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Made In The Triad: Junior Johnson And Piedmont Distillers

3:53 PM, Nov 6, 2012   |    comments
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Madison, NC -- When you think of the typical lucky charm, a rabbit's foot or a four leaf clover might come to mind.

But Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, thought putting NASCAR legend Junior Johnson in Jimmie Johnson's pit box Sunday would bring the driver luck.

And it appears to have worked! Johnson won in Texas (Jimmie that is)!

Junior Johnson helped build NASCAR and he helped a Made In The Triad business, boost business, by bringing his bootlegger style to Piedmont Distillers. WFMY News2  first featured Piedmont Distillers in 2010. Since then, they've added a new line of Moonshine.

The fruit mixes include Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry and Apple Pie. It's not just a flavoring. Real fruit is mixed in and floats in the moonshine.   

Moonshine. How does it taste?

"As soon as they taste it there always like, oh my God that is incredible smooth," says founder Joe Michalek.

The company is now in 48 states and will be in all 50 by the end of the year.

"Making liquor during prohibition, a lot of people jumped into the business because it was a lot of quick bucks to be made and thats when it got its bad reputation."

Now some seventy-seven years after prohibition ended the soured reputation is making way for piedmont distillers to distribute their own line of moonshine. The initial product, Carolina Catdaddy Moonshine, became so popular that it was offered to the 2009 Grammy nominees gift bags.Two years later they were looking to make another splash and they turned to the most famous bootlegger of them all, Junior Johnson and his fathers famous recipe.

"He personally approved the recipe that we make here at Piedmont Distillery."

"It was never intended to be a bad drink," says Junior Johnson. "It was just against the law that you had to pay the taxes on it and people could not make it and afford to pay the taxes. So, it's come full circle now and it sells now for more than what it costs us to make it so you can make a profit off of it."

And it's not only Johnson making a profit. Thirty employees call this place home, bottling and shipping product out every week. From ingredients to boxes and corks many of the supplies used are produced right here in the Tarheel state.

WFMY News 2

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