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(Houston Press)   Art imitates life imitates art: TABC believes Discovery Channel reality show Moonshiners is to blame for recent rash of moonshining operations in Texas   (blogs.houstonpress.com) divider line 85
    More: Unlikely, TABC, Southeast Texas, East Texas, Discovery Channel, Burt Reynolds, art  
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2997 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Mar 2012 at 5:58 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-23 04:18:19 PM
"Teach a man to fish" and all that.
 
2012-03-23 04:40:06 PM
Ah, the TABC, the kindling wood for DIAF.
 
2012-03-23 04:56:49 PM
Moonshiners? Really? Who gives a shiat about moonshiners? Is this some effort to demonstrate that if weed were to be legalized there would still be an evil criminal element selling it illegally?
 
2012-03-23 05:00:04 PM
My great grandfather was a Appalachian moonshine farmer during the great depression. My grandmother would help load up the jugs into the smugglers vehicles. She said it was so neat, because when they put the panels back, it was like vehicle was empty. She got 5 bucks every time she helped, and by the end of Prohibition, she had $200 in the bank.

Then when prohibition did end, the family became dirt poor. My grandmother never forgot how rich she was and how poor she ended up. She spent her life trying to get material wealth.
 
2012-03-23 05:07:44 PM

Mugato: Moonshiners? Really? Who gives a shiat about moonshiners? Is this some effort to demonstrate that if weed were to be legalized there would still be an evil criminal element selling it illegally?


Moonshine has a decent cost/profit margin, considering you don't have to follow any regulation. And the bonus paying taxes every step of the way.
 
2012-03-23 05:41:45 PM

Darth_Lukecash: My great grandfather was a Appalachian moonshine farmer during the great depression. My grandmother would help load up the jugs into the smugglers vehicles. She said it was so neat, because when they put the panels back, it was like vehicle was empty. She got 5 bucks every time she helped, and by the end of Prohibition, she had $200 in the bank.

Then when prohibition did end, the family became dirt poor. My grandmother never forgot how rich she was and how poor she ended up. She spent her life trying to get material wealth.


My great grandfather may have worked with your great grandfather - he was a moonshine runner - Dumbfark actually drank the stuff he was supposed to deliver and drowned himself accidentally into the river, with the stuff in the car and all.
 
2012-03-23 05:54:09 PM

Darth_Lukecash: Mugato: Moonshiners? Really? Who gives a shiat about moonshiners? Is this some effort to demonstrate that if weed were to be legalized there would still be an evil criminal element selling it illegally?

Moonshine has a decent cost/profit margin, considering you don't have to follow any regulation. And the bonus paying taxes every step of the way.


It's always sort of baffled me as well, my uncle knows a guy who makes moonshine, I always figured it must just be his hobby, there can't possibly be any money in that when cheap whiskey at the liquor store is readily available.
 
2012-03-23 06:06:09 PM

Mugato: Is this some effort to demonstrate that if weed were to be legalized there would still be an evil criminal element selling it illegally?


Depends. The difference is you can't blow yourself up growing weed in your backyard or go blind smoking it.

(Although I suspect both of those are unlikely with moonshine if you're not stupid.)
 
2012-03-23 06:06:42 PM
Project W?
 
2012-03-23 06:07:22 PM

MrEricSir: Mugato: Is this some effort to demonstrate that if weed were to be legalized there would still be an evil criminal element selling it illegally?

Depends. The difference is you can't blow yourself up growing weed in your backyard or go blind smoking it.

(Although I suspect both of those are unlikely with moonshine if you're not stupid.)


Stupid should hurt.
 
2012-03-23 06:07:26 PM
You can't deny your gub'ment of their precious tax money. It's an insult to them.

Besides, booze is EEEEVIL. Only your righteous civil "servants" know how to make and enforce the rules.

How do you think they are gonna buy more police cruisers to they can catch more speeders, huh?
 
2012-03-23 06:07:31 PM
I want a still, but lack the land to set it far enough away from the house in case of an explosion.

And I have kids that would brag.
 
2012-03-23 06:09:18 PM
The real cause is that kids are playing that video game about moonshining and listening to that metal band Satan's Moonshiners and their hit song "Moonshining for Satan".
 
2012-03-23 06:12:12 PM

dopeydwarf: "Teach a man to fish" and all that.


You can charge a redneck for firewater, cause you know he's gonna drink cheap.

/I think that's the saying
 
2012-03-23 06:12:29 PM
The money isn't in "cheap" liquor... the money is in "illegal" liquor. Some people like it for the simple fact that they think they are getting something over on that ol' gubmint. Some people like it for the taste. Some people like it for the nice, even way it strips paint.

