Categories Moonshine

Who Buys Moonshine Today? (Perfect answer)

Is there such a thing as legal moonshine?

  • Although moonshine is best known as an illegally homemade alcoholic spirit, there are plenty of legitimate distillers that produce it today. Although some seek to emulate an authentic experience, its loose definition has brought on an exciting variety of beverages.


How much is moonshine selling for?

You should be able to find a 750ml bottle of Moonlight priced between 20 and 40. As with most spirits, the price you pay for moonshine depends on the quality, quantity, and where you get it. Street moonshine is most commonly sold in an Orgallone neighborhood. You can expect to pay 30 to 100 for a gallon.

How much is a gallon of moonshine worth?

It costs around $8 per gallon for the sugar and wheat to make the moonshine. The selling price is around $25 a gallon if sold in bulk, or $40 for retail price.

Is it legal to sell a moonshine still?

Laws against moonshine may place those who wish to make their own line of commercial brandy or other spirit in a tricky situation. But federal law trumps state law, and to the feds, distilling at home for personal consumption is illegal, period.

Is making moonshine profitable?

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].

How much does a mason jar of moonshine cost?

Usually $25 but sometimes they put a flavor or two on sale for $5 off. over a year ago.

How much moonshine will a 13 gallon still make?

The 8 Gallon will hold about 6.5 Gallons of a distilling wash, making about 1 gallon of distillate, while the 13 Gallon holds close to 10 Gallons. Really, what it comes down to when picking the right Dual Purpose, is how much you’re looking to make.

How much moonshine do you get from 5 gallons of mash?

A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol. A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol. A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol.

How long do you go to jail for moonshining?

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 long can moonshine last?

Though it’s a drink saved for a particular day, it needs to be pure so that one can enjoy it thoroughly. The sealed and packed bottles can be stored in the freezer and last for approximately two years. Once opened, even though stored in the refrigerator, they can safely last for only two months at a time.

What states allow home distilling?

This tax is built into every bottle of spirits you buy so it’s not a special tax on home made spirits. If you do the calculations, you’ll find your favourite spirits cost up to 90% less when you take the tax off.

How can I legally sell moonshine?

The first option is to obtain a Federal Distilled Spirits Permit. This is the permit that industry giants like Jack Daniels and Makers Mark distilleries possess, which makes it legal for them to distill and distribute to the public.

Does moonshine go bad?

Although different sources will say different things, the answer for whether moonshine can go bad or not is clear – a bottle of unflavored moonshine, much like other plain spirits, has an indefinite shelf life.

Can you make moonshine in jail?

It’s no surprise that alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in all jails and prisons. Prison moonshine goes by many names and comes in many flavors. The most basic recipes call for a couple of oranges or a tin of canned fruit mixed with water and sugar and left alone in a warm place for at least several days.

What made moonshine illegal?

In 1862 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s (ATF) passed the 1862 Revenue Act. This act officially imposed a tax on alcohol, among other items, which made distilling without a permit even harder to get away with.

How do you make money from moonshine?

Buy mash for 50 bucks, make strong unflavored moonshine, make a perfect delivery without breaking any bottles, and you get a hundred bucks. That’s a fifty buck profit for doing mostly absolutely nothing as a level 20 moonshiner.

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?

  1. Throughout the South, which has long been the center of illegal booze manufacture, there are still plenty of backwoods blackpot stills to be found.
  2. Distilleries are sometimes tucked away in houses, garages, secret subterranean basements, or even caves cut into the side of mountains.
  3. Marijuana and stolen items are occasionally dealt in by the more established businesses.
  4. While the moonshine industry in Virginia may be booming, it may be on the verge of extinction in other parts of the country.
  5. 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.
  6. Hale believes that after they are gone, the production of moonshine in the region may come to a stop.
  7. 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.

  • Moonshine is not only illegal, but it may also be quite deadly.
  • Some distillers have also used dangerous additives like as lye, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, and other chemicals.
  • Making Moonshine is a simple process.
  • 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.
  • However, just a little portion of it is aged in order to soften the unusually sharp flavor.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An explanation is in order: moonshiners produce the booze, while bootleggers carry it. “Bootlegger” is an expression that dates back to the 1880s and describes people who thieved and hid contraband in their boots. When automobiles entered the scene, its connotation was naturally broadened to encompass everyone involved in the smuggling of booze or contraband cigarettes. Armed with new mechanical abilities acquired during World War II, troops went home and immediately found work as bootleggers in their home towns and cities..

When they had spare time, these bootleggers would compete against one another in races to see who had the best talents.

