Moonshine drips from the copper small batch still at the back of 241 North Main, across from Greenville’s Hyatt. I’m not giving away a secret location! South Carolina’s first legal moonshine distillery opens today. The owners were kind enough to give me and my visiting family a sneak preview, tour and tasting this week.
When you walk into Dark Corner Distillery, the pet project of friends Joe Fenton and Richard Wenger, it’s like walking into a museum: rustic wood and bare brick, fine art crafts, distillery swag, books, homemade jams, antiques and old photos and stills of dark corner moonshiners.
Staff walked us through their process of making shine before we sidled up to the bar for a taste. Roxanne (Fenton’s wife) instructed us to sip not slug, so we sniffed and tasted. I think I lost a few taste buds…and possibly a nose hair or two. That’s some kind of whiskey! Earthy and grainy alcohol smell, like Redhots on the tongue and a slow burn on the way down. (Allow up to five seconds for recover time.)
I’ve got some pretty solid family roots in the Dark Corner of South Carolina, and have to say that shine may or may not get passed around the fire at some of our parties… I’m happy to know the tradition is being kept alive and making its way out of the backwoods. Thank you SC lawmakers.
I purchased a limited edition first batch jar (see pic) before leaving. Be sure to pick up a jug for yourself during your first Distillery visit and check out Fete Magazine next month. I’m writing an article about mixed drinks using shine.