Moonshine Distillery Coming to New Straitsville

by Katie McGraw on September 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

Thousands head every year to the small town of New Straitsville for the yearly moonshine festival to enjoy food, games and entertainment but next year there is going to be a big change.

"So you got your folks that make the beer, you got the folks that make the wine, and were just going to make the moonshine like our fathers and grandfathers did in the past," said Doug Nutter, Co- Owner of Straitsville Special.

New Straitsville is known for its deep history in the distilling, of the high proof liquor known as moonshine, because the men of the prohibition era would illegally run stills masking them as mine fires.

"Well the basements started crumpling, smoke was coming out of the ground. Well the bootleggers used that for camouflage because when the Liquor Agents came looking for smoke to find the stills, well they would roll up onto a place that had smoke, and they would find just a burning shaft. So that enabled them to run 500 stills here."

Heat is the key factor to the alcoholic beverage, that is made from only corn, sugar, yeast and water but once boiled to a hot 190 degrees, and then cooled to a liquid, the 130 to 190 proof liquor results.

"It was meant to cut it down. That was the reason you did it because you could make two three gallons of drink out of one quart of moonshine.”

According to Nutter, thanks to Ohio Governor John Kasich, the alcoholic beverage will now be produced legally in his very own still.

"I am opening up a distillery across the street, it’s called Straitsville Special. Next year we should be able to sell to each person one quart or two quarts of moonshine per day. We will have tastings. We can do that five days out of the year, we can give you four quarter shots and you can try it, see if you like it, it you like it, you can buy a quart or two quarts of shine if you like."

What does that mean for you? At next year’s festival on May 22nd through the 26, you will be able to enjoy more than the non-alcoholic moonshine burgers and pie.