- 1 Does West Virginia sell alcohol in stores?
What moonshine is made in West Virginia?
By Katie Allie West Virginia is known for its mountains overhead, its coal underfoot and the people who live among its hills. If you’ve been lucky, some of those same people have welcomed you to their homes with a sip or two of moonshine, clandestinely distilled in the mountains by the light of the moon with recipes handed down for generations—until now.
- Gone are the days when folks were forced to practice their craft in secret.
- Today, you can get your hands on the legal version of West Virginia moonshine in artisanal distilleries all over the state.
- If you’re planning a trip in West Virginia, take a detour to one of these nine Mountain State distilleries, where you can sample years of fine-tuning, get advice on how best to drink the spirit and purchase a mason jar or two to take home and share with friends.
If you’re going with a group of people and would like a tour or tasting, it’s considered good manners to call ahead and let them know you’re coming. We can’t think of many better ways to spend a day in the mountains of West Virginia. Appalachian Distillery www.appalachian-moonshine.com Appalachian Distillery was born from the dream of two former West Virginia coal miners who have a family history of moonshine production.
- This Ripley, WV-based distillery is making waves in the mountains with its variety of moonshine flavors, including Caramel Apple, Strawberry Lemonade and plain Straight Moon.
- The distillery is open for tours and tastings Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
- Stop by and see a production style based on how the old-timers did it, and pick up a bottle or two while you’re there.
Black Draft Distillery www.blackdraftdistillery.com Named in honor of the owners’ much-loved draft horse, Biscuit, this relatively new distillery has people in the Eastern Panhandle talking thanks to its high-quality, authentic moonshine. Don’t mistake it for the harsh White Lightning you may have passed around a campfire in days gone by, though, because, as the owners say, “This ain’t your college bathtub juice.” In fact, the distillery’s First Harvest Moonshine is made from local, non-GMO corn and blended with Berkeley Springs water.
- This West Virginia spirits manufacturer is slowly expanding throughout the state and even into Maryland and Washington, D.C., and it’s definitely worth a visit to see the distillery’s inner workings.
- Black Draft Distillery offers free tours and tastings by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bloomery Plantation Distillery www.bloomerysweetshine.com Bloomery Plantation Distillery’s SweetShines offer a bit of a twist on the usual mason jar swig by using a moonshine base and expanding on it to create a host of mouth-watering flavors. From awarding-winning Black Walnut and Pumpkin Spice to the one-of-a-kind Ginger Shine and Chocolate Raspberry, Bloomery’s SweetShines can be sipped or used to mix a wide variety of cocktails.
- The entire process is done by hand, from growing and zesting the lemons to chopping the ginger, picking the raspberries, making the syrups and creating the labels.
- Distillery hours are Monday and Thursday, noon-6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., with live music on the weekends from 6-8 p.m.
Forks of Cheat Distillery www.facebook.com/ forks-of-cheat-distillery Specializing in authentic, small-batch Appalachian spirits, Forks of Cheat Distillery aims to delve into the spirits market with the same level of quality and attention to detail as they have with their now-famous winery.
Their moonshine products include Peach and the ever-popular Apple Pie Moonshine, made with West Virginia apples. In addition, they also have other high-end spirits available for sampling at their facility. Tours and tastings of their wine and spirits are available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine www.drinkofthedevil.com Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine claims theirs is the very first authentic mountain moonshine ever legally produced by the Hatfields and the McCoys. Their small-batch, 150-year-old family moonshine recipe with 100 percent West Virginia-grown corn, distilled in copper kettles, is the stuff of legends, much like their names.
They offer regular ‘shine that goes down well neat or mixed with other spirits in cocktails, as well as Peach, Blackberry Cobbler and the ubiquitous Apple Pie. If you stop in for a tour, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., they’ll show you how they do the whole shebang, right down to the hand-bottling and hand-labeling.
Isaiah Morgan Distillery at Kirkwood Winery www.kirkwood-wine.com/isaiah-morgan-distillery Things began for Isaiah Morgan Distillery in 2002 when Rodney Facemire obtained a license for the smallest still in the nation, and the rest, as they say, is history.
