Thursday, 16 February 2017

North Carolina: Making Moonshine at Broadslab Distillery

In the 1920s America there was no work or money due to the financial crash - the depression and no alcohol because of prohibition.  It was no fun sitting around with friends with no money and no drink so ultimately men began to distill their own.  The practice of illegal stills in isolated backwoods locations under the silver moon was given the name of 'Moonshine' whiskey!

Meanwhile deep down south there were many men stood guarding their home made stills where they were distilling a colourless liquid. The problem with this liquid was that it was very high in alcohol content and as it was during the prohibition period of the depression it was also highly illegal.  It was also a dangerous pastime - if the still didn't blow up and kill you often the moonshine would!

Fast forward to present day and today you can make moonshine with a licence under strict conditions, a bonded warehouse and a legal still. Moonshine making has been in Jeremy Norris's family for five generations and is alive and distilling in Benson, North Carolina.
Broadslab Distillery doesn't purchase commercially available grain alcohol, they take pride in growing and Harvesting their own food grade white corn.  Their special malting process produces a smooth mash when blended with pure cane sugar and left to ferment in oak barrels.  Broadslab Legacy Shine is distilled in small batches in a large copper still.

Take a tour of the still and hear Jeremy tell the tales of moonshine distilling form  his granddad's days
Broadslab produce five different spirits.  Broadslab Legacy Shine, Broadslab Legacy Reserve (limited edition product with a light amber glow from aging in traditional charred oak barrels, Broadslab Legacy Appleshine as well as Carolina Coast Spiced and Silver rums made with premium, table grade molasses and pure granulated cane sugar, crafted and distilled on the premises at the distillery in Johnson County, North Carolina.
You can make a purchase of Moonshine in the gift shop however due to a weird North Carolina law you can only purchase 1 ltr per person per year from the gift shop! Guess I will have to go back again to get another bottle!
Once the tour is finished you get a tasting session in the bar/gift shop where you can taste the nuances of the different blends (my favourite was the Spiced Apple - which I think would make a great liquid to soak sultanas for an apple and spice cake!).
I thought Moonshine would be rough and the first sip is kind of rough however from the second sip onwards it is smooth like the clouds rolling over the stills in the woods!
I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of Broadslab Distillery and look forward to getting another bottle of Moonshine this year! I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions and photos are my own.  
No photos may be reproduced in any form without my written consent.


  1. I love visiting places like this, there is so much you can learn from the owners and of course try all the lovely produce (even better when it's an alcohol! :D )

    1. I love to see how passionate people are about the things they produce!

  2. How interesting! I had no idea this kind of place even existed!

  3. Great post, Heidi, very informative. Sometime I'm tempted to start my own distillery!

    1. Oh that does sound like a good idea - what would you produce!!