We will be talking to Dave Angel, owner of Elevated Mountain Distillery in Maggie Valley, NC. We will be talking about the revival of the craft beverage industry in the Smoky Mountains and the history of Moonshine.
Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.
Joseph McElroy’s guest today is Dave Angel, his cousin through marriage and the owner of Elevated Mountain Distillery. The Scottish Gaeilic call it “Uisce Beatha,” which translates to “Water of Life.” When the Scottish arrived at the Smokies they didn’t just bring their musical influence, they also contributed the practices of distilleries. To this day some believe that the medicine of the mountains only works with the help of moonshine. Throughout the 20th century, moonshine had its place within the local economy. Dave made his first moonshine when he was 14 years old. It was his goal to learn and pass on the tradition. Moonshine is alcohol that is not made legally. People often think of moonshine as a knock off but the only difference is the legality. Moonshine can be made from many things, including fruit. In the 1930s people used to distil grains and apples to make an Apple Brandy.
Whiskey is alcohol distilled from grain so it starts with beer, also known as mash. Whiskey boils at 174 degrees. After separating it from the water, you get the whiskey. When it comes down to making good whiskey you need to understand what the head and the heart are. The head is the toxic chemicals that are extracted. Ethanol in bad moonshine can make a person go blind. Once the head is gone you get the whiskey. This is normally a 20 hour process. As the ethanol comes out you start to get a lot of interesting flavor. That is when you get the tails, and depending on when you make certain cuts the flavor can change dramatically. A good distillery know how to make sure your whiskey has a long enough tail. Soft water with a good mineral base is also key. Dave believes that the water in the Smokie is great for moonshine, people come to Maggie Valley looking for moonshine because of it. It is part of the reason that he has his distillery where it is, the purity of the water. Maggie Valley has a long history of moonshine and David’s business was welcomed with open arms.
Guests at the Elevated Mountain Distillery can enjoy their wide range of drinks, see how it’s made, and even enjoy live music. Dave talks about the differences in how whiskeys are made. Tennessee whiskey is bourbon that goes through a charred mapple filter. Shotish whiskey and Irish whiskey are distilled in bourbon barrels. In his distillery they use this method and many more. According to Dave one of the most popular Distilleries in Tennessee is Ole Smoky Moonshine in Gatlin, TN. The water of the Smoky Mountains has allowed so many distilleries and wineries to produce incredible wine, beers, and whiskeys. The most visited winery in America is in Asheville, North Carolina.
The talk about Popcorn Sutton, an American Appalachian moonshiner and bootlegger who gained popularity when he appeared in the Neal Hutcheson documentary, “Mountain Talk.” People were so excited when his truck pulled up that they would rush to buy his moonshine. Moonshiners in the past cared more about making money over quality but there is a renewed interest, in part due to the popularity of shows such as “Moonshiner.”
00:00:42.330 --> 00:00:56.070 Joseph McElroy: Howdy. Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of gateway to the Smokies. This podcast is about America's most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the surrounding towns.
00:00:56.880 --> 00:01:06.720 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and a rich man cultures that we will explore with explore with weekly episodes.
00:01:07.830 --> 00:01:20.280 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin McIlroy a man of the world and also deep roots in those mountains. My family's lived in the Great Smoky for over 200 years my businesses and travel but my heart is in culture.
00:01:21.600 --> 00:01:32.850 Joseph McElroy: Today we're going to talk about liquor in the Smoky Mountains. I'm going to introduce you to my cousin by marriage Dave angel who is the proprietary proprietor of elevated mountain distillery who
00:01:32.880 --> 00:01:49.110 Joseph McElroy: Hey. Hey. How you doing, and he's an expert and whiskey. We're going to talk about that liquor White Lightning corn squeezing Mountain Dew. Why you so slow white dog or the most popular known as moonshine.
00:01:50.130 --> 00:01:56.250 Joseph McElroy: Hang on, until the end. And that will give you some places ago and things to do in the mountains to help you explore explore
00:01:57.420 --> 00:02:05.490 Joseph McElroy: Now, last week we talked about the Scotch Irish influence on music in the mountains, but we didn't touch much upon their influence on distill
00:02:06.450 --> 00:02:15.510 Joseph McElroy: Whiskey is actually derived from the Gaelic word us cube. I hope I said that right, which translates as water of life.
00:02:16.500 --> 00:02:21.210 Joseph McElroy: And when the Scotch Irish migrated to America. They brought with them a history of distilling
00:02:21.720 --> 00:02:35.640 Joseph McElroy: That they adapted for use on common on the common great in North America maze, also known as core they learned a lot from the Cherokees and cultivating this crop and became experts and distilling it into spirits.
00:02:36.750 --> 00:02:49.050 Joseph McElroy: Now I remember growing up in the mountains in the mountains that that met moonshine was a part of the fabric of life if you went to the square dance hall and Saturday night you knew that you could get a drink and moonshine out bath.
00:02:50.550 --> 00:03:01.380 Joseph McElroy: I remember that. Sometimes my dad got paid for construction work with moonshine, and before he was a construction company owner. He was a chemical engineer and I remember that he he
00:03:02.070 --> 00:03:05.400 Joseph McElroy: I came home one day and I saw this glass contraption.
