Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle

Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle

Mark Spivak

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0762797029

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Moonshine is corn whiskey, traditionally made in improvised stills throughout the Appalachian South. While quality varied from one producer to another, the whiskey had one thing in common: It was illegal because the distiller refused to pay taxes to the US government. Many moonshiners were descendants of Scots-Irish immigrants who had fought in the original Whiskey Rebellion in the early 1790s. They brought their knowledge of distilling with them to America along with a profound sense of independence and a refusal to submit to government authority. Today many Southern states have relaxed their laws and now allow the legal production of moonshine—provided that taxes are paid. Yet many modern moonshiners retain deep links to their bootlegging heritage. Moonshine Nation is the story of moonshine’s history and origins alongside profiles of modern moonshiners—and a collection of drink recipes from each.












governor in 1948. “I never went on a trip with a better-behaved man.” Juxtaposed against that, however, was the portrait of someone who used brutal tactics to control a vast illegal empire. “In his behalf,” wrote Kobler, “his loyal followers have been known to knife and shoot up their own kin.” Flowers, Kobler said, was “courtly of manner when deferred to, violent when thwarted, and rules his domain with a baronial hand.” Between 1929 and 1958, Flowers was the subject of ten federal and eighteen

was held in 1936, but this time most of the convicted men received a sentence of probation. Carter Lee was not indicted again. Change came slowly to Franklin County, and it really wasn’t until after World War II that enough industry penetrated the area to provide well-paying jobs that were an alternative to moonshining. Slightly more than 56,000 people live in the county today, and many commute to jobs in Lynchburg, Roanoke, or Danville. The area still calls itself the Moonshine Capital of the

when I was puttin’ on my shorts and T-shirt to come over here, ’bout how you could never wear shorts when you was makin’ whiskey. You had to have somethin’ on so the briars wouldn’t get you, and you might have to run.” “So tell me,” I ask, “these federal agents—were they all on the up and up? None of them were taking bribes?” “Naw,” he grins, “they just wouldn’t take ’em. None of ’em had any common sense.” “Somebody always saw the federal men comin’,” says Earl. “Oh yeah,” agrees David. “You

Ball has been called a force of nature, but that description is an understatement. Spend some time with her, and you quickly realize that she could probably move mountains—calmly, cheerfully, and gracefully, with someone standing on the peaks not realizing they had budged an inch. Her distillery, Troy & Sons, is located in an industrial area outside the city of Asheville, next to the Highland Brewing Company. While the facility is large, modern, and easily accessible to tourists, Troy’s journey

about Appalachian moonshiners in general, because some of them did very positive things. Many of them were hardworking, intelligent people who made liquor, but they used the money to support their families and help the community. But in the case of my father, I know there wasn’t one good or positive thing about the man. I’m proud of my heritage, but not of him. I’m not saying that he never helped anyone—maybe he did, but he never helped his wives or children. “I’ll tell you one more story about

Download sample