is too expensive for anybody other than a commercial distiller. In response to the challenges associated with legally distilling your own spirits, an increasingly popular new home brewing underground is emerging. Small amounts of “craft” moonshine are currently being produced by artisans. However, rather than producing enormous quantities of booze for sale, the primary goal is to manufacture high-quality booze for personal enjoyment. This is still a violation of the law. Surprisingly, home brewers are permitted to lawfully produce beer and wine for their own consumption, but distilling liquor on an unregistered still is punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to five years imprisonment in a federal prison. When it comes to alcohol, what is the difference between beer/wine and liquor? Money, specifically tax money, is at stake. 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. A can of beer costs 5 cents. 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. Moonshine is known by a variety of names. Various other names for moonshine include: Branch Water, White Lightning, Kickapoo, Moonshine, Happy Sally, Ruckus Juice, Joy Juice, Hooch, Panther’s Breath, Mountain Dew, Hillbilly Pop, Skull Cracker, Bush Wisky, Stump, Mule Kick, Cool Water, Old Horsey, Rot Gut, Wildcat, Rise’n Shine, and Splo, among others.

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