NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — After a trip to Asheville, two local business owners are now bringing locally distilled and legal moonshine to the New Bern area.
Marisol Schultz and Daniel Hand, owners of The Garage and other local businesses, saw some brewing equipment up for auction in Raleigh.
“We saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my god, wouldn’t that be cool?’ and we just kind of laughed about it,” said Schultz. “One of us was like, we should do it just for fun and we started to bid on it. It keeps going up like $100 here, and we’d go up $100, and it kept going, and finally, by the time we were leaving Asheville, we won the bid and picked it up on the way back.”
Schultz and Hand are calling it “Shine” Moonshine. It’s already available in all ABC stores across Craven County and for purchase at The Garage.
“People buy it because of the history of it,” says Hand.
Hand said for some the term ‘moonshine’ is very specific. “Their thing is it’s not real moonshine because we pay taxes, but if I drag that still into the woods, I’m making the same thing as if I bring it in here.”
Hand says it took about a year to get all the permits and regulations down, later reaching out to a local distiller to help with the process.
“You take water, corn, sugar and yeast and add it all in at certain proportions. You let it ferment a bit and then after that, you run it through the distiller and you come out with shine,” says Head Distiller Jonathan Ciesko.
Ciesko said the product is kind of like a community effort.
“We source a lot of stuff from local farmers and then we’ll take that spent grain that we’ve had and we’ll give it back to them for feed and stuff like that so we are kind of giving back to the area that we are taking from as well,” Ciesko said.
“It’s so good, it’s so smooth, even the straight shine that doesn’t have any flavoring, you know normally you drink it and you want to choke, this is, there’s no bite, there’s not, it’s so good and so smooth.”Marisol Schultz, owner
Flavors so far include plain 100 proof, strawberry, watermelon, blueberry and peach, all at 60 proof. They have plans to add additional flavors like apple pie and other seasonal flavors with goals to extend sales into surrounding counties.
“We’re going to be adding probably about four or five more flavors, have some seasonal flavors, but then we’re also going to do Brandy, Rum Barrel Aged, and things like that,” says Hand. They also have hopes to create a special batch with proceeds being donated to local non-profits.