Throwing Alcohol into the French Broad River, Asheville, NC, 1911, Buncombe County Special Collections
IN GOOD SPIRITS
Cultivated Cocktails Downtown Shop & Tasting Facility
25 Page Ave #103
This exhibit, located at Cultivated Cocktails Downtown Shop & Tasting Facility, introduces visitors to the history of moonshine in North Carolina. When Europeans settled in the Albemarle Sound region of North Carolina’s coastal plain in the 1650s, they brought the knowledge and skills needed to distill alcohol. Over the next two centuries, the lack of legislative interference created a “Golden Age” of distilling in North Carolina. However, the US government introduced a tax on whiskey that steadily increased throughout the 1860s. North Carolinians began distilling liquor illegally, giving rise to a new spirit: moonshine. Most moonshine is corn liquor but was distinguished by its production outside of the law. Many distillers retreated into mountain coves, hid their stills in the undergrowth, and made liquor at night, by the light of the moon.