QUEEN CITY FOOD FIGHT: Charlotte Chefs Take the Spotlight

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Making moonshine with Roger Lee “Buck” Nance

As Herb alludes to in this article, Moonshine is more about art than lawlessness. Truly exceptional distillers (such as Buck Nance) are just like world renowned chefs; passionate about the spirits they produce and more concerned about quality, flavor and presentation than quantity.

 by Glen Herbert

“Listen,” says Nance. “It sounds like rain on a roof.” And it really does. Large vats line the room, each filled with a roiling mixture of grain and yeast. The gas being released as bubbles is responsible for the sound and the smell, which is somewhere between beer and bread and turpentine.

5500816b00316-1.image On the right is Buck Nance standing next to one of the tanks that he made by hand. A professional welder, he made everything within the distillery by hand–tanks, pipes, coils–with the exception of the furnace. 

It’s an attractive facility, miles away conceptually and physically from the clandestine stills that come to mind whenever we think of moonshine. The Copper Barrel Distillery, which opened its doors this past April, is a boutique on par with the micro-wineries of Napa Valley. The building, once home to a furniture manufacturer, has been restored to bring out its…

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Drink Local: COPPER BARREL DISTILLERY, North Wilkesboro

Blue Ridge NC Guide

Wilkes County is known for two major contributions to history, one begat by the other: NASCAR racing and moonshine. Brewing in this area can be traced back to Scot-Irish immigrants, and the high-octane product was sold quietly to trusted buyers as a way to dodge overly high Federal taxes imposed after the Whiskey Rebellion. The homebrewed corn liquor was distilled in stills cobbled together and hidden away in the woods and tended by the light of the moon- hence its name. During Prohibition, the government’s crackdown on all alcohol, young men in the area hauling the liquor to buyers would outrun government agents, called Revenuers, in souped up vehicles, giving rise to the birth of stock car racing and eventually NASCAR.

Post-Prohibition, a stigma surrounded the making and consumption of moonshine, a stigma that is only now beginning to be shrugged off. In the last decade, legal distilleries have received permits to…

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The Premonition

The rise of an ethereal new spirit is looming over the horizon at @LegacyDistillCo! #craftspirits #moonshine #whiskey

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