Posted: Thursday, September 6th 2012 at 3:50pm
Coming soon: Dawsonville Moonshine
By Jerry Gunn Staff
UNDATED - Where else would you set up a liquor still, a legal one, than Dawsonville, Georgia, long known for its moonshine as well as its car racing heritage.
Plans are to locate a liquor distillery on the grounds of City Hall, near the racing museum, and planners hope to have it ready in time for, what else, the annual Moonshine Festival, the last weekend in October.
During the First Annual Dahlonega Living History Festival on Labor Day at Yahoola Park, Dawson County native Dwight Bearden displayed a 90-year-old vintage moonshine still that he said once operated near Amicalola Falls before revenue agents shut it down. Bearden recalled that the hills around Dahlonega were famous for gold, but also for illegal whiskey.
“That’s exactly right,” he said. “There was a good bit of moonshine, it's part of history.”
Bearden said he now has a role in plans to make more history.
“We are working on a legal distillery inside of Dawsonville City Hall,” said Bearden. “The lady I’m working for, Cheryl Woods, has had a custom still made in Kentucky. We want everybody to come to Dawsonville and see it; you’ll be able to view it actually running.”
The distillery would actually be located, not inside City Hall, but on property owned by the city and leased to Woods close to the Thunder Road Racing Museum. When the museum opened several years ago, it included the entire complex in Dawsonville.
Bearden said visitors wouldn’t be able to buy the alcohol on site.
“We won’t be allowed to sell it at the distillery. It will be going into liquor stores,” he added. “It’s the only city hall that’s got a legal distillery and a racing museum."
Woods said visitors would get the chance to tour the distillery, right next door to the racing museum and learn how white whiskey was made the traditional way. She said the copper still from Kentucky would produce a clear alcoholic liquod she plans to call 'Dawsonville Moonshine.'
Woods decided to locate the distillery in Dawsonville because of the city's moonshining history. She hopes to begin marketing 'Dawsonville Moonshine' in beverage stores by early November and also plans to produce a brandy and market it by Christmas time.
© Copyright 2013 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.