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Prohibition And Moonshiners; A Rich History Behind Palmetto Distillery



Palmetto Distillery has a tradition of fine craftsmanship and historical integrity, and is known far beyond their little region of the south near Anderson, South Carolina. They have built their establishment on the values of product excellence and homage to their heritage. Their passions include handcrafting moonshine and distilling the finest quality spirits in the South.

Where does this drive and dedication to excellence come from? Just what is the history behind Palmetto Distillery, and how do they create some of the finest spirits around? What is “moonshine”, anyway, and why is keeping the traditions of their ancestors so important to them? Let’s take a deeper look at how the historical period of prohibition in the deep South carved the way for Palmetto Distillery to offer their unique taste and flavor to spirits fans everywhere.

Prohibition In the South; A Time Of Scandalous Prosperity


Palmetto’s rich history and traditions starts with Dock Boggs, an ancestor of the Boggs brothers, who currently own and operate the distillery. Prior to 1920, the United States entered an era where alcohol abuse and alcoholism ran rampant through the nation. The post war brewing industry was booming, and at one point, there was one saloon operating for every 200 Americans. Not only was alcohol easy to come by, it was easily abused. Marketing strategies of breweries and saloons that partnered in business included pushing alcohol to excess. This was especially effective in industrial settlements, where factory workers could stop and get a drink before, during and after work and often well into the night. Public drunkenness, social unrest, and health issues plagued these settlements, and families suffered severe consequences as a result of non-regulation. Southern churches banded together to create a temperance movement based on the belief that overconsumption of alcohol was the cause of all social and civil unrest. This paved the way for politicians to become involved, and soon the prohibition movement was born.

With politicians being paid by local churches -- yes, you heard that right -- to create and pass laws prohibiting alcohol consumption, there were two pervading opinions about the “buzz” sweeping through government, and citizens became polarized regarding the issue of alcohol manufacturing and consumption. Strong opinions about the need to perpetuate a more spirited culture led supporters of consumption to go underground and operate independent of government regulations. There was much money to be made by independent operators of distilleries and speakeasies, or underground drinking establishments. Those who were not influenced by the temperance movement found a way to perpetuate the culture that they had been accustomed to, but it was not without a price.

The Prohibition Movement


The religious resistance to alcohol use and abuse in the country prompted prohibition, which declared the production, sale, and use of all alcohol illegal. Despite the fact that this legislation passed, it didn’t stop millions of Americans from participating in the production, sale of, and consumption of spirits. Due to the need for this entire culture to go underground, family dynasties took on the roles of production and distribution, and many of these families evolved into the icons of organized crime and gangsters that we associate with this period of history. There were also smaller establishments that popped up that offered the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, and this is where the Boggs tradition lies.

Dock Boggs wanted a piece of this action. He had managed to make a modest living as a musician and as a coal mine worker, but he saw opportunity when it presented himself. He began running bootleg, or distilling alcohol for distribution to the numerous speakeasies around his hometown, and the rest is history. The process of producing high quality moonshine and whiskey became a family tradition, and his legacy inspires the Boggs brothers to continue those traditions today.


We’re all well aware of the misguided and ill-informed attitudes toward spirits of years past, and of the outcome of this war-on-alcohol, and also how that ended up. Today, we understand that with the participation of anything, comes the aspect of personal responsibility.

As for the spirits industry, it would appear that it’s pretty much here to stay, thrive and expand. The temperance movement was, well, probably started out by some good people trying unsuccessfully to do a good thing. But infringing upon personal responsibilities will never work out in the long run in a democracy.


Prohibition, stills boiling away in the woods, and distributing the bottled moonshines and other fine spirits of the past didn’t tarnish Palmetto’s image or reputation; if anything, the very rich history is brewed into every bottle. In fact, if you sip any of Palmetto’s beverages ever so slowly, and close your eyes, you might just be able to taste that southern history, as it now makes its way all over the nation.

From Traditions To Passion And Excellence


Today, at Palmetto Distillery, creating quality spirits is still a passion, and each family recipe is carefully crafted to preserve the integrity of the deep South. No longer under prohibitive restrictions, Bryan and Trey Boggs and their team are free to offer the best of our family’s traditions to enrich your family recreation. Offering handcrafted moonshine every bit as delicious as Dock’s original products, and the finest malt whiskey known to southern connoisseurs has made Palmetto Distillery a household brand. As the business is rapidly expanding, the boys, as they are called, focus on making your experience the best that can be offered. Palmetto doesn’t just create and market spirits, they bring their rich history and traditions back to life, and deliver them to your doorstep. Visit www.palmettomoonshine.com for more information, to order online, or to book a tour today.

Please Drink Responsibly.