00:03:06.210 --> 00:03:19.710 Joseph McElroy: I had no clue what it was and sitting on the table. I was pretty young. I WAS HEADING TOWARDS IT. HE HE GOT MY WAY didn't kept me from breaking and breaking it. I didn't know what it was for several years. But he made himself and glass still
00:03:21.660 --> 00:03:24.870 Joseph McElroy: And so it has been true to his roots.
00:03:26.130 --> 00:03:43.620 Joseph McElroy: And other things I remember is that Pigs love to eat leftover mash from this building. And to this day, and even to this day. I know that some people believe that faith that the, you know, our famous mountain herbal recipes remedies only work with a touch of moonshine in them so
00:03:44.640 --> 00:03:57.960 Joseph McElroy: There's a lot of a cultural richness to the culture to moonshine in the mountains, but not all the moonshine culture was good. So, you know, a lot of people lives ruined by legal troubles and alcoholism and
00:03:58.560 --> 00:04:09.300 Joseph McElroy: Parents being, you know, distant and yeah so you know fighting. There is a lot of a lot of that as well. So it's not at all a good story. But yeah, there was a time when
00:04:10.230 --> 00:04:20.910 Joseph McElroy: The only way to get cash money to pay taxes was to sell moonshine and livestock. So it was it for a while, especially in the 19th and early 20th century, it was, it was part of the economic
00:04:22.890 --> 00:04:26.310 Joseph McElroy: economic necessity of life in this Great Smoky Mountains.
00:04:27.840 --> 00:04:32.490 Joseph McElroy: And one of the funny things I was finding out recently talking to some people, was that
00:04:33.330 --> 00:04:47.820 Joseph McElroy: Elections back in the 19th century were awful pain. We're often paid by moonshine. The somebody wanted to get elected better have a party on election day and be given out free moonshots that everybody get drunk and then go in and vote together.
00:04:49.110 --> 00:04:52.200 Joseph McElroy: And then the one with the best part of that usually won the election.
00:04:53.550 --> 00:04:58.740 Joseph McElroy: But I mean, that might be an exaggeration, but I think there was some element of truth to that.
00:05:00.090 --> 00:05:11.040 Joseph McElroy: So now let me introduce you to my good friend and cousin Dave angel who knows a lot more about me than moonshine and legal distilling he's going to fill you in a lot. So how many Dave
00:05:11.850 --> 00:05:13.500 Dave Angel: Hey, how are you good
00:05:14.430 --> 00:05:22.830 Joseph McElroy: Good to see you again. So why don't you, why don't you to first let everybody know your background, you know, how did you end up to be an expert on distiller
00:05:23.970 --> 00:05:32.520 Dave Angel: Well, you know, grown grown up or Joseph and I grew up, it is it like he said it's part of the culture it's it's around is something I was fascinated with my whole life growing up.
00:05:33.240 --> 00:05:41.070 Dave Angel: I actually made my first run a moonshot as 14 years old is my ninth grade science project still have the steel. I use back then.
00:05:41.550 --> 00:05:52.890 Dave Angel: You know, I had an old timer that taught me how to do it. I always thought back then and you know when these guys are going with these old timers gone moonshine, it goes with them. And I want to make sure I can carry it on
00:05:53.970 --> 00:06:08.220 Dave Angel: It will always be there. There are people that they still doing it, there always will be, you know, generations of people that are working with their grandparents and their parents still still making you know it's a different model, a different
00:06:09.600 --> 00:06:12.960 Dave Angel: Market than it was probably in the 30s, but but it still lives on.
00:06:13.920 --> 00:06:19.200 Joseph McElroy: Yeah, yeah. So, so you so you went off in the world for a little while. Right.
00:06:20.310 --> 00:06:26.760 Dave Angel: I didn't actually have a corporate career. I worked there on 42nd Street, a lot. I worked for for Pfizer one point.
00:06:27.990 --> 00:06:37.260 Dave Angel: Love my corporate career took me a lot of place. I live in China for three years. A human resources business development where the kinds of things I focused on
00:06:38.280 --> 00:06:47.370 Dave Angel: A few years ago, it came time to come back home. I think we all end up falling our roots back to where they started at some point, my parents needed me here. My wife is from our hometown.
00:06:48.060 --> 00:06:55.380 Dave Angel: And it was just time to reinvent myself. They didn't have the kinds of roles that I was doing back in in Haywood County, North Carolina.
00:06:55.680 --> 00:06:58.290 Joseph McElroy: Yeah, so you know i think that
00:06:59.520 --> 00:07:07.200 Joseph McElroy: One of the things that you learned about and I think the audience would really like to know about is, you know, what is moon shy.
00:07:08.760 --> 00:07:14.430 Dave Angel: Yeah, that's a good question I get asked that all the time when people come to the distillery and we're trying different products will say, well,
00:07:14.850 --> 00:07:19.380 Dave Angel: What made this moonshine, or what about the last one is specific to the moonshine recipe.
00:07:20.130 --> 00:07:32.400 Dave Angel: Technically moonshine is anything you don't pay taxes on. So Vince run from Jamaica of its vodka from overseas. You know, if you're not paying taxes on it. That's the legally. What makes it moonshine.
