‘Moonshiners’ is a docudrama television series on the Discovery Channel. The show follows the life of people who produce moonshine in a few of the Appalachian states. The series dramatizes their lives and their methods of evading laws. For those of you new to the term, moonshine is a slang term that refers to high-proof distilled spirits that are produced illegally. Although moonshine has been legalized in a few states, processing it outside a registered facility is still illegal. Wrapped in much intrigue and drama, fans must be wondering where the series is filmed? Let us find out!
Moonshiners Filming Locations
The show looks at a few individuals from different states in the Appalachian region, but a common thread that binds them is the 200-year-old tradition of making moonshine. Each place has a fascinating story connected to the controversial liquor, which is why they also feature in the series. Let’s take a look!
‘Moonshiners’ is filmed in Kentucky, in addition to North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Moonshine production started to cluster around Appalachia due to the limited accessibility by roads, which reduced the likelihood of being discovered by law enforcement officials. It is common for moonshiners to set up their stills (distillation apparatus) in the woods and other discreet locations.
Now that the business is legalized in the state, North Carolina sees a plethora of moonshine. Some of the popular brands available in the state are Howling Moon, Catdaddy, Midnight Moon Moonshine, and Climax. Although Climax is originally a product from Virginia, it is sold all over in North Carolina. Climax is owned by Tim Smith, who features in the series.
Moonshine has been produced in South Carolina for ages, but it was only in 2009 that the state passed the microdistillery law legalizing moonshine. Since then, many distillers have finally been able to bring to light family recipes and local flavors, making tourists flock to South Carolina.
Long time friends Mark Ramsey and Kelly Williamson jointly own Gatlinburg Moonshiners that we see in the series. Tennessee is also known for one of the most famous bootleggers (smugglers of moonshine, also called runners), Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. Sutton was arrested in Cocke County in 2007 for moonshining and possessing a handgun.
He was sentenced to a jail term of eighteen months. Being triggered by his cancer diagnosis and an impending federal prison term, he died by suicide in 2009. This came as a big shock to the community of moonshiners.
The show is filmed in Pittsylvania County since it is home to Steve Tickle, Tim Smith, and J.T. Smith, all of whom feature in the series. Tim Smith has been making moonshine for years in the town of Climax, but it is only recently that his brand Climax Moonshine gained a legitimate existence. The woods where the Whitlock brothers – Perry and Berkley – take Tim and Tickle to set up another still is in Franklin County.
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