- Today, guests can take a tour of the distillery Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and get a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of making moonshine.
- Sampling of the distillery’s Southern Moon, along with other whiskey, grappa and bourbon products, is also available.
- As a long-established part of the West Virginia tourism industry and located close to the state’s whitewater epicenter, it would be foolish to miss them on your next trip through.
Mountain Mama Moonshine www.facebook.com/kbcdistilling Fresh entrepreneurial blood on the Logan County business scene, Mountain Mama Moonshine is focused on its community and a quality product. Case in point: their Coal Black Cherry moonshine is specially bottled and labeled in tribute to local West Virginia coal miners.
- Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mountain Mama Moonshine provides tours and tastings at their Man facility as well as an opportunity to explore their gift shop for some specialty goods.
- If you find yourself in this part of the state, stop on by and help support a local production.
- Pinchgut Hollow Distillery at Heston Farm www.hestonfarm.com/distillery One of the only makers of buckwheat whiskey in the country, Pinchgut Hollow Distillery makes a variety of moonshine-style whiskeys—Apple Pie, Honey Peach, Corn and Buckwheat—in addition to their premium and novelty whiskeys, like Ramp Shine and Rhubarb.
Since the distillery is part of the well-established 200-acre Heston Farm facilities, guests can participate in on-site activities, enjoy a tour or even reserve space to host a wedding or corporate event. The owner does most of the distillery tours himself, and guests can get a taste of Pinchgut’s goods in their tasting room Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- RADA Brand Appalachian Spirits at Flying Squirrel Ranch & Farm www.flyingsquirrelranch.com/distillery Produced and barreled in small, 20-liter batches, RADA Brand Appalachian Spirits is the result of a true homegrown enterprise.
- Located at Flying Squirrel Ranch & Farm, the craft distillery may be small but takes enormous pride in its spirits, right down to the water used to distill its products.
In addition to RADA’s popular Howlin’ Shine, which is a blend of whiskey, apple brandy and spice, the distillery also offers generous tastings of all their spirits, from brandy to gin. Operating hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., May through November, and if you bring your own bottle, they’ll even fill it to the legal level on-site.
Is moonshine legal in WV?
This article is originally posted on the West Virginia Encyclopedia’s website and gives an excellent history of moonshine. Author attribution is listed below. The making of illegal or moonshine whiskey has a long history in West Virginia and elsewhere.
- The word entered the English language about 1785 when white brandy was smuggled on the southeast England coast of Kent and Sussex.
- Those who made or transported the beverage worked under moonlight to escape the law.
- Moonshine is illegal because producers do not abide by state or federal laws regarding the licensure, manufacture, sale, and taxation of distilled spirits.
In West Virginia, field corn, soft creek water, and industrious farmers came together to make moonshine, sometimes also called mountain dew or white lightning. Moonshine is typically 100-proof whiskey, aged little or none, and was an important cash crop. From the mid-18th century, settlers from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England came to the mountains with distilling equipment and the necessary know how. They quickly adapted their Old World recipes to include American field corn. Whiskey was drunk in far greater quantities than today and used to barter for salt, nails, and taxes.
Some used it to buy property, and a good copper still and the condensing coil or ‘‘worm” had considerable value themselves. On March 3, 1791, soon after the colonies became a nation, Congress imposed the first taxes on stills and whiskey. Such laws caused the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, an uprising in western Pennsylvania and parts of present West Virginia.
The settlers, mainly Scotch-Irish, saw the tax as unfair. President Washington himself led troops to stop the rioting, and the federal government kept the tax in force for 11 years. Whiskey remained untaxed from then until 1862, except for three years following the War of 1812.
About 1910, states began to enact state prohibition laws in anticipation of the great national drought soon to follow. West Virginia prohibition took effect in 1914. Then, from 1920 until 1933 the U.S. government enforced nationwide prohibition, causing a dramatic increase in moon shining. Even when national prohibition ended, parts of the South remained dry.