00:07:33.120 --> 00:07:40.080 Dave Angel: Oh, what do you see. Yeah. What you see on TV when you watch it in the movies and, you know, the old guys by the steel back in the woods.
00:07:40.530 --> 00:07:47.490 Dave Angel: That's typically a knockoff version of whiskey. A lot of times they'll call it whiskey. They'll say it's a corn whiskey. Well, technically.
00:07:47.910 --> 00:07:56.730 Dave Angel: If whiskey is alcohol distilled from grain and if you watch TV. They're always pouring bags a sugar into the steel.
00:07:57.210 --> 00:08:11.310 Dave Angel: Well, when you put sugar in it. It's no longer whiskey. It's a knockoff version. So that's what most people think I was moonshine, if you see it on the label at a distillery. It's just a funny word a label I they get that's that's legal stuff taxes paid. It's all good.
00:08:12.060 --> 00:08:19.560 Joseph McElroy: Right, so, um, you know, they that you saw in the mountains. They made mostly made corn. Right. Corn, corn.
00:08:20.670 --> 00:08:31.770 Joseph McElroy: corn whiskey corn moonshine right yeah by the way moonshine is actually what they called they called it in Gaelic back in the old country so
00:08:32.190 --> 00:08:41.760 Joseph McElroy: Then that particular term actually comes from Scotland, you know, for calling the, this, this, because, you know, I guess people made by the moon shining and night, but
00:08:42.060 --> 00:08:46.830 Dave Angel: The Scotch and Irish that brought it you know they were the ones that knew how to do it. So when it, when it became a
00:08:47.100 --> 00:08:51.180 Dave Angel: You know, as a way of survival for a lot of people. I don't know that people necessarily went into it to be.
00:08:51.510 --> 00:09:01.470 Dave Angel: distilleries back in the 1920s. It was survival. Times were hard and they knew that was something they could turn to to pay bills and it was a scotch and Irish that knew how to do it, brought it with them.
00:09:01.890 --> 00:09:03.630 Joseph McElroy: Right, yeah. And
00:09:04.800 --> 00:09:12.180 Joseph McElroy: DIDN'T, DIDN'T, DIDN'T for a long time. It was actually sort of an honorable profession back in the mountains. Right.
00:09:13.350 --> 00:09:13.860 Dave Angel: Oh, yeah.
00:09:15.030 --> 00:09:15.390 Joseph McElroy: Yeah.
00:09:15.420 --> 00:09:17.130 Dave Angel: And then, yes, definitely was.
00:09:17.520 --> 00:09:21.570 Joseph McElroy: And then it was like when they're like taxes came in that sort of changed everything.
00:09:23.010 --> 00:09:32.640 Dave Angel: That is that is our happy taxes have always been a history, a lot of people when they think of whiskey and they think of American whiskey. They think of Bourbon from Kentucky.
00:09:33.150 --> 00:09:48.360 Dave Angel: The biggest reason whiskeys and Kentucky was because Pennsylvania started taxing it when the industry was in Pennsylvania, and they said, we don't have to pay taxes in Pennsylvania will move somewhere else and they moved to Kentucky, because those midway between New York and New Orleans.
00:09:49.290 --> 00:10:08.040 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know, there's a in the late you know 1790s, you know, the George Washington had to suit back up and lead an army. I think he was in the Pennsylvania area because the federal government tried to make revenue by installing a whiskey tax and we had something called the Whiskey Rebellion.
00:10:08.580 --> 00:10:12.390 Dave Angel: Yes. Well, I said the Whiskey Rebellion led to move into Kentucky.
00:10:12.900 --> 00:10:24.750 Joseph McElroy: Yeah, yeah. So, so that's kind of interesting. Yeah, so, um, so the other thing that I thought was interesting, you know, and it's not often talked about
00:10:25.080 --> 00:10:35.820 Joseph McElroy: And I remember this is things like Apple jack and stuff like that is moonshine can is actually can be made out of a lot of different fruits and it's actually considered brandy. Right.
00:10:36.750 --> 00:10:46.140 Dave Angel: Yeah. So I started many of whiskey is alcohol distilled from grain brandy is alcohol distilled from fruit. So that's the the purest answer those. But again, when it
00:10:46.440 --> 00:10:57.660 Dave Angel: When it came to be made in the Smokies back in the 30s, they'd make a corn mash with some apple in it and they they call it up apple brandy, but it had a lot of corn based alcohol in it.
00:10:58.410 --> 00:11:04.800 Joseph McElroy: So it was a high alcohol count brandy is more likely got some sort of other got some sort of whiskey in it.
00:11:05.280 --> 00:11:12.870 Dave Angel: Exactly like if it's coming from the woods moonshine, or even today moonshiners will tell you about the Randy, but it always starts with important sugar.
00:11:13.530 --> 00:11:23.070 Joseph McElroy: Ah, interesting is that while I am you see these craft beers made and they have sort of fruits and stuff and and a lot of times they have a pretty high alcohol count.
00:11:24.150 --> 00:11:32.670 Dave Angel: Yeah, that's a lot of times, that is that is how it is for Beer. Beer has made such a huge transformation from the days of bud and Miller.
