July 18, 2013

Moonshine moves out of backyards and into stores

The Associated Press

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Midnight Moon Blueberry, FireFly Moonshine Apple Pie Flavor, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Blackberry, Midnight Moon Moonshine, and White Mountain Moonshine are some recent legal moonshine products.

The Associated Press

"He said he'd help back it, you know, because there's lots of money in alcohol," Townsend said with a laugh.

Smith doesn't believe the escalation in legal moonshine has had even the slightest impact on the illegal trade – "We never could keep up with the demand no way." – and believes it's far more expansive than the general public believes.

Not everyone can pull it off, though. Moonshine might seem simple: You mix corn, sugar and water together and run it through an easily learned cooking process. But it really isn't. He says the moonshine-curious should make sure the brand they buy came from the still to the store.

Anyone else is just pushing product.

"What I've learned over say the last 20 years that I've actually been deep in research on the illegal side is that those legal distilleries out there have never made legal moonshine before, have no experience at all," he said. "They only know the process. They go to an institute where they learn the process of it from a chemical engineer. Anyone can learn the basic process. You can learn it in elementary school. It's chemistry. But actually doing it and tasting it and understanding what you're doing, nobody's done that."

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