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A legal legacy of moonshine

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Moonshine, whiskey distilled deep in the woods under the protective cloak of darkness, is as much a part of North Carolina history as the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

In Johnston County, just a 15 minute drive from Raleigh, moonshine has been a popular activity since the 1700s. Tales of bootleggers, named for hiding bottles of illegal moonshine in their boot legs, running from the law, blowing up their stills, and earning untold riches abound in Johnston County.

Jeremy Norris, whose family has been making moonshine in Johnston County for centuries, continues the family tradition. The big difference? His distillery is legal. No more hiding from the law under cover of night.

Operating Broadslab Distillery, Norris has been making legal moonshine, Legacy Whiskey and Carolina Spiced Rum since 2012. One of only 14 moonshine distilleries in the state, the Broadslab team is dedicated to making hand-crafted whiskey from local, all-natural ingredients.

Distilleries must obtain permits from the federal department of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a state ABC permit and a business license to legally produce moonshine.

Broadslab Distillery, at 4870 NC Hwy 50 South in Benson, welcomes visitors, but alcohol can only be purchased at state-regulated ABC stores. Look in the section just for North Carolina-made products.

Experience the rich history of North Carolina moonshine with a visit to one of the state’s micro-distilleries.

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