00:11:33.030 --> 00:11:39.180 Dave Angel: The what we have today. Yeah. Millennials. They expect 42 beers at the bar, they don't expect three choices and
00:11:39.690 --> 00:11:48.420 Dave Angel: It will always be that way. And you're seeing that kind of innovation now happening in distilleries the same thing. People want variety. They want to see the
00:11:48.810 --> 00:11:56.730 Dave Angel: Most people would you say keen while whiskey and they're like, what you can make you can make a keen while whiskey, for sure. It's not bad.
00:11:58.200 --> 00:12:05.220 Joseph McElroy: Now, do people still, you know, do people still make moonshine and stuff in the mountains. I mean, you know,
00:12:07.380 --> 00:12:12.810 Joseph McElroy: Brandi I'm. That's what I'm wondering. I'm actually want some of that Brandy, they still do that they
00:12:12.900 --> 00:12:18.930 Dave Angel: They do you know our distillery elevated mountain distilling company. We're based in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
00:12:19.500 --> 00:12:27.150 Dave Angel: A lot of people will probably talk some about popcorn Sutton at some point during the hour, but that's that's the birthplace of a legendary mentioning popcorn.
00:12:27.600 --> 00:12:35.250 Dave Angel: Yeah, I tell people all time. I'm one of three or four distilleries and Maggie. Now I'm just wondering, to get to walk in and see the steel, but there's there's still people
00:12:35.880 --> 00:12:47.910 Dave Angel: I had my, my first year there. I had a came in one day. And there was a bag sitting out front. And I thought, what's that about is right before the holidays and some
00:12:48.390 --> 00:12:57.240 Dave Angel: Local moonshine or left me a jar of apple pie moonshine, he had made in those a note in there that just said you've done more for marketing my business and anybody. I just want to say
00:13:01.050 --> 00:13:08.820 Joseph McElroy: Well yeah that's that's pretty good. My, my, my dad used to tell me the movement of popcorn center would meet him at the Maggie, Maggie restaurant.
00:13:09.240 --> 00:13:19.530 Joseph McElroy: And talk to him about things. He might need and then try to convince them to do it. And every once a while he take one of the things that he needs to be done and do it and then need to get paid moonshine.
00:13:21.030 --> 00:13:32.220 Joseph McElroy: Now, it was a it was a it was a part is still part of the life. I'm sure it is. You know, I, you know, I've, I've noticed a few cans of moonshine around everyone so
00:13:32.610 --> 00:13:43.440 Joseph McElroy: Like in the last few years. So it's always there. So when we come back we're gonna talk about how risky is made and and history of legal distilling. All right.
00:16:12.660 --> 00:16:15.660 Joseph McElroy: Howdy. This is a Joseph Franklin makeover back with
00:16:16.680 --> 00:16:23.520 Joseph McElroy: Dave angel and we're on the gate and we're on the gateway to the Smokies podcasts, the whiskey and moonshine edition.
00:16:24.900 --> 00:16:26.430 Joseph McElroy: Glad to have you back. Dave
00:16:27.360 --> 00:16:29.250 Dave Angel: Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
00:16:29.550 --> 00:16:37.860 Joseph McElroy: You're so we were talking about whiskey. So you go and give us a little education on how risky is me because I think is pretty interesting.
00:16:38.880 --> 00:16:48.870 Dave Angel: Yeah, I'll keep it at a high level. First, yeah. I said a couple of times out whiskey is alcohol distilled from grain well before you can distill it, you have to ferment it
00:16:49.980 --> 00:16:56.610 Dave Angel: Beer is really where whiskey starts beers alcohol has been from it from grain. If you go to a local breweries are taken.
00:16:57.090 --> 00:17:00.960 Dave Angel: Usually it's barley but some other thing you know rye or some other grains.
00:17:01.350 --> 00:17:12.480 Dave Angel: They add yeast to it it ferments for a few days and then you're drinking the beer, what in the whiskey world you're taking that beer, lot of people call it MASH, it's really the same thing.
00:17:12.870 --> 00:17:26.040 Dave Angel: I always call it match on TV, because I never call it beer confuse the audience on TV. It's always mashed but imagine a beer. Same thing, you take that mash you put it into a steel yeah heated up
00:17:26.880 --> 00:17:31.740 Dave Angel: Everything has a different boiling point. So everybody knows water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
00:17:32.550 --> 00:17:50.070 Dave Angel: whiskey or alcohol ethanol distills that 174 degrees, it boils at 174 degrees. So you want to eat that up to 174 degrees and the alcohol, the whiskey will start coming out the water stays in the pot and you just separate it out and you get whiskey.
00:17:50.700 --> 00:18:01.980 Joseph McElroy: Mm hmm. What is the art there and they're an art because I was reading it. Some people can make good moonshine or whiskey and some people can make awful moonshine doing the same sort of process where we are.
00:18:03.180 --> 00:18:13.230 Dave Angel: The RSI just sort of went through a pure science answer, but there's definitely art to it. I would you make whiskey. You hear people talking about heads hearts and tails.
00:18:13.650 --> 00:18:18.120 Dave Angel: So again, everything has a different temperature, it turns the steam and comes out.
00:18:18.600 --> 00:18:29.310 Dave Angel: heads are the first chemicals that heat up and come out of the steel around 130 435 degrees you get chemicals, the big ones are acetone methanol.