Big Bill France, the group’s founder and a former bootlegger, received the funds to launch the organization, which was naturally funded by a mooshiner..

Sugarlands launched their Gatlinburg, Tennessee, operation following a visit to Moonshine University.

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

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

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

Moonshine ‘tempts new generation’

In the 1920s and early 1930s, Prohibition prompted a surge in illegal moonshine production across the United States, according to the image caption. It is believed that an increasing number of Americans are becoming involved in moonshining, which is the unlawful distillation of alcoholic beverages. According to Claire Prentice, who is reporting from New York, stills, which were formerly hidden away in the woods, are now being produced in cities around the country. Due to the present economic climate as well as the current passion for artisanal goods, illegal distilling clubs and “kitchen-sink” operations are springing up all throughout the United States, from California to New York and Pennsylvania, among other places.

  1. Even though official data are difficult to come by, experts think that up to one million people in the United States may be breaking the law by creating moonshine, also known as white lightning or “white dog” in some circles.
  2. “There has been a significant increase in the number of people who are creating moonshine,” says Max Watman, author of Chasing the White Dog, a book that covers the colorful history of moonshine.
  3. “The stigma has been lifted.
  4. The word “moonshine” is commonly used to refer to whiskey, although it may be used to refer to any spirit that has been illegally produced and is not subject to taxation.
  5. Anyone found guilty of manufacturing spirits without a permit, on the other hand, might face a fine of up to $15,000 (£9,750) and up to five years in prison.
  6. Home distillers, high-end “mixologists,” small firms producing low-cost booze to sell locally, and larger operations that sell across state boundaries are all examples of this group.
  7. On the condition of anonymity, one Brooklyn resident shared her father’s recipe for moonshine, which she brews at home.
  8. We’re going to do it now.” She is typical of the current generation of moonshiners, who are in their 20s and aspiring musicians.

During the day, she works in a museum, where many of her coworkers are aware of her secretive interest. “You have to be very selective about who you share your information with. In the case of someone I’d just met, I wouldn’t go around bragging about it “she explains.

‘Relentless pursuit’

Despite the fact that private persons distilling tiny amounts at home for their own enjoyment are unlikely to be apprehended, police said they treat all tips carefully. Caption for the image Individuals who want to make moonshine in their own houses can acquire stills to do so. In the words of Arthur Resnick, spokesperson for the Federal Government’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, “If someone is making unlawfully distilled spirits while not paying tax, we’ll go after them.” A handful of distillers have established websites and blogs where they anonymously answer questions and provide assistance to first-time distillers and anybody else experiencing difficulties.

  • Colonel Vaughn Wilson is one of the most well-known copper still builders in the United States.
  • “I’m unable to keep up with the demand,” says Col Wilson, who resides in Arkansas and sells stills ranging in price from $300 to $11,000.
  • In the past month, though, arrests have been made in Kentucky, Georgia, and Arkansas, among other places.
  • He was charged with possession of illegal liquor.
  • Deputy Sheriff Doug Jordan of the Bell County Sheriff’s Department stated that the investigation will be “unwavering” until the finish.
  • Arrests are typically made as a result of information received from neighbors or from local businesses that report sales of unusually large quantities of sugar, a major component, to the police department.
  • Our attention is focused on the most significant ones at this time.”

Lure of illegality

Health experts warn that consuming tainted spirits can result in blindness, even though incidences of moonshine-related blindness are almost entirely a thing of the past. Despite the fact that “you hear stories of people blowing themselves up,” Mr Watman believes that “if you’ve studied the essentials and are using excellent quality items, it’s difficult to poison oneself.” It was not during Prohibition that the largest moonshine bust in the United States happened, but rather in 2001. The operation, dubbed “Operation Lightning Strike,” led in the detention of 26 persons over the course of several days that extended from North Carolina to Philadelphia.

For many of today’s moonshiners, the attractiveness of the activity resides in the fact that it is illegal.

A section labeled “Beat the law” may be found on Col Wilson’s website. He asserts the following: “The government will never be able to put a halt to moonshine production. They are squandering their time by doing it.”

More on this story

Copper is still used. Lightning takes the form of a white dot. Mountain dew is a kind of dew found in the mountains. Hooch. In some people’s minds, moonshine conjures up images of backwoods “pappies” making whiskey in creeks, all at the danger of being apprehended by the feds. The popular television showMoonshiners, as well as the filmLawless, are also worth seeing. One thing is clear, and that is that illegally made, high strength, unfiltered maize whiskey can only be found in the southern United States.

