It's funny how things change over time. Just as the finest whiskeys mellow with age, so do laws and social attitudes. The same moonshine that was illegal to make and distribute generations ago can now be legally purchased at your local liquor store. Visitors to Myrtle Beach can even buy a Mason jar of South Carolina's finest shine at the new Palmetto Distillery.
Located on the south side of Myrtle Beach near the Market Common shopping district, Palmetto Distillery is the first legal moonshine maker and distributor in South Carolina and one of the oldest family outfits of making homemade spirits. The new 3,000 square foot facility serves as a moonshine museum paying tribute to the Southern heritage of the founding family.
Palmetto Distillery is the brainchild of brother Trey and Bryan Boggs, who opened the first legal family operation run by the Boggs clan in their native Anderson, SC, which is located in the Upstate near the base of the Appalachian Mountains. But the family history of making and moving moonshine dates back to family patriarch Dock Boggs, who was born in 1898.
As a coal miner and aspiring musician, Dock Boggs had a hard time making ends meet, like many poor Southerners of his generation. He began making moonshine with the long-standing Boggs family recipe and it quickly became a hit among folks with a taste for the original mountain dew, but the federal and state government kept the small operation under ground.
Fast forward one century, when Trey and Bryan Boggs were inspired by their family tradition and changes in liquor laws to go above the bar counter. They opened the first legal distillery in South Carolina and used the family recipes to introduce a long line of moonshines, whiskeys and other spirits and mixers to the masses while paying tribute to their heritage.
Palmetto Distillery recently added a second location in Myrtle Beach, America's No. 1 family vacation destination. Offering tours and displays for all ages and tastings and package sales to those 21 and over, Palmetto Distillery doubles as a museum and a liquor store, proving education about the history of moonshine while also offering the finished product to go.
In addition to the original family recipe used by Dock, the 105-proof White Lightning, Palmetto Distillery also offers lower-alcohol flavored shines, such as Apple Pie, Peach, Strawberry and the new and popular Blackberry. True to their South Carolina roots, the moonshines are sold in Mason jars bearing the state flag icons of the palmetto tree and crescent moon.
Palmetto Distillery recently added a long line of whiskeys to its lineup, including the original recipe that dates back to the 1890s and features the familiar flavors of rye matured in French oak barrels with notes of smoky caramel and vanilla. The Rye and Wheat whiskeys are also popular for sipping and in mixed drinks, which the Boggs also offer at the distillery.
Guests can take tours of Palmetto Distillery and see such interesting items as the original 250 gallon still that was used back in the Boggs' family's glory days. There are attractions for kids and a souvenir shop, but the liquor tasting and sales sections are for adults only. Free tours are available during all hours of operations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Myrtle Beach visitors now have the rare opportunity to take home a true taste of the South without risk of arrest by the police or harassment by revenuers. Take a tour of Palmetto Distillery and take home a jar of South Carolina heritage as a souvenir.