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.
Products: Moonshine (80 proof corn whiskey), Rabbit Spit Moonshine Whiskey (115 proof), Ole Tom Whiskey, Black Betty Whiskey, Tally Ho Bourbon, Single Barrel Ten Goal Whiskey, Blockade Runner Rum, Ten G’s Vodka. Also: cherry, peach, blueberry, blackberry, Scuppernong grape and strawberry Fruit Shines.
Products: Carolina Reaper Pepper Flavored Vodka, King Charles Vodka, Tolerance whiskey liqueur, Jasper’s Bourbon Barrel Gin, Jasper’s American Style Gin.
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (distillery in Clayton, Ga.)
Products: Block & Tackle Corn-Based Whiskey, Bourbon, Fruit Brandies
Hours: Monday-Saturday 4-7 p.m.
Products: Old Mill Vodka, Copper Cream liqueur, Copper Horse Rum, Bulle Rock Gin
Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday noon-6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon, Spiced Rum and 11 flavored Moonshines, including peach, apple, blueberry, watermelon, butterscotch, maple, pineapple, banana, chocolate, cinnamon, peppermint.
Hours: Thursday-Friday 4:30-7 p.m., Saturday 1-7 p.m.
Products: Carolina White Whiskey, Carolina Raw Rye, Young Carolina Bourbon, Carolina Rye Single Malt Whiskey, Carolina Sour Mash Whiskey
Hours: Monday-Thursday noon-7 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: The World’s Best Moonshine, Lewis Redmond Hand Mash Whiskey, Stumphouse Red Winter Wheat Whiskey, Whiskey Girl Apple & Maple, Whiskey Girl Butterscotch, Whiskey Girl Peach
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Products: Silver Edition, Spiced Edition and Gold Edition (available June 2016) rums
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Products: Sweet Tea Vodka (also flavored varieties), Moonshine, Sweet Tea Whiskey
Hours yet to be established
Products: Stump Hole Corn Whiskey
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
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
Hours: Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: Hollow Creek Shine 90 Proof, Apple Pie Moonshine 70 Proof, Cinnamon Moonshine 70 Proof, Honey Shine 70 Proof, Simply Strawberry 70 Proof
Hours: Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: Jakal Corn Whiskey, Jakal Rum, Jakal Original Moonshine
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Products: Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine Clear, Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine Grape, Sugarlands Shine Appalachian Apple Pie, Roberson’s Tennessee Mellomoon 150 Proof, Sugarlands Shine Butterscotch, Sugarlands Shine Jim Tom Unaged Rye, Good Old Moonshine Apple Pie, Popcorn Sutton, others
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: America Light Whiskey, Brandy, Palmetto Rum, Aged Rum, Vodka
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: Palmetto Moonshine (flavors peach, apple pie, blueberry, strawberry), White Lightning, Palmetto Whiskey original, rye, wheat
Hours: Opening TBA
Products: Dukes of Plum Hollow Moonshine, Three Borders Vodka, Whiskey, Rum, Blue Agave, Kick Back Cove Moonshine
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: Heirloom Moonshine, Apple Pie Moonshine, Fruited Moonshines (strawberry, peach, muscadine, pineapple, blueberry)
Hours: Monday-Saturday noon-6:20 p.m.
Products: Six and Twenty Old Money whiskey, Six and Twenty Virgin Wheat, Six and Twenty Five Grain Bourbon
Hours: Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Products: Straw Hat Moonshine Corn Whiskey, Lemon Drop Moonshine
Hours: Thursday-Friday 3-7 p.m., Saturday noon-5 p.m.
Products: Striped Spiced Rum, Striped Whiskey, Striped Gin, Striped Shine, Striped Rum, Striped Vodka
Hours: Thursday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Products: Simply Naked 100 Proof Clear Corn Whiskey, 80 Proof Apple Pie Moonshine, Pineapple Moonshine
Hours: No on-site store; available at ABC stores
Product: Hayes Parker Bourbon Whiskey (original and flavored), Winchester Bourbon Whiskey, Southshot Bourbon Whiskey, Winchester Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Darby’s Reserve Rye Whiskey, Copper Pony Rye Whiskey, Winchester Rye Whiskey, Tapping House Dark Rum, Tucker’s Gin, Regent Gin, Hadley & Sons Gin, Southern Shine Moonshine (original and flavored)
Products: Apple Pie Moonshine, Fuzzy Peach Moonshine, Blackberry Poison Moonshine, Twisted Cinnamon Moonshine, Clear Moonshine