Today was the soft opening for a new business in our county: The Appalachian Distillery.
|The still. The process starts here with mash and water. The mash is mostly corn with some barley, because the barley has an enzyme that converts the starch in the corn to sugar.|
Owners Dwayne and Sandra Freeman originally planned to locate the business in Ravenswood, and it would have been a boost in the economic arm of that town which suffered a hit when the local aluminum plant laid off hundreds of workers several years ago. But there was opposition in the community to that plan so the men found a new location in Fairplain, with easy access to Interstate 77. It will probably prove to be a wise choice.
|The boiler; can't recall how many thousands BTU, but BIG)|
|One of two fermenters--this is where the yeast is added/|
The equipment looks deceptively simple, but the process is anything but. This isn't the old bootlegger's still in the hills; the boiler, distillers and fermenters are all state of the art. Darrell explained that the brew goes through several cycles in the copper tube, each one refining the mix and assuring an even alcohol content.
Visitors today were treated to free samples. We tried a sip of apple pie, and one of a cinnamon flavor and another of one flavored with a wild fruit called pawpaw. I'm not a fan of pawpaws, so I didn't care for that one, but a woman visiting from Canada loved it. After sips of 4 flavored whiskeys and one of the plain unflavored shine, I decided that the plain stuff was my favorite. I do mean sips too--moonshine produces a burn as it goes down, pleasant enough if sipped but it would light my fire if I tried anything bigger!
|Chillin' by the still|
The facility is open from 9:00am-5:00pm Monday through Saturday and is located at 3875 Cedar Lakes Drive, Ripley WV 25275. For more information call 304-372-7000 or email email@example.com. You can also visit their website Appalachian Moonshine.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.