Tuesday, January 3, 2012

VA ABC Having 'Morning-After' Regrets

I first caught Discovery's "Moonshiners" program over my Christmas vacation last week. The show gives a dramatized view of moonshining in Franklin County, Virginia. Also featured are, apparently real, investigations by VA Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agents. I watched a couple of episodes but found the show a bit tedious and repetitive.

Now it seems the agency charged with enforcing Virginia's alcohol laws is having second thoughts about their choice to participate in the series. The producers of the show say the illegal liquor production in the the TV show is simulated and that no moonshine is actually being produced. However, that's not made clear to the viewer. And that is apparently causing some residents to question the state agency's cooperation with the show. The VA ABC claims it did not know that the documentary would portray the production process, and say they would not have taken part had they known.

The history of moonshine in Virginia is quite fascinating. I reviewed "The Wettest County in the World" a few years ago. This book gives an historical account of the Bondurant clan of Franklin County and their moonshine enterprise during Prohibition. If you have an interest in the subject, I recommend the book highly.

See "Va. agency objects to 'Moonshiners' portrayal" for more information on the VA ABC quandry.

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