Known as the moonshine capital of the world, the Hocking Hills of Ohio has been a hub for this famous beverage since the Prohibition years. Back in the 1920’s and 30’s, illegal distillers thrived in New Straitsville, where dense forests and thick smoke from coal mines shielded the stills. Now regarded as an American craft, the region’s first legal distillery was opened in 2014, and an annual five-day festival celebrates the history and making of moonshine. The New Straitsville Moonshine Festival will take place this year on May 26 – 30, 2016, and is the perfect place to try some old-fashioned ‘shine. Cheers!
Visit the New Straitsville Moonshine Festival
What is Moonshine?
The term “moonshine” usually refers to white corn whiskey or any other high-proof spirit that is generally made illicitly. The whiskey is typically made with a mash of cracked corn, water, and sugar, and sometimes other ingredients are included to add flavor. (Apple pie anyone?) The primary difference between moonshine and commercial alcohol is aging. When moonshine comes out of the still, it’s clear and looks like water – but whiskey from your local liquor store has a golden, amber color, because it’s aged for years in oak barrels. The aging process mellows the harsh taste, which is why moonshine packs such a punch!
Ohio’s Famous Moonshine
At the Straitsville Special Distillery, moonshine is made using local corn and Hocking Hills water, which has a sweet and distinct mineral quality that makes the beverage even more special. Distillery owner Doug Nutter uses a secret, century-old family recipe, old-school techniques, and two hand-built 115-gallon stills to create 90-proof Straitsville Special moonshine. In an interview with Columbus Underground, Nutter says, “The difference between us and Jack Daniels or anybody else is that they have a set of standards of quality control and we don’t. What makes moonshine good is that it’s always close but it’s never perfect.”
What You’ll See at the Festival
Each year, the New Straitsville Moonshine Festival offers tons of fun events and attractions for Hocking Hills locals and visitors alike. Guests can enjoy everything from live entertainment and carnival rides to parades and flea market vendors, and unique eats like Moonshine burgers, Moonshine pie, and Moonshine doggies will help fill you up throughout the day. Be sure to check out the Moonshine Still Display where you’ll learn all about how moonshine is made, and stop by the Straitsville Special liquor store to sample and purchase bottles of shine.
Enjoy Moonshine at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
When planning your trip to the festival, be sure to book your stay at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls! Located just 30 minutes from New Straitsville, our beautiful Hocking Hills bed and breakfast is the perfect place to unwind after a fun day – and we even serve a mule using Hocking Hills Moonshine, ginger beer, and lime, so you can try the shine right on our grounds. We can’t wait to hear about your experience at the New Statesville Moonshine Festival!
For more information on upcoming events and festivals, download our free Hocking Hills vacation guide.