  1. It made extensive use of maize, which grows readily in the region, and frequently included fruits such as peaches to add taste.
  2. The origins of NASCAR may be traced back to moonshiners and their specially prepared trucks, according to historical records.
  3. It’s frequently in the neighborhood of 100 proof or more.
  4. are all used in the production of whiskey, and they are mixed and processed in three stages: fermentation, distillation, and condensation.
  5. While exploring the town of Greensboro, Georgia, I stopped into the local newspaper, where I was greeted by the editor, who handed me a glass of peach moonshine.
  6. a few days later.
  7. Although the liquor has had a rebirth in popularity, although legal, in recent years, its origins may be traced back to the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
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“loading=”lazy” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” data-small-file=” height=”1024″ width=”765″ width=”1024″ src=”alt=”moonshine” src=”” srcset=” 765w,224w,768w,149w,300w,1530w ” srcset=” 765w,224w,768w,149w,300w,1530w ” sizes=”(max-width: 765px) 100vw, 765px”> sizes=”(max-width: 765px) 100vw, 765px”> In 2012, I had my first drink of moonshine.

Although moonshine country stretches beyond these states, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reports that the biggest number of illicit stills have been recovered in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Many of the same family recipes are used in legal forms; the only difference is that there is greater government monitoring and that there are many more taxes.

When properly prepared, you might be surprised at how palatable moonshine can be when combined into a cocktail in lieu of just about any other type of booze.

However, some distilleries sell their maize whiskey using the term “moonshine” rather than the word “whiskey,” and they do it in a traditional manner.

Moonshine in Georgia

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  • Sizes=”(max-width: Whiskey distiller in Dawsonville ” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ src=” alt=”” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ src=” alt=”” data-id=”6848″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w,300w,768w,450w,200w,2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px ” data-id=”6848″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w,300w,768w,450w,200w,2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) “> Distillery in Dawsonville

Dawson County, Georgia, was the epicenter of moonshine production in the state, supplying booze to Atlanta during the Prohibition era. Counties in the surrounding area, including Gilmer, Pickens, and Lumpkin, also had illegal moonshine operations. Some men, such as Simmie Free, who grew up in Rabun County in another mountain county, began distilling with his father when he dropped out of second grade. Today, you can relive the history of moonshine at the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, which employs a formula that was passed down from Free’s grandfather.

Ivy Mountain Distillery LLC, which is owned and operated by Carlos Lovell, halted their illicit activities in the 1960s but now produces a legal version of their sour mash utilizing Georgia goods, albeit their distillery is not exposed to the general public.

His recipe was passed down through the generations.

Moonshine in North Carolina

  • Dawson County, Georgia, was the epicenter of moonshine production in the state, supplying booze to the city of Atlanta during Prohibition. Moonshine operations were also found in nearby Gilmer, Pickens, and Lumpkin counties. Men like Simmie Free, who grew up in another mountain county, Rabun, and began distilling with his father when he dropped out of the second grade, are examples of this. Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, which employs a formula passed down from Free, is a great place to learn about moonshine history today. With traditional ingredients and contemporary machinery, the Moonrise Distillery in Clayton crafts the Corn Squeezins. In the 1960s, Ivy Mountain Distillery LLC, run by Carlos Lovell, halted their illicit activities. Today, however, the facility produces a legal version of its sour mash utilizing Georgia ingredients, albeit the distillery is not available to the public. The Grandaddy Mimms Moonshine Distillery and Museum, located near Blairsville and named for a local benefactor and moonshiner who lived in the 1930s, is the newest addition to the state’s distillery and museum offerings. Throughout his family, his recipe has been passed down to us.

When it comes to moonshine in North Carolina, the tale is largely concentrated upon Wilkes County, which federal tax collectors dubbed “the moonshine capital of the world.” Although some may disagree with the designation, it is undeniable that the mountains of North Carolina have a long and illustrious history of illegal booze production. Some of these traditions have survived into the present era. One such distillery is Call Family Distillers, which is run by “The Uncatchable” Willie Call. An ancestor of Jack Daniel’s collaborated with the corporation in the 1800s before selling his interest in the business.

Piedmont Distillers Inc., the state’s first authorized distillery, was established in 2005 as a for-profit corporation.

A second distillery in Asheville, the Asheville Distilling Company, commonly known as Troy and Son, manufactures “genuine American moonshine” using only the finest ingredients available.