/uncle ran 'shine in NW Mississippi
// He was a mean ol' bastard.
 
2012-03-23 06:14:21 PM

nekom: It's always sort of baffled me as well, my uncle knows a guy who makes moonshine, I always figured it must just be his hobby, there can't possibly be any money in that when cheap whiskey at the liquor store is readily available.


As an Appalachian, yes... there is.

It's more about sticking it to the man, and keeping the government out of your business, and your vices, than it is about taste really.

/Although, damned is there some TASTY shine out there.

//Proud to have had some of Popcorn's before the family took it legal.
 
2012-03-23 06:16:08 PM
The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?
 
2012-03-23 06:16:15 PM
I've got to wonder if this is just a natural progression in home production of alcohol.

Beer and wine were done in the 70's (Thanks Jimmy!), so after 40 years of that, perhaps it is time to allow home production of distilled spirits.

We're already allowing home production of biodiesel after all, and the process isn't that different
 
2012-03-23 06:16:34 PM
DIAF, TABC.
 
2012-03-23 06:16:59 PM
Damn hipsters are ruining Moonshining now...
 
2012-03-23 06:17:28 PM

triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?


That jar might go for $100 out of the woods, yes.

It's getting it out that is the hard part.

/That bottle of Everclear could sell for $1000 in parts of Alaska. It's supply and demand.
 
2012-03-23 06:18:44 PM

triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?


Hipsters.
 
2012-03-23 06:19:39 PM

nekom: Darth_Lukecash: Mugato: Moonshiners? Really? Who gives a shiat about moonshiners? Is this some effort to demonstrate that if weed were to be legalized there would still be an evil criminal element selling it illegally?

Moonshine has a decent cost/profit margin, considering you don't have to follow any regulation. And the bonus paying taxes every step of the way.

It's always sort of baffled me as well, my uncle knows a guy who makes moonshine, I always figured it must just be his hobby, there can't possibly be any money in that when cheap whiskey at the liquor store is readily available.


From what I've seen in various documentaries, a lot of people from the Appalachian states view the making of
moonshine as a part of their cultural heritage. And there is a certain logic to that stance: the original settlers
moved into Appalachia to avoid what they saw as unwarranted government intrusion into their lives in the form of
excise taxes on their home made liquor (even going back to colonial days). It went hand-in-hand with their
belief in self-reliance.

And, don't underestimate the profit motive for your uncle's friend: enough people have a taste for the stuff that
even if he makes small batches he can price his stuff dirt cheap compared to legal hooch (whose prices will
always be artificially inflated due to taxes) and still make a fair bit of coin.

Explains the popularity of the Tea Party in those areas, doesn't it?
 
2012-03-23 06:20:38 PM
All the 'shine I've ever had tasted like burning. You know, like Everclear does. I guess there's a certain number of folks that like the taste, but I can't fathom why. I'd guess for some, it's more about getting one over on the government.

On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.

/I brew my first bacth of beer tomorrow!
 
2012-03-23 06:20:40 PM

triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week


Which week?
 
2012-03-23 06:20:48 PM
Ahhh, TABC, the idiots who arrested people for public drunkeness while still inside the bar, that also happened to be inside a hotel, where said people were staying.
 
2012-03-23 06:21:49 PM

LittleSmitty: On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.


Congrats!

A friend of mine runs gotmead.com which is a terrific source for information on where to find good honey at good prices.
 
2012-03-23 06:26:07 PM
For anyone interested, this web site is the gold standard for home distillation: http://homedistiller.org/

I made shine for a while. It's a very neat (play on words) hobby. If you start researching this, you will be surprised at how widespread the practice is. Bear in mind that in most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand it is perfectly legal to distill spirits for personal use. Canada and the US seem to have an overhang from prohibition that home distillation is dangerous, both due to explosive stills (not) and poisonous alcohol.

During a run, as the temperature of the boil increases, several different alcohols are produced, including poisonous ones. Bottling these with the goodness of ethanol is what gave rise to the danger of drinking bathtub gin produced by the bad guys. So, if you distill at home for your own use, quality is a top concern, and is easily controlled.

As far as economics goes, I guess one major factor is how much tax a government adds to the price of booze. In Vegas, I can buy a 1.75 litre bottle of Smirnoff triple distilled for $16.99. In Toronto, where I am coincidentally hanging around right now. the same bottle is $54.00. Obviously, selling shine at 50% of the tax-paid retail price is more profitable in high tax areas.