In any case, some imbibers remained partial to clear mountain whiskey, and illegal distilling continued. After 1950, as local prohibition laws were voted out and economic conditions improved, the demand for illegal whiskey fell and production of moonshine declined.
Mountaineers traditionally used corn in making moonshine. The first step was to sprout the corn, then crush the sprouted grain and mix with water. This mixture, called mash, was fermented in open barrels. If moonshiners had yeast and used it, the fermentation took up to four days; if they didn’t have yeast and if the weather was cool, fermentation took longer, maybe two weeks.
When fermentation was complete, the mildly alcoholic liquid, now called beer, was ready to distill or ‘‘run off.” The beer was heated in the still’s pot or copper kettle to the temperature, well below boiling, when alcoholic vapors rise from the liquid.
- These vapors were condensed back to liquid in the worm, a coil of copper tubing which passes through a cooling water bath.
- Each batch was typically run off two or more times to get the maximum whiskey from the fixings.
- Illegal whiskey is still made and readily available to those who know where to look for it.
Homemade corn liquor is just about a thing of the past, however, since sugar is now usually substituted for most of the grain. Story credit: Sohn, Mark F. “Moonshine.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia.20 October 2010.
Does West Virginia sell alcohol in stores?
Retail sale of beer and wine – Beer has been available in general, privately owned, retail stores since 1934. Wine was transferred from the state-owned system to private sale in 1981 via H.B.1111.
What was the most common alcohol in the Wild West?
The Whiskey That Won the Wild West Despite all the old-fashioned images that adorn today’s American whiskey bottles—log cabins, buffalo, and long-dead distillers who look like Civil War generals—most of today’s famous brands wouldn’t taste very familiar to cowboys from the Wild West.
And vice versa: whiskey drinkers today likely wouldn’t recognize frontier whiskey. And that’s a good thing, because it probably tasted horrible. The bottles holding Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Buffalo Trace wrap the era in fond nostalgia with fonts reminiscent of “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters.
Bulleit Bourbon stamps the words “Frontier Whiskey” on its bottle even though the brand has only been around in its modern form little more than a decade. In fact, all those brands were created well after the West was tamed, and also probably taste better than most offerings from 150 years ago.
- So what were they drinking back then? Some popular whiskey nicknames from the era offer a glimpse: mountain howitzer, coffin varnish, chain-lightning, strychnine, and tangleleg—none of which sound very appetizing.
- Cowboys never had a reputation for being very sophisticated connoisseurs.
- The whiskey they drank was simply fuel for the saloons’ many other pastimes, whatever those happened to be.
Quality and flavor among whiskies in the late 1800s varied widely. There were few regulations about how the stuff should be made. Additionally, trademark and copyright rules were lax. Not much prevented someone from calling a product “Pure Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, Aged 10 years,” even though just about every word on the label was a lie and the product tasted like kerosene.
- Back then, it was hard to know exactly what you were buying.
- In the decades after the Civil War, distillers making what we today would generally only supplied about 10 percent of the whiskey market.
- The rest of the whiskey was made by giant distilleries churning out what were basically grain neutral spirits: a product distilled at such a high proof that it lacked much flavor and was almost identical from one distillery to the next.
These spirits were then sold to rectifiers who would “improve” them by redistilling and mixing them with other flavorings and colors so they resembled whiskey. The results were sold to wholesalers, who bought spirits in bulk and created their own whiskey brands by mixing together whatever was at hand.
These wholesalers were probably responsible for any aging that was done. “Some products labeled as bourbon were actually distilled from a low-grade variety of molasses, and additives could include burnt sugar, glycerin, prune juice, and sulfuric acid.” Some of the whiskey going west might have started out as bourbon, but somewhere along the journey to the saloon it was often mixed with additional water, grain neutral spirits, and other ingredients to expand the supply and increase profits.
Some products labeled as bourbon were actually distilled from a low-grade variety of molasses, and additives could include burnt sugar, glycerin, prune juice, and sulfuric acid. (That last one is what the Joker from the Batman comics sprays from the flower worn on his lapel.) The whiskey industry was riddled with this sort of crooked behavior, and it took years of opposition from reformers both within and outside the industry to introduce quality standards.
