Moonshiners premieres April 30 on Discovery Channel

Think bootleggers, backwoods stills and “white lightning” are things of the past? Hardly! It’s a thriving multi-million dollar industry – though clandestine and illegal.

Discovery Channel presents MOONSHINERS, a fascinating six-part series telling the story of those who brew their shine – often in the woods near their homes using camouflaged equipment – and the local authorities who try to keep them honest. MOONSHINERS premieres Monday, April 30 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Deep in Appalachia, where many shiners live, there are some areas where more sugar is sold than local residents could consume on their own. The main ingredients in moonshine “mash” are water, sugar, corn and yeast. It’s also no coincidence that moonshine season is from June to October – the height of the corn harvest and the peak of foliage to hide the illegal operations.

A tradition dating back hundreds of years and passed down through generations, the origin of moonshining in the United States has been linked with the Whiskey Rebellion during the 1790s. Under President George Washington, a federal tax was imposed on whiskey, which farmers strongly resented – leading to a backlash and rise in illegal distillers. Even the origins of NASCAR have been linked back to the skilled driving of moonshiners eluding law enforcement.

 

Highlights from the first episodes of MOONSHINERS include:

 

MOONSHINERS: “Moonshine Season Starts”

Mon., April 30 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

It’s June. In the mountains of southwestern Appalachia, it’s the height of corn harvest and the peak of foliage to hide illegal operations – and that means Moonshine season is about to start. Moonshiner Tim, his son JT and his partner “Tickle” search the backwoods for a perfect site to set up his operation – easier said than done. Along the way, they run into hostile opposition determined to keep Tim away from his property. Finally, Tim, JT and Tickle set up shop deep in the mountains. Meanwhile, Alcohol Beverage Control Agent Jesse Tate is on the hunt for his first big arrest of the year. But an aggressive dog and a moonshiner’s web of counter-surveillance thwart Agent Tate’s plans and threaten his safety.

 

MOONSHINERS: “Point of No Return”

Mon., May 7 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Moonshine season is in full swing and Tim and Tickle are trying to produce their first batch of the season. With bulky equipment and set-up, noise threatens to reveal Tim’s site to ABC officers. Tim and Tickle perform a sacred rite that is rarely captured on camera – firing up their still for the first time. Everything goes smoothly until an emergency hits. Meanwhile, Agent Tate is still on the hunt for his first bust of the season. Every good officer needs a good informant and one of Agent Tate’s informants drops a bombshell that leads to his first big break.

About the author