Moonshine in Tennessee

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  • Ole Smoky” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ data-id=”6854″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w,300w,768w,450w,200w,2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100 src=” alt=”” data-id=”6856″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 450w, 200w, 2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”> Ole Smoky
  • Cocke County, Tennessee ” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ data-large-file=” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ The county of Cocke is defined by the src=” alt=”” data-id=”6857″ data-link=” srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 450w, 200w, 2048w ” sizes=”(max-width: 1024) 100vw, 1024px”> Cocke County

Blount, Polk, and Sevier counties were among the counties where moonshining took place in Tennessee, in the area now known as the Great Smoky Mountains. Popcorn Sutton, for example, gained to prominence in the 1960s as a result of his illicit moonshine distillation operations in Cocke County, Tennessee, and Maggie Valley, North Carolina. He committed himself in 2009 in order to escape serving time in prison, but his memory lives on through the Tennessee White Whiskey created by his wife and Hank Williams Jr.

The number of tasting rooms in the area has increased dramatically in recent years, with Ole Smoky Distillery being one of the most well-known.

In addition to Thunder Road Distillery and Old Forge Distillery, which are located in Kodak and Pigeon Forge, respectively, Cocke County Moonshine Distillery is located in a more rural setting yet produces a more genuine product.

Related Reading

  • Moonshine: A Life in Pursuit of White Liquorby Alec Wilkinson
  • “Is moonshine simply lousy whiskey?,” by Alec Wilkinson
  • “Is moonshine just poor whiskey?,” by Alec Wilkinson British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Travel)
  • The Lovells of North Georgia Moonshine: A History of the Lovell Family Judy Garrison wrote Other Liquor Makers, and Joseph Earl Dabney wrote Mountain Spirits. ” Moonshine” can be found in the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and ” Moonshine” can be found in the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

Have you ever tried moonshine?

The Georgia Department of Tourism, Travel South USA, Visit North Carolina, Geiger Public Relations, and the Tennessee Department of Tourism all provided assistance in conducting research for this piece.

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?

Recently, there has been a resurgence in the production and use of moonshine. It has piqued the interest of a younger generation of drinkers, prompting the publication of books on home-distilled spirits and the launch of fancy whiskey brands that include “moonshine” in their names. Moonshine is a colloquial term for clear, non-barrel-aged whisky, as well as other home-distilled spirits. There’s also a Discover Channel show called Moonshiners that focuses on the American folk heritage of home-brewed handmade whiskey production.

The manufacturing of moonshine — or, for that matter, any spirit — without a license is strictly outlawed by the United States government, and it is considered to be unlawful in most jurisdictions worldwide.

Although clear whiskey in the manner of moonshine may be available for purchase, moonshine is still classified as moonshine since it is manufactured illegally, according to legal definition.

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 property utilized for illicit conduct. In the Cumberland Gap, there are some moonshiners. NPS

Is It Actually Dangerous?

Moonshine has seen somewhat of a rebirth in recent decades. 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 include the word “moonshine” in their name. An whole Discover Channel show is dedicated to the American folk custom of home-brewed homemade whiskey, which is called Moonshiners.

  • The manufacturing of moonshine — or, for that matter, any spirit — without a license is strictly banned by the United States government and is considered to be unlawful.
  • Although clear whiskey in the manner of moonshine may be available for purchase, moonshine is still considered moonshine since it is manufactured illegally.
  • According to federal law, violating it can result in the perpetrator being charged with several federal offenses, including tax evasion, which can result in up to ten years in prison on top of the seizure and forfeiture of the property utilized in the illicit conduct.
  • NPS

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.

Moonshine Is Growing in the U.S., and Big Whiskey Wants a Taste

You might be thinking at this point if it’s really worth it to go to the bother of brewing your own moonshine. Despite the fact that moonshining is illegal, each state approaches the issue in a unique way. State enforcement in the South is more stringent because of a history of rebellious moonshiners, according to Spoelman. States in the South include the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida. 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 making your own moonshine is still a very perilous endeavor.

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The TBB has been known to clamp down on unregistered stills, despite the fact that it is simple to obtain the necessary equipment to create moonshine online.

They claim that this is necessary to ensure compliance with the law. This means that you can distill your moonshine at your leisure.

Why is it against the law to make moonshine?

Moonshine On Wednesday, two Georgia men entered guilty pleas to charges of operating 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.)

