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USA Today: Moonshine Comes Out of the Hills to Sweep the Nation

August 28, 2012


From USA Today:

Moonshine: It's not just for hillbillies anymore.

That mysterious Southern brew, once available only to those who knew someone who knew someone, has been going legit of late. Just walk in a store and buy it. Yes, it kind of takes the thrill out of the hunt.

But sales of the clear corn whiskey, traditionally made by bootleggers in the hollows of Appalachia but now bottled by big distillers, are soaring.

It's showing up on more than just liquor-store shelves, too. HBO's Boardwalk Empire, set in the Prohibition era when "shine" reigned, returns Sept. 16, and Discovery Channel's aptly named Moonshiners returns in late October or early November. Lawless, a bootlegging tale, opens Wednesday in theaters nationwide.

"The mystique of moonshine is just that — a mystique," says Phil Prichard, master distiller at Prichard's Distillery in Kelso, Tenn., whose Lincoln County Lightning topped Southern Living's five best legal moonshines this year. "There's good moonshine and there's bad moonshine, but people buy it all."


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