There is marginally some economies of scale in producing high-volume runs of eth, but it's a bit difficult hiding a two-story distillery.

If you do take the time to check out some of the stills available for sale, they are works of art.
 
2012-03-23 06:27:22 PM
And moonshine gave birth to NASCAR too.
Live in the heart of NASCAR country.
 
2012-03-23 06:28:02 PM
M-O-O-N spelss dunk....................................
 
2012-03-23 06:28:29 PM
There are varying levels of quality in 'shine, just like there are in homebrewed beer. Some is worth selling, some is just for blacking out.
 
2012-03-23 06:29:14 PM

LittleSmitty: All the 'shine I've ever had tasted like burning. You know, like Everclear does. I guess there's a certain number of folks that like the taste, but I can't fathom why. I'd guess for some, it's more about getting one over on the government.

On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.

/I brew my first bacth of beer tomorrow!


I've got a gallon as a test run on it's second month. The waiting is horrible.

I made a wheat beer recently that is a bit more sour than I expected with raspberry undertones.

Which reminds me, I need to hit the homebrew store again. I'm gonna give another go at an oatmeal stout now that I am a little more versed in brewing techniques.

That or a maibock.
 
2012-03-23 06:30:10 PM
If you're not cookin' dope or growing weed then you're makin' shine in East Texas!



/Papaw had a still
 
2012-03-23 06:30:16 PM

LittleSmitty: All the 'shine I've ever had tasted like burning. You know, like Everclear does. I guess there's a certain number of folks that like the taste, but I can't fathom why. I'd guess for some, it's more about getting one over on the government.

On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.

/I brew my first bacth of beer tomorrow!


Oh, and good luck.

It's a fun past time.
 
2012-03-23 06:31:41 PM

Kar98: triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?

Hipsters.


Yeah, hipsters buying boutiqe moonshines . Probably flavored moonshines .
 
2012-03-23 06:32:53 PM

Kar98: triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?

Hipsters.


If you live in Appalachia, $45 per gallon for the good stuff. . .or so I have heard.

Love me some moonshine, the song:

I've been a moonshiner,
For seventeen long years,
I've spent all my money,
On whiskey and beer,
I go to some hollow,
And sit at my still
And if whiskey dont kill me,
Then I dont know what will,

I go to some bar room,
And drink with my friends,
Where the women can't follow,
And see what I spend,
God bless them pretty women,
I wish they was mine,
Their breath is as sweet as,
The dew on the vine,

Let me eat when I am hungry,
Let me drink when I am dry,
A dollar when I am hard up,
Religion when I die,
The whole world's a bottle,
And life's but a dram,
When the bottle gets empty,
It sure aint worth a damn.


Don't forget our first President put down the moonshiners during the Whiskey Rebellion (new window)
 
2012-03-23 06:33:52 PM

Shadow Blasko: LittleSmitty: On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.

Congrats!

A friend of mine runs gotmead.com which is a terrific source for information on where to find good honey at good prices.


Thanks, I found that site recently and have been gleaning info from there and stormthecastle among other places. Being in Florida, I will soon be awash in Orange Blossom Honey as the citrus is blooming as we speak. But I of course want to experiment with other types.
 
2012-03-23 06:36:16 PM
Next up on the Discovery channel Hillbilly Handjobs
Next up on Animal Planet Killin Coons
Next up on the History Channel The Alabama IT guys
/Down the drain America goes
 
2012-03-23 06:36:46 PM

meat0918: Beer and wine were done in the 70's (Thanks Jimmy!), so after 40 years of that, perhaps it is time to allow home production of distilled spirits.


YES, PLEASE. I'd love to get into it as a hobby, but have no interest in having my door kicked down by a bored and over-funded ATF member. Given that someone in the neighborhood just did time for 2 lousy pot plants, I really don't need a still. But I want one!

It baffles me that it's illegal. There is no valid argument besides "taxes!" and "because we said so!" Even "safety!" is stupid -- forget Home Depot, I can walk into a supermarket and buy 100s of things that would kill me. Criminey.

Maybe some day. I'd also love to find a moonshiner just to buy the product and try it, but I wouldn't even know where to start. Come to think of it, my local homebrew shop has a still or two tucked away in a corner... some day when I'm the only person in there, I may have to ask about it.

I just wish it were legal... I dislike laws that create criminals for no good reason, but have a healthy (or unhealthily-inflated) fear of pissing off law enforcement. Sigh.

LittleSmitty: /I brew my first bacth of beer tomorrow!


Congrats!

