The Prohibition Grinch Who Slightly Changed Christmas

The Prohibition Grinch Who Slightly Changed Christmas

The combined might of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays have long had a reputation for being the season of partying hard and getting your drink on. At one point in England, the good and virtuous were expected to stay home during Christmas Eve because the streets were filled with people drunk out of their gourds getting a little bit of that Christmas spirit.

A Lesson in Whiskey

A Lesson in Whiskey

Whiskey is not some singular thing. It's about as generic of a term as car or soda. I'm sure that most everyone reading knows this, but let’s be realistic. Not everyone working in the distillery industry is a hard liquor scholar. There are more than a few partnerships where the one who knows the booze side of things handles making the hooch, and the one with the business sense makes sure it gets sold. There are also accountants, IT people, and office managers who help to make sure we can get our drink on who don't know all the technicalities of the various forms whiskey can take.

Speakeasies—A Look at Selling Craft Whiskey in the Past

Speakeasies—A Look at Selling Craft Whiskey in the Past

When a mouthy bunch of paranoid people got the beer and liquor banned in the United States, there were scores of restaurants and bars that were forced to shut down. It’s hard to run a business when the very product you sell suddenly becomes illegal. Many of these were old establishments that had been run by the same family for generations, while others were startups built by people reaching for the American dream. All of it was gone, and the fallout was that no one had a place to legally gather and drink with their friends.

Backwoods Rebels and Outlaws and the Birth of Racing

Backwoods Rebels and Outlaws and the Birth of Racing

If horse racing is the sport of kings, NASCAR is the sport of rebels and outlaws. It reflects a big difference in the attitudes and history of these sports. Horse racing, as we know it, grew out of war. Kings and emperors would send their best knights and warriors to face off in tournaments, like all the jousting you see in the movies. It was done as a display of wealth and authority. They wanted to let the little people know just how much power and authority their rulers had.

Prohibition from the Mouths of Those Who Were There

Prohibition from the Mouths of Those Who Were There

The most trying times can bring out the best in people, or the worst in people. Sometimes though, it brings out clever things to say. Prohibition is definitely one of those times. The people who needed a drink had it bad. The people tasked with stopping them from having a drink had it bad. The people bootlegging the illegal liquor had it bad, but at least they had fat wallets to kind of make things better.

The Manhattan Bootleg Wars

The Manhattan Bootleg Wars

Managing a craft distillery today may be challenging, but it’s no where near as complicated as it was in the 20’s. Distillers today worry about compliance. Those of past worried less about following the rules…In fact, most of the time it was a war between rival gangs about who made the rules.

The Justice System, Jerry Springer, and Jack “Legs” Diamond’s Legacy

The Justice System, Jerry Springer, and Jack “Legs” Diamond’s Legacy

Every moonshiner and bootlegger has a story about how he got started. Most of the time, it’s folks carrying on a family tradition or making a living the only way they know how. Noble reasons or not, bootlegging is an illegal activity, and it can attract the kind of people you don’t dare look at sideways. When it boils down to it, there are two types of outlaws in this world – those who turn to crime because they don’t have any other choice and those who are just plain mean.

Women Bootleggers

Women Bootleggers

Women are often overlooked, in every professional field imaginable, and moonshining is no different. The first thing people think of when talking about moonshine stills are old men in the hills, with gray beards halfway down to their feet. And unlike your local mini-mart, shirt and shoes are optional.

Distilling the Past

Distilling the Past

There is no escaping the impact moonshine and distillers have had on the world and pop culture. NASCAR was born from moonshiners’ modding their cars to smuggle the booze and outrun the cops. The Dukes of Hazard was rooted in this legacy. (Bonus points if you knew the show was based off the 1975 movie Moonrunners, which was inspired by true events.)