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AB1965

Moonshine (corn whiskey)

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Hey all,

I am looking for industry data (US Sales) for legal Moonshine and year on year growth. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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I would imagine growth of unaged whiskey is going down dramatically each year.

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Its going to be hard to find the data, some "legal moonshine" is unaged whiskey or corn whiskey, some is a specialty spirits comprised of grains and sugar.  Since there is no standard of identity for moonshine, it will be hard to track.

 

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Personally, I don't think there is such a thing as "legal moonshine" once you go legal it is no longer moonshine.  It can be used as a marketing gimmick, but it ain't really moonshine!   Just my 2 cents from where I come from.

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I don't have any data but there are rednecks everywhere and rednecks love moonshine especially down here in the South.  I know I do.    It fits the persona, and that's not a fad. That's here to stay.  I'm an East Tennessee Mountain boy and I grew up drinking it.  I have 2 or 3 good bottles of legal Sweet Mash Corn Whiskey Moonshine on the shelves in my man cave bar, sitting next to the 18 year Glenlivet, Kilchoman Single Malt, Laphroaig Triple Wood, Blanton's, Bookers, Jim Beam Single Barrel and Elijah Craig 18 year.  Yum!!!

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My experience is that it doesn't sell well on the shelf.  Other spirits certainly sell better. 

It is something that some people really like, but it's not for everyone.  Definitely a niche market.  

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It depends on where you are really.  Whiskey snobs certainly don't like it but they really don't drink as much as the group I'm talking about.   My customers in the south say that it sells really well, but I have customers who do okay with it in the upper midwest and even parts of New England.  If you are in Branson MO or Pigeon Forge Tennessee you are going to make a killing.  Ole Smokey Moonshine sure has and my customers In East TN and Western NC have done very well with moonshine, which is a top seller for most of them and they do lots of volume.

 

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We noticed that our sweet mash unaged corn whiskey (Water Tower White Lightning™) sold in the southern part of Illinois, but got little traction in northern Illinois. So, there definitely seems to be a north-south divide culturally. But I do consider our product, a true corn whiskey, different from some moonshines, like my great grandpa made, because they were distilled to higher proof, above 160, too high to be considered whiskey. And others, like Popcorn Sutton, might add sugar to the corn, again no longer considered a whiskey.

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On 2/23/2018 at 1:09 PM, bluefish_dist said:

It is something that some people really like, but it's not for everyone.

Then there's the problem of defining what exactly is moonshine. Traditionally I would have said 100% corn whiskey but my guess is that now real moonshine (that which is produced illegally) is probably sugar-shine with no cuts taken.  Our sells OK in the tasting room but not in retail outlets.

 

 

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On 2/24/2018 at 5:09 AM, bluefish_dist said:

My experience is that it doesn't sell well on the shelf.  Other spirits certainly sell better. 

It is something that some people really like, but it's not for everyone.  Definitely a niche market.  

Here in Australia it is a whole new line and ours has been going really well. The stores that stock our products, sit them in the Bourbon area. On average per store, they are selling between 10-12 bottles per week, per variety (ie; Apple Pie Moonshine) and a high percentage is repeat customers.

I think it can be a new successful spirit category but I was curious on what was happening with the legal shine market in it's homeland. 

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I am going to make and sell moonshine when I have my distillery built. I am just looking for some land. One marketing angle that I didnt think about was that Moonshine is Gluten Free so celiacs can drink it.  My wife mentioned that to me because in Argentina where I live they have a large population with Italian heritage and the percentage of people who are Celiacs is around 5 %.  Those people cant drink most whiskeys.  Ok so its not a huge market but its a captive market if you can get it.  I really like making Corn moonshine.  A while ago I made some and put it on some brazillian wood and it wasnt bad.  

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14 hours ago, DonMateo said:

One marketing angle that I didnt think about was that Moonshine is Gluten Free so celiacs can drink it.

As are all other distilled spirits.  

