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April 8, 2022, 3:38 p.m.

Copper Creek Distillery: Making Mountain Moonshine New

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Taste the legacy of Appalachian mountain moonshine at Copper Creek Distillery in Marion. Neighbors Greg Shuford and Randy Berry teamed up to open Copper Creek in 2021, making it the first legal distillery to operate in a four-county area in almost a century.

Historically, the term “moonshine” refers to the work of making illegal liquor, crafted and transported in secret, by the light of the moon. Today, Copper Creek draws on those old mountain traditions — often passed down within the community — to produce a clear, unaged corn whiskey that’s delicious sipped straight, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail.

Copper Creek’s premier variety is the unflavored 90-proof IL-LIC-IT Shine, which is incredibly versatile and can be used in everything from margaritas to hot chocolate. Two flavored 80-proof moonshines, Grape and Apple, are both flavored with locally grown, hand-picked fruit.

The 60-proof Apple Pie Shine is a more recent addition — it incorporates apple pie spice and is delicious mixed with hot apple cider. And the 100-proof IL-LIC-IT Gold Shine is aged with oak spirals to impart a whiskey-like flavor.

Plan Your Visit to Copper Creek Distillery

Stop into the Copper Creek tasting room (located on US-221 Bus; open Thursday through Saturday, 1-7 p.m.) to sample Greg and Randy’s five varieties and to learn more about the distilling process that transforms local McDowell County corn into tasty moonshine, “one drop at a time.”

You’ll also find a selection of Copper Creek merchandise including T-shirts, hats and license plates, plus moonshine-inspired candles made in mason jars.

After your visit, check out the other stops along the Blue Ridge Traveler’s High Spirits Trail, including breweries, taprooms and wineries located nearby in Marion.