00:18:29.580 --> 00:18:34.590 Dave Angel: They smell like painting or they are fingernail polish remover. That's exactly where your
00:18:34.980 --> 00:18:43.410 Dave Angel: fingernail polish remover comes from an ethanol plant somewhere in the Midwest, or when you go to the gas station. It says this gas contains up to 10% ethanol.
00:18:43.830 --> 00:18:51.540 Dave Angel: Typically 192 proof vodka. That's what they're talking about and the same plant. They're making that they're getting acetone out of that corn.
00:18:52.080 --> 00:19:03.780 Dave Angel: For fingernail polish remover. But those are toxic chemicals that come out first and you clearly want to get those out of the product. You don't want any asked the toner methanol at all and your product just wouldn't be safe.
00:19:04.050 --> 00:19:07.050 Joseph McElroy: Is that why Chinese would kill people with their moonshine.
00:19:07.380 --> 00:19:16.140 Dave Angel: It is. That's one of the you hear that you hear lead poisoning today solder doesn't have lead in so it's pretty safe today. But back in the old days.
00:19:16.530 --> 00:19:24.780 Dave Angel: You know, if you're trying to just make money. You weren't worried about quality, we're worried about making money. So that's a whole different market back then.
00:19:25.680 --> 00:19:34.890 Dave Angel: But yeah, acetone methanol, they can ask them, and a mess it all makes you go blind you hear about bad moonshine making people go blind, it's because they didn't do a good clean cut up front.
00:19:36.300 --> 00:19:39.960 Dave Angel: Once that stuff comes out of the steel right behind. It's the whiskey.
00:19:40.560 --> 00:19:53.220 Dave Angel: And if you're paying attention. We have a 920 gallons steel, we can really get a sense of, you can just smell that acetone just drifting off and also this whiskey smell comes in and you know your end of the good stuff.
00:19:53.670 --> 00:20:00.420 Dave Angel: And when in doubt, we let it flow another minute, just make sure we get the the heads out of there. But then comes the whiskey.
00:20:00.930 --> 00:20:11.460 Dave Angel: Well, the purest of alcohol of the ethanol, which would also be Vodka. Vodka is the cleanest of the hearts. It's right in the center pure ethanol.
00:20:12.090 --> 00:20:21.420 Dave Angel: Was as it's flowing out. You can imagine there's all these other chemicals that have different bowling points and so little other chemicals come out with the ethanol.
00:20:21.780 --> 00:20:26.820 Dave Angel: And they add different flavors and textures to it when we're instilling I you know
00:20:27.660 --> 00:20:35.280 Dave Angel: It takes. It's an all day process when we do a final run on our whiskey. It's about a 20 hour. It's a long day of work.
00:20:35.730 --> 00:20:39.990 Dave Angel: But throughout the day we're sipping little bits coming off the steel to see what it tastes like.
00:20:40.470 --> 00:20:45.030 Dave Angel: The all day long. It might end up being a shot of alcohol. It's not a lot just enough to waste your time. So what it tastes like.
00:20:45.510 --> 00:21:03.540 Dave Angel: But the whiskey goes through like a buttery phase where it tastes like alcohol and butter and then it'll go through this lemon grass phase. And again, those are just other little chemicals that are turned into steam and coming out with the the ethanol, the alcohol at some point, though.
00:21:04.830 --> 00:21:11.670 Dave Angel: You start getting what are called tales. So tales are like, I like to tell people it's like salt on a french fry.
00:21:11.970 --> 00:21:17.190 Dave Angel: You want a little bit of tales to give us some seasoning. But if you put too much salt on your french fries, you end up running them.
00:21:17.610 --> 00:21:26.160 Dave Angel: And it's the same thing with tells and that's really the art of making whiskey right there. How much tells do I let in there it goes a little bit of a full bodied bitter taste.
00:21:26.580 --> 00:21:37.200 Dave Angel: The too much of it. I'll send it tastes like an unripe squash zucchini and you don't want that to ever happen your whiskey. Because once it's in there. You can't take it out. So the arts, making those kinds of judgments of
00:21:37.740 --> 00:21:43.410 Dave Angel: When, when to make those cuts, how to make those cuts to get the final flavor. He wanted
00:21:43.680 --> 00:21:51.240 Joseph McElroy: So, and so you when you're taking the, the, the ones coming out, you actually separated into vodka and whiskey and something else.
00:21:52.140 --> 00:22:04.890 Dave Angel: Well, no, it all cut it were either making whiskey or making vodka. But when you're making whiskey. It goes through these different phases and there is an element of that sort of pure alcohol, which would probably be a vodka phase.
00:22:05.700 --> 00:22:10.830 Dave Angel: But we're not you don't you don't cut vodka whiskey when you make VOC you're making a whole different product.
00:22:11.010 --> 00:22:11.610 Joseph McElroy: So same
00:22:11.670 --> 00:22:12.870 Dave Angel: Basic process.
00:22:12.900 --> 00:22:21.420 Joseph McElroy: How the market gets mixed into the whiskey. So you keep the vodka and then you, you make and then the whiskey mixes with it or you
00:22:21.480 --> 00:22:25.200 Dave Angel: Get essentially all those other chemicals with the vodka makes whiskey.