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Keep in mind if you are distilling, processing, and bottling in a facility where grain dust co-exists, you might want to reconsider the "gluten free" label.

 

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Okay bro. Im sick of this shit. It aint moonshine if you pay taxes on it. Its just unaged whiskey or GNS etc. Aint shine. lets stop this BS now guys it really is grinding my gears and the only people making money on it are the big boys pretending they're us. Only valid excuse for labeling anything you make shine is if you literally make it at night under the light of the waning moon for marketing purposes.

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3 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

Aint shine.

Were you graduated from grammar school? "Moonshine" is a fanciful name. Period. Full stop. I applaud your marketing efforts. Understand you can market anything as moonshine. Ignore the nay-sayers.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

Were you graduated from grammar school? "Moonshine" is a fanciful name. Period. Full stop. I applaud your marketing efforts. Understand you can market anything as moonshine. Ignore the nay-sayers.

 

 

Fanciful name...... Sounds like foolish talk to me. 

"moon·shine

ˈmo͞onˌSHīn/
noun
informal
 
  1. 1. 
    NORTH AMERICAN
    illicitly distilled or smuggled liquor.
    synonyms: alcohol, bootleg liquor, drink; More
     
     
     
  2. 2. 
    foolish talk or ideas.
    "whatever I said, it was moonshine"" "
     
     

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Anyone  legally making "moonshine" should be making plans of how they gunna liquidate there distillery when it goes out of business. Its the dumbest thing going on in our industry.  I'd at give someone a little respect if they said they were makin unaged whiskey or corn whiskey (i still question anyone who buys the stuff because its fing gross!)

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1 hour ago, SlickFloss said:

Fanciful name...... Sounds like foolish talk to me.

I give up. You win.

 

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58 minutes ago, MGL said:

I'd at give someone a little respect if they said they were makin unaged whiskey or corn whiskey

I've had this debate with our marketing dept. Yet we keep the "moonshine" label. It's a travesty.

 

 

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5 hours ago, MGL said:

Anyone  legally making "moonshine" should be making plans of how they gunna liquidate there distillery when it goes out of business. Its the dumbest thing going on in our industry.  I'd at give someone a little respect if they said they were makin unaged whiskey or corn whiskey (i still question anyone who buys the stuff because its fing gross!)

Pity you felt compelled to hijack my thread!

We make Bourbon but as a secondry product that is quick to market, we produce an Apple Pie Moonshine. I could have went down the gin market but cannot stand it so this was a logical step. We have major retailers selling our product with fantastic repeat business. 

You are welcome your misguided opinion.

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26 minutes ago, AB1965 said:

Pity you felt compelled to hijack my thread!

We make Bourbon but as a secondry product that is quick to market, we produce an Apple Pie Moonshine. I could have went down the gin market but cannot stand it so this was a logical step. We have major retailers selling our product with fantastic repeat business. 

You are welcome your misguided opinion.

Is that so? Is yer website badly out of date or r you really only in a couple dozen stores?

If you think unaged whiskey has fantastic repeat business then u probably would be overwhelmed by how much even a mediocre gin sells.

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4 hours ago, MGL said:

Is that so? Is yer website badly out of date or r you really only in a couple dozen stores?

If you think unaged whiskey has fantastic repeat business then u probably would be overwhelmed by how much even a mediocre gin sells.

Nice troll mate and fantastic grammar! Do you actually own a Distillery or are you just here to stir shit and give bad advice?

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6 hours ago, AB1965 said:

Nice troll mate and fantastic grammar! Do you actually own a Distillery or are you just here to stir shit and give bad advice?

I guess the liquor stores and state warehouse around us are missing out on all the potential sales of "moonshine"?

Not a troll. Most liquor stores can't give the stuff away. I may not be the smartest most educated distiller but I at least know what sells and what doesn't sell.  What sells: aged whiskey,gin,vodka, rum,tequila,liqueur,beer,wine,wine coolers. What doesn't sell: unaged whiskey. Theres a reason whiskey is aged.

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