A Guide to Spartanburg’s Distillery and Moonshine History

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Guide to Spartanburg’s Distillery and Moonshine History

Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2018/blogs/Motte-And-Sons.jpg


Across Spartanburg county, entrepreneurs and connoisseurs alike have taken distilling into their own hands. Some have been inspired by family recipes and the historical significance distilleries have had in the area, while others have sought to create drinks they can enjoy with family and friends.

Visitors can experience traditional and modern distilling, not to mention some great drinks, across Spartanburg County, from Landrum, considered to be part of the Dark Corner, to the small, historic downtown area of Reidville.

Motte & Sons Bootlegging Co. in Spartanburg, SC

people on either side of the motte & sons bar at a partyMotte & Sons Bootlegging Co. on East Daniel Morgan Avenue in the City of Spartanburg infuses a historical touch into its spirits, including whiskey, vodka, rum, gin and even moonshine. (We are in the South, so that won’t be the last time moonshine gets a little, well, shine.)

Motte & Sons products and retail store highlight the importance distilled spirits have had on American history and specifically how distilleries and crafted liquors impacted areas around Spartanburg County over time.

The family-owned business creates its offerings with grains and corn provided by a farmer in Pauline. The local ingredients ensure every bottle Motte & Sons produces is as close to purely Spartanburg as it gets.

An American light whiskey, appropriately named “The General,” after Revolutionary War hero Gen. Daniel Morgan, is one of Motte & Sons’ most popular offerings.

Motte & Sons is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday at 220 E. Daniel Morgan Ave. in Spartanburg.

Sugar Tit Moonshine Distillery in Reidville, SC

storefront of the sugar tit moonshine distilleryIn a building built in the 1800s in Downtown Reidville, Sugar Tit Moonshine was inspired by the real, homemade thing.

The owners of Sugar Tit, decided to start their own distilling after a friend brought out a jar of handmade spirits at dinner. The beverage was from a family recipe dating back to the Sugar Tit area (an unincorporated part of Reidville) and the business is amusingly named after it.

The distillery still follows that old family recipe, brewing up its concoctions in small batches. Sugar Tit offers many fruit-flavored varieties of moonshine, including flavors like Apple Pie, Peach and Pineapple, along with whiskey-inspired moonshines.

jars of apple pie sugar tit brand moonshine“This month we've introduced our first accelerated aged American Whiskey. We call it Doc Leonard 1857, named after the Reidville doctor and professor who ran our store with his wife back when the first SC colleges were running,” said Kat Jordan, owner of Sugar Tit Moonshine. “We chose an apothecary bottle and it will be the flagship bottle to that future line. Old bottles are very cool and fit well with our laid back, historical feel. We are all about sharing our history here in Reidville and that of our special building.”

Sugar Tit is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday on Main Street in Reidville.

Shine Town in Landrum SC

group of people standing around a counter with moonshineShine Town Landrum is a specialty moonshine shop in the middle of Downtown Landrum.

The shop offers products from various moonshine distilleries across the area, proudly carrying more than 100 flavors for the “moonshine connoisseur.”

Among Shine Town’s flavors are unique offerings like sweet chocolate and coffee, but the shelves are also stocked with more traditional moonshine varieties as well as other spirits like gin, whiskey and rum.

Shine Town is open from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at 116 E. Rutherford St. in Downtown Landrum.

Red Bordner Distillery in Boiling Springs, SC

bottles of red bordner brand moonshine sitting on a wooden picnic tableInspired by the life of the man himself, Red Bordner Distillery sits along Parris Bridge Road in Boiling Springs, housing Kick Back Cove Moonshine, Bordner’s proudly authentic brand of “hillbilly” liquors.

Growing up in Western North Carolina, Bordner embraced his mountain upbringing and came from a family of bootleggers. He’s been making moonshine in one form or another since he was 14 years old. He has been a championship race car driver, barbecue chef and now focuses most of his time on distilling liquors.

Bordner specializes in moonshine and whiskey, but recently took on rum and Blue Agave, an American version of tequila. Kick Back Cove features a wide array of fruit flavors as well as classic, non-flavored liquor varieties.

Red Bordner Distillery, at 4200 Parris Bridge Road in Boiling Springs, is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday with free tastings and tours and a selection of Kick Back Cove’s traditional and fruited moonshines.

Rock Bottom Distillers in Spartanburg, SC

jar of heirloom moonshine from rock bottom distillersRock Bottom Distillers was opened in 2012 by two brothers aiming to make authentic Appalachian moonshine.

Mountain spring water, trucked to Spartanburg from Bald Mountain, North Carolina, is married with cracked corn and flaked barley with sugar and molasses added along with way. Rock Bottom’s commitment to Appalachian moonshine is strong, as every offering is bottled inside traditional Mason jars including their signature Heirloom Moonshine.

The distillery’s moonshine can be found in stores across Greenville and Spartanburg and Rock Bottom has recently added distribution in Charleston and Columbia.

Rock Bottom, at 201 Sha Lane in Spartanburg, offers free tours and tastings daily. They’re open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

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