How did Moonshine get such a bad reputation? Up until the early 20th Century, farmers all over recognized the benefits of processing their crops into liquor. You could haul several times more grain to market when it was in liquid form, and you could probably command a higher price besides. This was just a skill that most everyone who worked the land knew, or was at least familiar with. They knew of course how to grow the grain, how to malt it to make sweet breads, how to mash it to make sweet drinks, how to ferment it to make beer, and how to distill it to make whiskey. So how did perception of this common practice get so jaded?
The easy answer is Prohibition, but its more than that. The thing is…Americans drank A LOT before prohibition. You know how folks nowadays might refer to the Irish as a nation of drinkers (no offense to Ireland)? That’s how the world viewed us in the beginning…but times ten. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the other groups who pushed Prohibition into law had a point. We really did drink like fish.
We now think Prohibition was a bad idea, and for the most part it was. People were drinking anything they could get their hands on. And they would get it from anyone, no matter how nefarious or unscrupulous. It was at this time that organized crime really got organized. You also find that people were making liquor any way they could. They would make a still out of lead-lined car radiators. They would sell wood alcohol (which is methanol, not ethanol…this is where the blindness myth came from. Methanol can really make you go blind!) It is no wonder with all of this god-awful booze flowing from these “moonshiners” that people’s opinion of backwoods whiskey would take a turn for the worse.
We are going to take that reputation back. There is an artistry and craftsmanship to Moonshine, as with any spirit. When you drink our hooch you’ll swear you smell the wood smoke from the farmhouse, you’ll hear the mule plowing the fields, you’ll taste the grain and the land it came from.