Free advice: It is impossible to be too clean. Most disappointing homebrew comes from some form of infection or other cleanliness problem. Take your time, follow directions, one-step and iodine the hell out of everything (I keep a sink full of one step for all the utensils and stuff, and do both one-step and iodine the carboy/kegs/etc... never had a bad batch) and you'll have a much better chance of success.

If possible, brew with someone who homebrews your first (or first few) times... the books and instructions can get bewildering and stressful, when it really is pretty easy and reliable once you get the hang of it. And skip bottling -- go snag a fridge off craiglist or a kegerator from someone whose wife is flexing her muscles and live the easy life: Kegging is where it's at.

Have fun, and, of course, a homebrew!

Cheers!
 
2012-03-23 06:37:26 PM
Dear TABC,

You haven't been paying attention.

Also.

Fark you.
 
2012-03-23 06:38:36 PM

LittleSmitty: All the 'shine I've ever had tasted like burning. You know, like Everclear does. I guess there's a certain number of folks that like the taste, but I can't fathom why. I'd guess for some, it's more about getting one over on the government.

On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.

/I brew my first bacth of beer tomorrow!


Good luck! And if things go bad, remember this:

Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew.
 
2012-03-23 06:38:37 PM

LittleSmitty: Shadow Blasko: LittleSmitty: On another note, I made my first batch of mead today. But I gotta find a cheaper source for good honey. $9 a quart, yikes.

Congrats!

A friend of mine runs gotmead.com which is a terrific source for information on where to find good honey at good prices.

Thanks, I found that site recently and have been gleaning info from there and stormthecastle among other places. Being in Florida, I will soon be awash in Orange Blossom Honey as the citrus is blooming as we speak. But I of course want to experiment with other types.


mmm.. Orange Blossom honey mead.

/Yes please.

//If I didn't live in Kentucky I would ask you to send me a bottle of your orange blossom.

/// Vicky Rowe (founder of GotMead) makes some FANTASTIC orange blossom.
 
2012-03-23 06:38:57 PM

RY28: Kar98: triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?

Hipsters.

Yeah, hipsters buying boutiqe moonshines . Probably flavored moonshines .


East Texas is never very far from the big cities DFW, Austin, Houston, and trust me, you do not want to wander around the backwoods there uninvited. I don't want to know what's going on in West Texas. That's another planet altogether.

Sampled some East TX moonshine. Dayumn...
 
2012-03-23 06:38:59 PM

SFSailor: Maybe some day. I'd also love to find a moonshiner just to buy the product and try it, but I wouldn't even know where to start. Come to think of it, my local homebrew shop has a still or two tucked away in a corner... some day when I'm the only person in there, I may have to ask about it.


My homebrew shop has two kinds, both with very large hand made signs that say "For distillation of water and essential oils only". And it's totally wink wink nudge nudge as he has distillation books in his literature section.
 
2012-03-23 06:39:51 PM
A couple buddies and I have started our first batch of mash. Got a 10 gallon copper cooker a few weeks ago. "Moonshiners" had nothing to do with this. We want to experiment with flavored shine.

Fark the po po
 
2012-03-23 06:42:17 PM
I watched the first couple episodes. It was interesting. But I can't figure out how they could simultaneously film the guys making and running the moonshine and the local ATF agent trying to find them.
Anyway, that guy was selling his hooch for $100/gallon and claimed he could pull in $100,000 per year before expenses.
 
2012-03-23 06:42:23 PM

Dahnkster: A couple buddies and I have started our first batch of mash. Got a 10 gallon copper cooker a few weeks ago. "Moonshiners" had nothing to do with this. We want to experiment with flavored shine.

Fark the po po


Your picture is in your profile, as well as your certifications, and your location.

You sir, are an idiot.
 
2012-03-23 06:44:56 PM

Dahnkster: A couple buddies and I have started our first batch of mash. Got a 10 gallon copper cooker a few weeks ago. "Moonshiners" had nothing to do with this. We want to experiment with flavored shine.

Fark the po po


Offshore-Outside two hundred miles, wtf?

Make what you will.

Coming ashore?

Well, labels.

?
 
2012-03-23 06:45:25 PM

Kar98: triplenickel03: The story this week from Smith County this week said that a jar goes for $100? Who would pay that when you can get a bottle of Everclear for $14.99?

Hipsters.


You can't blame hipsters for everyth..

Okay, okay. You can.
 
2012-03-23 06:50:02 PM
Thanks for all the homebrew encouargement guys. I did my research (howtobrew.com), The complete Homebrew Beer Book, and lots of GOOGLE research. Now on to putting info into practice.
 
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