00:22:25.560 --> 00:22:26.370 Joseph McElroy: I see the
00:22:27.090 --> 00:22:33.390 Dave Angel: Vodka. Vodka has no smell or taste to it. The smell or taste of whiskey and that's pure ethanol.
00:22:33.930 --> 00:22:45.900 Dave Angel: The smell and taste of whiskey or all these other chemicals that come through and you preserve them in the alcohol you keep them in alcohol that's probably a better word to say and and collectively they give you the taste of whiskey.
00:22:46.260 --> 00:22:54.510 Joseph McElroy: So, so basically vodka is is is is is a whatever a whiskey that's got a longer tail.
00:22:55.800 --> 00:23:05.730 Dave Angel: Um, well, it's I'll give you a pure answer vodka whiskey, so there's there's there's rules around the sheet. You know, again, when you're a moon shot or you just make it
00:23:06.330 --> 00:23:23.610 Dave Angel: You're making it legally there's rules, you have to follow whiskey cannot come out of the steel over 160 proof. That's 80% alcohol. So when it's 80% alcohol or lower. There's got to be other chemicals in there and that's what gives whiskey its flavor.
00:23:23.940 --> 00:23:31.380 Dave Angel: As vodka legally has to come out of the steel 190 proof which means is 95% alcohol.
00:23:31.530 --> 00:23:39.600 Dave Angel: Wow, so there's very little room for other chemicals in there and and that's why it has no taste because alcohol has no taste.
00:23:39.990 --> 00:23:49.200 Joseph McElroy: Okay, cool. Interesting. So these the old time moonshiners having to deal with this. They essentially did it by taste as well, they're
00:23:49.230 --> 00:23:51.150 Joseph McElroy: The ones that really good. Yeah.
00:23:51.180 --> 00:23:58.110 Dave Angel: Yeah, they did, you know, I've had a lot of fun, especially in the first couple of years, we were running, we had a lot of local moonshiners that would come in, they'd want to see the
00:23:58.590 --> 00:24:11.610 Dave Angel: The fancy distillery of what it was that it was different from them and most moonshiners you know they they they didn't read a book on how to do this. They didn't go to school to how to do this, daddy taught him or granddaddy time
00:24:12.690 --> 00:24:26.700 Dave Angel: So I've had some really interesting conversations with a moonshine, or they'll say, you know, I knew at this point I was supposed to do something different, but it was just because that he told me to. I never really understood why I was doing that. Now, I understand that.
00:24:28.020 --> 00:24:34.230 Joseph McElroy: You know I've heard some moonshiners talk to and they always talked about, you know, finding a place they were looking for soft water. What does that mean,
00:24:35.340 --> 00:24:40.620 Dave Angel: So soft water. It's so soft and hard water if it's really hard. It
00:24:42.510 --> 00:24:48.990 Dave Angel: If it's too hard to water. It's different. It's just as a different chemistry to it's in soft water.
00:24:50.340 --> 00:25:01.110 Dave Angel: People who have hard water. If you take a shower takes forever to rinse off the soap just want rinse off of you and hard water that's why they make water softening systems to
00:25:01.470 --> 00:25:08.040 Dave Angel: Make the water software that's one of the benefits of soft water is it, it runs in there. So it actually does have a different feel and reaction to it.
00:25:08.520 --> 00:25:19.020 Dave Angel: And so you do want to good soft water. You want a good mineral base in your water. A lot of times you hear people talk about limestone water that's went to limestone.
00:25:20.100 --> 00:25:31.650 Dave Angel: I would tell you one of the big reasons I'm in the Smoky Mountains anywhere from I'll say Knoxville to Asheville the water and the Great Smoky Mountains, that part of the Blue Ridge is just fabulous.
00:25:32.040 --> 00:25:33.270 Dave Angel: And you give water so
00:25:34.620 --> 00:25:37.170 Joseph McElroy: They bought the water and so good. Yeah.
00:25:38.100 --> 00:25:48.570 Dave Angel: Yep. Maggie, Maggie Valley word Haywood County, North Carolina. We have the highest average elevation of any county east of the Rockies. And what that means is water flows downhill.
00:25:48.840 --> 00:26:02.280 Dave Angel: And there's no water that comes up in a wood County. So all of our water starts right there. I can literally go out the front door the distillery and I can point to water rock knob and five top mountain. That's where my water comes from those two mountain peaks.
00:26:02.910 --> 00:26:13.020 Joseph McElroy: So I guess that probably made you want to do. Zoom why to come back and create a distillery in the mountains as well being at home. But what is the story of how you created elevated distillery.
00:26:14.130 --> 00:26:18.720 Dave Angel: Well, yeah, there were a lot of reasons me definitely coming back home, but I could have just as easily live
00:26:19.080 --> 00:26:31.110 Dave Angel: You know, a couple hours away somewhere else and got the satisfaction of being home why really chose Maggie Valley ones that water that we just talked about. You just can't beat it, and the water so pure and Haywood County.
00:26:32.130 --> 00:26:46.260 Dave Angel: Our water Maggie drops from 6000 feet down to the base at 3000 feet of the valley. It's not traveled more than a mile mile and a half before it gets. I mean, it's just good clean pure unadulterated water.