Busted moonshiner: ‘It’s something to do’ — Illegal liquor making a comeback

  • Sidney Smith, 77, has been distilling moonshine in the remote Sand Hill neighborhood in Rankin County for many years, having learned the trade from his now deceased uncle when he was a child. Agents from the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested Smith and his still on Friday, and he expressed his gratitude by saying, “It’s something to do.” “Yes, I’ve been caught doing this in the past as well. They are familiar with me. They’ve got to get down to business.” An ABC Special Agent, Tony Ingram, oversaw the four-week operation, which resulted in the destruction of the back-woods still, the seizure of 22 gallons of moonshine, and the arrest of Smith on a charge of possession of alcohol in a dry county. In addition, Smith is likely to be charged with a felony for possession of a still, according to ABC enforcement Chief Rusty Hanna, although he is more likely to receive probation and penalties than jail or prison time. Smith’s was a minor enterprise, and the courts and jails had more pressing matters to attend to, according to Hanna. Moonshine production continues in Mississippi, and it isn’t simply a nostalgic nod to the days of prohibition. It is a legitimate business that pays taxes to the state and supports the local economy. It is extremely harmful to the health of individuals who consume it. It has a negative impact on the state’s tax collection and encourages underage drinking. Herb Frierson, the state’s revenue commissioner, and Hanna both stated that unlawful moonshining has risen in recent years, with the popularity of the “Moonshiners” television series on Discovery Channel playing a role. Despite the fact that ABC investigators are unable to devote substantial amounts of time or personnel to moonshine investigations, they have been breaking six to seven stills every year, and they have already surpassed that number this year. Hanna stated that stills have become more difficult to locate, with many of them being kept indoors under lock and key rather than out in the woods where people might see and report them. A nasty and disgusting operation in the woods near Smith’s home: filthy barrels, buckets, and jugs, bugs floating in the “mash,” and who knows what was in the finished product. Moonshiners can make lethal methanol instead of high-test ethanol by making a single mistake or by changing the temperature by a few degrees. According to state Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson, “methanol – the devil’s cut — may murder you in the graveyard, cause you to become blind, and give you the jake-leg (permanent paralysis).” The soldering of tubing, the use of radiators, or the use of other improvised equipment and substances might cause lead poisoning or other illnesses in those who consume them. Smith’s still was being examined by Hanna and his team, who remarked, “You don’t know what you’re drinking.” “You have no idea what was previously stored in these barrels – chemicals? There are bugs in the mush, to be sure. This is quite rudimentary. It’s not at all what you expect. It has been glamorized on television as being clean, nice, and beautiful. This is quite unpleasant. This is really unclean.” Frierson stated that many moonshiners will sell to underage consumers, and that some actively promote their product to them by adding “snow-cone” flavorings to the booze in order to attract them. “They put in the snow-cone syrup — they put in pina colada, they put in all kinds of flavors,” Frierson explained. “They work hard to make it taste excellent because if moonshine isn’t aged properly, it will taste bad when consumed. We’ve even seen people selling fake moonshine, which is made by diluting Everclear or vodka and adding scents to it, then labeling it as moonshine in order to attract children’s attention.” State and federal taxes and levies can add up to roughly $20 per gallon of liquor, with income being lost as a result of moonshine production. Frierson stated that his agency does not have a reliable estimate of the amount of money lost to moonshiners. Agents estimated that Smith’s enterprise might have generated up to 50 gallons per week if it had been operating at full capacity. If it had been sold for $30 a gallon, it might have made $1,500 in a week. ABC has busted far larger criminal enterprises. Agents recently confiscated a still that someone was attempting to sell on Craigslist and exhibited it in the ABC lobby as a result of their actions. A crude operation in the woods near his house, where Smith had been caught for moonshine production years earlier, was set up by Smith himself. The fact that he had three condensers going into different barrels to collect the finished product, rather than the customary one or two, was something that agents were impressed with. Smith, who sat peacefully on a truck tailgate as investigators began dismantling his still, enthusiastically described the three condensers to the assembled group of reporters. “It’s more efficient,” he explained. In the end, it doesn’t take that long for you to sit there and wait.”

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.

  • 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.
  • Junior learnt to race while moving whiskey over the North Carolina mountains.
  • Manufacturing, transporting, receiving, possessing, selling, and distributing alcoholic drinks are all prohibited in Georgia.
  • 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 law, no distilled spirits may be distilled, manufactured, or otherwise 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

Any equipment, object, or other tangible personal property used in the illicit distillation, manufacturing, or production of any alcoholic beverages is declared contraband and shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as directed by the commissioner by the officers or agents capturing the property. The following provisions of this Code section are violated: (Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be considered guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than one year nor more than five years; Paragraphs (2) through (8) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be considered guilty of a misdemeanor.) 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.

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