- In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt’s Pure Food and Drug Act added regulations for whiskey in addition to many foodstuffs.
- Within the whiskey industry were distillers like Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr.
- And George Garvin Brown, who pushed for quality standards that eventually helped lead to the Bottled-in-Bond Act in 1897.
The Act made the U.S. Government the guarantor of a Bottled-in-Bond whiskey’s quality, requiring that the stuff within the bottle was all made at one place and that the label correctly identified the maker. But going back to today’s bottles, it’s no wonder modern distilleries would want to capitalize on the romantic imagery of the frontier, with its promise of new beginnings and its messy models of justice and commerce.
Does WV serve alcohol on Sunday?
New state law on earlier Sunday liquor sales goes into effect this weekend CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia businesses that sell liquor bottles will be able to sell those items to patrons even earlier on Sundays, beginning this weekend. According to the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA), you can now purchase liquor starting at 6 a.m.
- On Sundays in West Virginia, an earlier time from the previous 1 p.m. law.
- Retail liquor outlets that sell bottles to go may now start at 6 a.m.
- Prior to the passage of, it was 1 p.m.,” Gig Robinson, Education/PIO with WVABCA told MetroNews.
- The law goes into effect on Sunday, which was 90 days from its passage on June 24.
Senate Bill 561, known as the Brunch Bill, allowed for restaurants to sell alcohol on Sundays beginning at 10 a.m. Beer is still allowed to be purchased as early as 6 a.m. on Sundays in West Virginia. “It could be a liquor store and others may also sell other type of products.
Can you own a moonshine still in Virginia?
1/1/2015 last updated
It is illegal to own a still regardless of its purpose without a license. To distill water, essential oils, etc. you will need a license. Virginia specifically states it is illegal to own a still regardless of its use.4.1-212. Permits required in certain instances
5. Any person to keep, store or possess any still or distilling apparatus.
VA Code 4.1-200 (2014) The licensure requirements of this chapter shall not apply to:
5. The manufacture and sale of food products known as flavoring extracts which are manufactured and sold for cooking and culinary purposes only and not sold as beverages.
The production of ethanol fuel is legal if you are licensed for an ethanol distilleery license and all federal licenses. Virginia does offer a distillery license that allows for small sale distillery or large scale. Costs are $65 fee plux Less than 5,000 gallons annually: $450.5,001–36,000 gallons annually: $2,500.
- More then 36,001 gallons annually: $3,725 There are several licenses you need to request to legally manufacture spirits.
- Below are the federal licenses only.
- Additional state requirements will need to be followed as well.
- You must submit a request for a license to manufacture spirits: TTB 5110.41 Basic permit,
This license only allows you to produce spirits. You also need a license for the distilling equipment / distillery: TTB 5100.24 Distilled spirit plant For manufacturing ethanol fuel you will need to submit a request for a TTB 5110.74 for a federal license,
A. Except as otherwise provided in §§ 4.1-200 and 4.1-201, no person shall manufacture alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth without being licensed under this title to manufacture such alcoholic beverages. Nor shall any person, other than a brewery licensee or bottler’s licensee, bottle beer for sale.B. The presence of mash at an unlicensed distillery shall constitute manufacturing within the meaning of this section.C. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
VA Code § 4.1-302 (2014)
If any person who is not licensed sells any alcoholic beverages except as permitted by this title, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In the event of a second or subsequent conviction under this section, a jail sentence of no less than thirty days shall be imposed and in no case be suspended.
VA Code § 4.1-314 (2014)
No person shall keep, store or have in his possession any still, or distilling apparatus, without a permit from the Board. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production. This means legally you can:
Can you have a moonshine still in Virginia?
Is It Illegal To Make Moonshine In Virginia ? Yes, it is legal to own a still in Virginia, but not for the purpose of manufacturing alcohol. If you wish to produce alcohol, you require a distilling license.4.1 – ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL ACT (Code of Virginia) states that the manufacturing of alcohol unless a license is acquired is illegal.