There’s a lot of buzz in Charlotte about all the breweries that are popping up and it made me wonder when the first (legal) distillery was founded in North Carolina.
Distilling in North Carolina actually goes back to the 18th Century in Winston-Salem where the Moravian settlers produced both beer and liquor in what we know now as Old Salem.
Did you know that Moonshine is how NASCAR got started? Yeah, me neither. Apparently, it got its earliest roots from a bunch of country boys that were extremely poor and turned to illegal alcohol to make money so they souped up their cars to ensure they could out run the Sherriff's. Crazy! In fact, Piedmont Distillers were the first distillery in North Carolina after Prohibition getting their start in 2005. Their first offerings were based off family recipes from NASCAR legen Junior Johnson. Of the 33 licensed distilleries in North Carolina, 30 of them popped up within the last 5 years.
As you can imagine, it’s not easy to get the proper licenses to start a distillery in North Carolina. In addition, its pretty expensive to get started. All alcohol sales are governed by the Alcoholic Control Board (ABC), which was founded in 1937 to prevent illegal alcohol moving into North Carolina during Prohibition. Voters were allowed to vote on whether they wanted alcohol to be sold legally in each county separately. The states lone dry county today is Graham.
You can check out the Charlotte area distilleries listed below:
Carorlina Distillery Carolinadistillery.com
Doc Porter’s Craft Spirits Docporters.com
Muddy River Distillery Muddyriverdistillery.com
Southern Artisan Spirits Southerartisanspirits.com
Southern Grace Distilleries Southerngracedistilleries.com
**Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports