This episode features Jeremy Norris, Distiller and Owner of BroadSlab Distilleries, Rick Morris, President of the Hobby Distillers Association, and “Chuck” a modern day moonshiner. (You can subscribe to “Make it a Double!” at iTunes or Stitcher, get the RSS feed, or listen by streaming by clicking here.)
Moonshine, for me, has always carried a certain allure. Thanks to Prohibition and the Federal Alcohol Administration Act of 1935, the art of crafting finely distilled spirits in your home is still illegal. But, the legality isn’t what makes it captivating. Lots of things are illegal and rarely do they posses the same sense of magnetism as moonshine and bootleggers. In this episode I sought out to explore the culture of moonshining.
It was important to me to meet and discuss moonshine with authentic folks who have a real passion for carrying on this great American tradition.
We start by hearing from Jeremy Norris. Jeremy is the distiller at Broadslab Distilleries in Benson, North Carolina. His family has been distilling their own spirits since the mid 1800s. A true legacy. In 2010 he opened his own Distillery, Broadslab (named after the pine-forested region of southeastern Johnston County, NC) using a recipe that has roots five generations deep and can be traced back to Jeremy’s Great-Great Grandfather, Willam “Bill” McLamb. Though most of his personal knowledge on the art of crafting whisky came first hand from his Grandfather, Leonard A. Wood.
Jeremy shares stories about his Grandfather during the days of prohibition and having to leave town for nearly 20 years to escape going to prison for bootlegging. He also talks about his days as a boy and how he was self taught to make wine... and make a little money in the process. But, some of my favorite parts of his story is how he makes his whisky, “from dirt to bottle”. Jeremy grows his own corn which he distills into corn whiskey "moonshine"; in a still custom made by Jeremy and his friends to resemble the same type of still once used by his Grandfather. (Click here for Broadslab Distilleries)
Rick Morris also joins us on the show. Rick is the President of the Hobby Distiller’s Association (HDA). The HDA was founded by Brewhaus to enhance the enjoyment of hobby distilling and to further legalization of alcohol distillation on a hobby level. Their current goal is to allow hobby distillers to enjoy the same legal standing as hobby brewers and wine makers.
Rick clears up some of the legality surrounding buying and owning home distillation equipment and we share thoughts on the hobby of crafting finely distilled spirits. (Learn more about the Hobby Distiller's Association here)
We also meet “Chuck”, our modern day moonshiner and friend of mine. “Chuck” lives in California with his family. For “Chuck” hobby distilling is a sense of pride and accomplishment. He enjoys crafting, sharing with friends and indulging in his own spirits. Distilling his own alcohol has nothing to do with making money it’s purely out of the enjoyment of creating his own whiskey. Much like home brewers with beer.
Special thank you to our guest speakers for helping to make this episode of Make it a Double! Great!!!
Please find more information on concerning the Hobby Distiller's Association below. Show you support for legalizing hobby distilling by becoming a member, basic memberships are FREE. "We can brew our own beer and make our own wine, but we can't distill our own spirits." Together we can change these laws.
Make it a Double! is a podcast that entertains, educates, and furthers our curiosity into the people, places, customs, and, of course, drinks which we love to indulge in!
Be a guest speaker!
Have an interesting story or family tradition? Would you like to be a guest on Make it a Double!? Click here to contact me.