• In 1984, 21 officially became the national drinking age.
  • "I drink to make other people more interesting." - Ernest Hemingway
  • "Moonshine" got its name because people secretly brewed at night, under the light of the moon.
  • The legal limit of blood alcohol content in the U.S. is .08%.
  • "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me." - Winston Churchill
  • Moonshining in Appalachia began when settlers found a new way to make whiskey using corn that grew in the region.
  • Firing up a still for the first time is considered a rite of passage for moonshiners everywhere.
  • Straight out of the still, moonshine can be up to 190 proof.
  • A bootlegger or "runner" brings jugs of moonshine filled at the still site to a stash house.
  • To get the proof of a spirit, double its percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV).
  • Stock car racing was inspired by moonshiners' constant need for faster cars to outrun police.
  • "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria." - Benjamin Franklin
  • Moonshining season runs from June to October, when corn is harvested and forest foliage has the most coverage.
  • ABC stands for Alcohol Beverage Control.
  • Fresh moonshine from the still is stored in a "stash house" until it's ready to be transported.
  • Vapor being captured from the still cap can reach temperatures of up to 175 degrees fahrenheit.
  • The most vulnerable part of the still is the cap, which needs a groove seal to keep the cook steam from popping it off.
  • Moonshining is illegal. Those caught moonshining can be sentenced to prison.
  • "Mash" is the mixture of water, corn, and sugar boiled in a still.
  • You can't produce moonshine without a "worm", a copper pipe that condenses mash vapor into liquid moonshine.
  • Rumrunners are similar to moonshiners, but they smuggle goods by sea, using fast ships with hidden cargo holds.
  • The Mason jar was invented and patented by John L. Mason in 1858.
  • A true Mason jar has a rubber ring on the lid that creates an airtight seal.
  • Another name for a Mason jar is a 'Ball' jar, named after the Ball Corporation which still makes the jars to this day.
  • In 1791, a whiskey tax was levied to pay off the national debt, which caused the Whiskey Rebellion. The tax still exists today.
  • Moonshining practices date back to the 1700's.
  • Moonshining is a $100 million tax free industry.
  • According to Tim, moonshiners make up to $100,000 a year.
  • The first step in making moonshine is filling 3/4ths of the still with water.
  • The first few ounces of moonshine produced in a cook are known as the "high end" or the "head".
  • The head of the moonshine batch contains Methanol, which can cause blindness to drinkers if not disposed of properly.
  • Popcorn Sutton produced 'shine twice the proof of a bottle of commercial whiskey.
  • The word bootlegging comes from the early days of moonshining, when 'shiners transported illegal liquor in their boots.
  • Bootleggers were known to hold fake funerals, filling coffins with illegal alcohol for undetected transportation.
  • The most innovative still site on record is the 1970's "cemetery still", which hid underground operations with aboveground tombstones.
  • During Prohibition, a bottle of water was ceremoniously broken across the bow of the USS Washington instead of a bottle of Champagne.
  • Tim and Tickle have been a 'shining team for 30 years.
  • Jeff is a 7th generation moonshiner from the mountains of North Carolina.
  • Mark is a 4th generation moonshiner, mountain man, and expert marksman.
  • Proof can be guessed by shaking the 'shine and letting expert eyes determine if "beads," "frog eyes," or "mare's tails" rise in the jar.
  • Jim Tom has been making moonshine since he was twelve.
  • Spirits cooked in food still have up to 85% of the original alcohol content.
  • During Prohibition, moonshiners used white sugar instead of corn meal, to produce a cheaper product that was actually rum, not whiskey.
  • Moonshine comes out of the still as clear as water.
  • Commercial alcohols have an amber or golden color to them, caused by years of aging in charred oak barrels.
  • Vodka is the most popular hard alcohol in the United States.
  • A man survived the Titanic after imbibing alcohol before plunging into the water.
  • A longer aging process gives alcohol color and mellows the initial harsh taste of the liquor.
  • You won't find a more delicious cure for your hangover than a bacon sandwich.
  • By 1830 the average American drank 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week!
  • The repeal of prohibition allowed Walgreens to sell whisky and wine, helping them become such a large company!
  • In America, alcohol commercials cannot show someone actually drinking the alcohol!
  • Moonshiners are not known for their careful maintenance of sanitary conditions.
  • To improve potency, some Moonshiners have been known to experiment with adding manure, embalming fluid, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and even paint thinner to batches.
  • It takes about two to three passes through the still to remove all the impurities from the alcohol.
  • Moldova consumes about 18.22 liters of alcohol annually per capita. A large portion of which is home-brewed wine and spirits.
  • Religious restrictions keep consumption low in Afghanistan and Yemen. At 0.02 liters of alcohol per person these countries drink the least.
  • The U.S. ranks relatively low in total alcohol consumption at 57th amongst developed countries.
  • On average, guys drink twice as much as girls.
  • It's estimated that 35% of the nation doesn't drink alcohol.
  • M.A.D.D. greatly influenced drinking age legislation in the United States.
  • Jaegermeister was originally used as a cough medicine and digestive.
  • At one point during the Whiskey Rebellion, President George Washington called for a gathering of 13,000 militiamen to disperse the mob and capture its leaders.
  • Speakeasies were a name for saloons that illegally sold alcohol during Prohibition.
  • Moonshiners are rarely arrested or charged with making illegal liquor; they're charged primarily for tax evasion.
  • Corn is the basis for whiskey production because it's a major farming crop that is native to America.
  • In the early days, practically every farmer made whiskey.
  • By 1810, there were at least 2,000 distillers producing almost 2 million gallons of U.S. whiskey.
  • Historically, whiskey production is a way to turn surplus grains into a valuable commodity.
  • Moonshine is also known as Rotgut, white lightning, bathtub gin, popskull, panther's breath, and corn liquor.
  • Rum was first distilled using molasses from sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean.
  • Prior to the Revolutionary War, it's estimated that each person drank an average of 3.6 gallons of rum per year.
  • Gin started off as an herbal medicine in the Middle Ages.
  • The Gin Craze in England began when thousands of gin shops opened during the 18th century.
  • Bourbon is made from a grain mixture containing at least 51% corn.
  • American whiskey is exported to over 100 countries worldwide.
  • Most bourbon is produced in Kentucky or Tennessee.
  • Distilling in Kentucky is a tradition likely started by Scottish and Irish immigrants in the late 18th century.
  • Alcoholic fruit juices, including wine and hard ciders, were often exceptions during Prohibition.
  • Cocktail mixers became popular during Prohibition because they helped mask the smell and taste of bootleg liquor.
  • The term "moonshine" comes from Britain, where it originally was a verb, "moonshining."
  • During Prohibition, Coca Cola was advertised as the ideal "temperance drink."
  • Alcoholic beverages contain 13 minerals.
  • The winner of the first ever NASCAR race had used the same car to make a bootleg run just a week earlier.
  • A thump keg can be used to catch any remaining bits of mash and re-evaporates the alcohol to filter it out.
  • Fruits can be used instead of grains in the moonshining process.
  • "Lose on the track, and you go home. Lose with a load of whiskey, and you go to jail." -Junior Johnson
  • "Well, between Scotch and nothin', I suppose I'd take Scotch. It's the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find." -William Faulkner
 Tweet This Fact