Moonshine History


A strong and rich drink with an equally rich history, moonshine (also known as hooch or homebrew) is a liquor made by fermenting a sugar source such as fruit, sugar, grain, or milk to produce Alcohol. It is not aged and the result, a distilled spirit that contains a high percentage of alcohol, which once made it to the list of illicit and banned substances by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Although moonshine was once a big contributor to the Hot Springs economy, their locals were not to be credited for this highly potent drink. According to historians, Scotch-Irish immigrants were the ones who introduced their tradition of home brewing and their recipe for the high-potency hooch in the late 1700s. The term moonshine was coined because of the fact that the liquor was done during the night to hide the still’s smoke from the police or thirsty neighbors.

History right in our backyard

In Hot Springs, AR where Crystal Ridge Distillery made its home, moonshine not only helped farmers make a living but also fueled the “party spirit” during the good old days. In fact, moonshine was so big in Garland County that the place became a hotbed for illegal spirits and bootleggers. In fact, 1,260 more violations of the liquor law were recorded in the county in 1925 than for any other criminal offense. Thankfully though, moonshine is now allowed for sale and Garland County is still one of the places where you can find delightful booze.