Appalachian Distillery to Expand WV Moonshine Production
The State Journal
10 October 2013
By Mike Ruben
FAIRPLAIN, WV - Moonshine is being made in West Virginia —
Once connected to the backyard still concoctions of "ridge
runners" trying to stay one step ahead of government "revenuers,"
six distillery businesses currently operate in the Mountain State
with more on the way.
Bloomery Plantation Distillery of Charles Town, Forks of Cheat
Winery & Distillery and West Virginia Distillery Co. LLC of
Morgantown, Pinchgut Hollow Distillery of Fairmont, Isaiah Morgan
Distillery of Summersville and Smooth Ambler Spirits Distillery of
Maxwelton in Greenbrier County are the state's existing
operations, according to the Department of Commerce website.
Appalachian Distillery LLC has plans to join the list.
Dwayne and Sandra Freeman are constructing a 10,000-square foot
facility just off the Fairplain interchange of Interstate 77.
Starting with a half-dozen employees, owners say the operation
could eventually have a staff of 15.
The Jackson County Development Authority and the West Virginia
Economic Development Agency have been assisting with the
"There's plenty of room for everybody," said Dwayne Freeman, a
Mingo County native who moved his family to Jackson County more
than a decade ago. "It's something we've wanted to do for a couple
of years now. I've been making wine for 25 years."
Freeman said he's a distant relative of the Hatfield clan of feud
"Some of my family were moonshiners," the coal miner by trade
said, referring to his time-tested family recipes.
Times, and laws, have changed, he says, noting the current trend
of distilleries producing spirits and micro-breweries making
locally made craft beers.
"I think the small artisan, the distiller and brewer make a better
product," Freeman said. "It's the people who are making custom,
craft beers who take a lot of pride in their drink.
"The micro-breweries are making good stuff."
Just as the beer commercials claim, there are no shortcuts in the
spirit-making process, according to Freeman.
"You start out with good ingredients," he said, referencing
state-of-the-art equipment. "Anybody can make moonshine, but you
can't just throw something together.
"If you start out with bad stuff, you're going to have bad stuff.
You have to have the proper ingredients and the right mixture."
He hopes to be in production before the holiday season with
approximately six employees. Once approved by the West Virginia
Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, Appalachian Distillery
will begin distributing its corn whiskey moonshine along with
flavors such as peach, blackberry and even apple pie.
The Fairplain headquarters will offer tours, sampling and products
from a small storeroom.
"There will not be drinking on the premises," said Freeman.
Appalachian Distillery will be marketed through retail locations
in the region and at bars, including the neighboring Fairplain
Freeman says he's serious about promoting West Virginia moonshine.
"I'm going to try to buy everything in-state," he said of the
ingredients. "Hopefully, I can get the right grains with the right
moisture and sugar content here."
Moonshine will be the staple of Appalachian Distillery, but
spirits such as vodka and gin may be added to the selection.
"We're going to get in business and go with our main product, but
we may branch off later," he said. "Anything's possible.
"Who knows where we'll go with it once we get started. I've got
some secret (flavors) I'm going to come out with."
DCS NOTE! The West Virginia Distilling Co., LLC, is right here in
Granville! I’ve toured it.