00:26:46.770 --> 00:26:53.520 Dave Angel: You know, we also have this history adventure popcorn Sutton two or three times. He is America's most legendary moonshine or
00:26:54.510 --> 00:27:03.000 Dave Angel: He is the stories and the history of folklore that comes with him. I get asked about him every day. So people come to Maggie Valley.
00:27:03.450 --> 00:27:16.170 Dave Angel: Looking for moonshine. They're looking for that history and heritage, we, we get people, you know, the beverage industry as a whole is big and Western or Qian Asheville 20 minutes away is a major beer hub for the whole East
00:27:16.170 --> 00:27:16.710 Coast.
00:27:18.300 --> 00:27:20.220 Joseph McElroy: When did you create elevated distillery.
00:27:20.940 --> 00:27:24.090 Dave Angel: We've, we've been fully operational three and a half years.
00:27:24.390 --> 00:27:29.370 Dave Angel: And we had a year, year of renovation and building out our building before that.
00:27:29.610 --> 00:27:36.090 Joseph McElroy: It wasn't hard getting it harder to get approval was easier as the culture of the mountains made it seem acceptable.
00:27:36.960 --> 00:27:38.070 Dave Angel: Yeah, it's, you know, they're
00:27:39.150 --> 00:27:50.220 Dave Angel: On like the legal side just talk there minute there's permits, you have to get you have to get a federal permit, you have to get a state permit. It's all about paying taxes. That's mainly what it's about making sure they that your register and pay in taxes.
00:27:50.820 --> 00:27:56.880 Dave Angel: But yeah, when it comes to culture and where you're going to put that that's a sensitive topic to some some communities.
00:27:57.660 --> 00:28:13.140 Dave Angel: I knew Maggie had a long history of moon shining. I knew there were moonshiners there. I mean, that's where I grew up. I knew that it was open. I didn't know how well received, it would be as far as a legal distillery overall I've been very welcome.
00:28:13.590 --> 00:28:18.360 Joseph McElroy: Good. Well, you know, he's got a real authentic mountain culture still so
00:28:18.630 --> 00:28:27.150 Joseph McElroy: Yes. Yeah, I'm assuming there's both welcoming and probably some probably some resistance and because it also has a very religious.
00:28:28.350 --> 00:28:38.520 Joseph McElroy: culture as well. But, you know, you got it, you got it created so that's great, then yeah, we'll talk about some of the things you're doing for the community. And just a little bit.
00:28:39.690 --> 00:28:45.600 Joseph McElroy: Right now we're going to head off to another break and we'll come back and we'll talk about your products and, you know, and
00:28:46.620 --> 00:28:47.640 Joseph McElroy: Other things you're doing
00:28:48.690 --> 00:28:49.260 Dave Angel: Sounds good.
00:28:55.800 --> 00:28:56.010 And
00:31:09.240 --> 00:31:24.930 Joseph McElroy: Howdy. This is Joseph Franco McElroy back with gateway to smoke. He's podcast with the whiskey and a moonshine episode with me is Dave angel owner of the elevated the mountain distillery and Maggie value, North Carolina. Hey day
00:31:25.440 --> 00:31:26.670 Dave Angel: So hey y'all.
00:31:27.090 --> 00:31:36.810 Joseph McElroy: So we were talking about your, your distillery. What kind of, what kind of places it what do people experience when they come there.
00:31:38.580 --> 00:31:49.230 Dave Angel: Well, we do all kinds of things. So first and foremost, were a distillery. We're very proud of the be a distillery to the products we make. We've got award winning products and the three and a half years were there.
00:31:49.830 --> 00:32:03.630 Dave Angel: We make a vodka called hurricane Creek. We've got a corn whiskey straight off the steel White Lightning version of it moonshine version, if you will. And we also have a three year barrel aged version called purchase knob.
00:32:04.260 --> 00:32:09.960 Dave Angel: We're about to release a bourbon called water right now it's three and a half years has been sitting in the barrel and it's super good.
00:32:10.410 --> 00:32:13.050 Dave Angel: But then we have some flavor products to we have shining rock.
00:32:13.950 --> 00:32:25.380 Dave Angel: Brand of moon shines. We got a blackberry strawberry apple pie and peach pie. And then we have one product. It's we call it root beer white lightning. It's named after Raymond Fairchild, the only
00:32:25.740 --> 00:32:33.780 Dave Angel: five time world champion banjo player in history from right there and Maggie value, North Carolina. So we celebrate his music heritage as well.
00:32:34.260 --> 00:32:40.230 Dave Angel: So we have a lot of products if you come to the distillery during the day. Most people come and they want to do a tour of the distillery.
00:32:40.560 --> 00:32:50.670 Dave Angel: They want to see the place they have questions, they want to and ask and have answered, you know, we try to tell them what we can be as transparent about that we walk you through making whiskey.
00:32:51.270 --> 00:33:01.320 Dave Angel: We have samples of our products. We got a big steals 920 gallons. It's a beast. So, you know, people are fascinated say that doesn't look like what you'd say in the backwoods
00:33:02.160 --> 00:33:09.600 Dave Angel: As the night as we move into Night, especially Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights where music venue. One of the best places you can go
00:33:10.170 --> 00:33:19.980 Dave Angel: To catch the live music typically karaoke on Thursdays Friday nights tend to be more alternative music alternative. I mean, blues,
00:33:20.460 --> 00:33:35.130 Dave Angel: Bluegrass, that kind of thing. Saturday nights tend to be more big band big party kind of music we we generate some big crowds in our place and love to have fun with the folks that come out. We have a full bar beer, wine and cocktails that we offer.
