Western North Carolina is now home to a growing number of craft distillers making legal moonshine. Blending traditional recipes with new technology and methods, these pioneers are bringing Appalachia’s most fabled and misunderstood product into the 21st century, changing cultural perceptions even as they adapt to shifting economic realities.
“Moonshine” was produced by the light of the moon, to prevent law enforcement from detecting the smoke from the fire required to distill the resulting alcohol. All that was needed to distribute joy and pleasure (or pain and suffering, depending on one’s viewpoint) to consumers was a delivery system.
Charles D. Thompson Jr., the curriculum and education director at the Center for Documentary Studies and a lecturer of cultural anthropology at Duke University, will discuss his latest book, Spirits of Just Men: Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World, on Sunday, July 17, at the FBI, the “church building across the street from the firehouse” (or 68 N. Main St. in Marshall).
Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, the legendary moonshiner, died March 16 at his home in Cocke County, Tenn. Photo by Michael Stock According to his wife, Sutton took his own life to avoid going to jail for 18 months under a looming incarcerations for moonshining and weapons charges. She found him dead of carbon-monoxide poisoning inside his […]
Moonshine legend Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton was found dead Monday in Cocke County, Tenn. An autopsy is expected to be performed today, and authorities are investigating the possibility of suicide.
Dozens of people from eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina have signed a petition asking the federal government to go easy on legendary mountain moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, who was caught earlier this year with hundreds of gallons of untaxed whiskey.