Moonshine has always been made in South Carolina, but it wasn't until 2009 that stills could come out of the backwoods and into the forefront of a new and long-awaited industry and tourist attraction. That's when South Carolina lawmakers unanimously passed the state's microdistillery law, heralding a new age of distillers who combine family recipes, traditional ingredients and local flavors to create a new generation of South Carolina spirits.
By 2011, The New York Times reported on Greenville's Dark Corner Distillery, whose operation was "according to Reuters ... the first time moonshine will be legally produced in the state."
Since the law went into effect, nearly two dozen small distilling operations across the state have come into being, producing spirits that trace their roots to backwoods men who drove fast cars filled with illegal, locally produced alcohol along back roads, all to quench customers' thirsts.
Today, these distilleries produce an array of products, from bourbon, vodka, gin, rum and other traditional spirits to a modern version of "white lightning"-corn-based moonshine. Much like its cousin, craft brewing, South Carolina's distillery industry is growing as locals and visitors discover new ways to enjoy an evening cocktail.
Here's a look at South Carolina's microdistilleries and the spirits they offer.
Hours: noon-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Products: The World's Best Moonshine, Lewis Redmond Hand Mash Whiskey, Lewis Redmond 1854 Wheat Whiskey, Lewis Redmond 1876 Straight Bourbon, Whiskey Girl Apple & Maple, Whiskey Girl Butterscotch, Whiskey Girl Peach
Products: Simply Naked 100 Proof Clear Corn Whiskey, Whiskey Boy Clear Corn Moonshine (80 proof), Bootleg 120 (120 proof), moonshine in apple pie, pineapple, blueberry, butterscotch and Plum Crazy (plum and raspberry) flavors (80 proof), winner of American Distillers Institution gold medal for moonshine and bronze medal for overall products (whiskey, bourbon, scotch, etc.)
Hours: 4:30-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1-7 p.m., Saturday 1-7
Products: Jimmy Red Corn Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Young Carolina Bourbon Whiskey, Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey, Carolina Sour Mash Whiskey, South Carolina Cane Juice Rum, Strawberry Brandy, Watermelon Brandy
Products: Ol' 19Moonshine (80 proof corn whiskey), Rabbit Spit Moonshine Whiskey (116 proof), Ole Tom Whiskey, Black Betty Whiskey, Tally Ho Bourbon, Blockade Runner Rum, Ten G's Vodka. Also: cherry, peach and blackberry Fruit Shines
Products: Hat Trick Extraordinarily Fine Botanical Gin, Hat Trick Barrel Rested Gin, New Southern Revival Brand Sorghum Whiskey, New Southern Revival Brand Bourbon Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey (Madeira Finish), Hometown Vodka, Jimmy Red Corn Bourbon