00:33:36.180 --> 00:33:49.590 Dave Angel: So it depends. It depends what you're looking for. We've got that nightlife atmosphere. We've also got a how it's made production atmosphere to party was it business up front party in the back. And it's sort of that kind of a mindset.
00:33:49.680 --> 00:33:55.050 Joseph McElroy: Well, I remember going there and you got a wonderful front area that
00:33:56.250 --> 00:34:13.950 Joseph McElroy: Sort of a gift shop right with lots of interesting artifacts of the mountains and and also the you know the standard museum fair for T shirts and stuff like that. But the books and and jugs and glasses and all sorts of stuff right
00:34:14.490 --> 00:34:17.580 Dave Angel: We do you know a lot of and I learned that from some of the other
00:34:18.390 --> 00:34:26.280 Dave Angel: The distilling industry is a small knit group of people. So we're always helping each other out, because we want to see each other survive and be successful.
00:34:26.760 --> 00:34:33.630 Dave Angel: But I heard that from any places. Make sure you get some good T shirts, because some people come to buy booze. Some just want a teacher says, I was there.
00:34:33.840 --> 00:34:34.680 Dave Angel: Yeah, there's a lot of
00:34:34.770 --> 00:34:42.360 Joseph McElroy: truth to that. And then, then you go through some doors and you go into this big wide open space, right, then you can see these giant
00:34:43.650 --> 00:34:47.010 Joseph McElroy: That. So I guess or distilling yeah yeah
00:34:47.100 --> 00:34:52.620 Dave Angel: Yeah, our place used to be a dinner theater. So we've actually got a little bit of a slope to the floor.
00:34:52.920 --> 00:35:08.010 Dave Angel: And where the stage once was, we now we've removed the status of steel actually sits in the basement under the stage. So it's partially below you, and partially stilted the tallest part of the sales 23 feet. So it's still towers way over you. But what
00:35:09.180 --> 00:35:16.710 Dave Angel: I will say when you walk in, there's a barrel rack on both sides. Obviously, it really does feel like you're going in. I mean, you know, when you walk in the doors. Your went into distillery.
00:35:17.070 --> 00:35:18.720 Joseph McElroy: And it smells incredible. Right.
00:35:19.860 --> 00:35:29.370 Dave Angel: Yes, it does. Every day, even when we're not producing there's just so much alcohol in there from what's in barrels and little bit seep out of barrels every day and it just gives a great smell of the place.
00:35:30.000 --> 00:35:33.240 Joseph McElroy: Now do you you you buy your barrels from somewhere else. Right.
00:35:34.170 --> 00:35:37.680 Dave Angel: We do we we've bought from a couple of different places.
00:35:38.610 --> 00:35:48.420 Dave Angel: Yeah, when when the distilling industry took off the craft distilling industry you know 10 years ago you went to Kentucky went to Napa Valley. That's where barrels were made in America.
00:35:48.900 --> 00:35:59.340 Dave Angel: Now there's there's barrel Makers, All over the southeast. We work with one out of Bristol, Virginia, about two hours away. They're, they're very close to us. It's easy to run up against some if we need them.
00:36:00.630 --> 00:36:06.810 Dave Angel: But yeah, it's, it's, that's a big part of its when you walk into the look and feel of barrels that what they do.
00:36:07.260 --> 00:36:22.680 Dave Angel: A lot of people don't realize whiskey comes off a steel clear all alcohol, pretty much comes off the steel clear when you put it in a barrel a whiskey barrels made out of American wide. Oh, it's char burned on the inside. It's that burnt layer of wood that's turns the whiskey brown
00:36:23.190 --> 00:36:26.280 Joseph McElroy: Oh, interesting, is it affecting the effects of taste to write
00:36:26.730 --> 00:36:31.710 Dave Angel: It does about 60% of a whiskies flavor is going to come from that chart barrel.
00:36:32.130 --> 00:36:38.460 Joseph McElroy: Hmm. And what's different from, say, Tennessee whiskey from your whiskey. Is there any, are
00:36:39.180 --> 00:36:42.540 Dave Angel: There is Tennessee whiskey has to be made, Tennessee.
00:36:43.590 --> 00:36:46.650 Dave Angel: It is. That's the biggest criteria to it, they
00:36:47.670 --> 00:37:03.570 Dave Angel: They would get mad at me in Tennessee for saying this but Tennessee whiskey as a bourbon, that's them pour through a chart Maple wood filter that gives it a sweeter maple note and they say, because of that, it's no longer bourbon is Tennessee whiskey.
00:37:03.930 --> 00:37:05.580 Dave Angel: I don't like you to call it bourbon up front.
00:37:05.580 --> 00:37:07.410 Dave Angel: They, they just wanted to talk about Tennessee whiskey.
00:37:07.440 --> 00:37:09.450 Joseph McElroy: What's the difference between bourbon and whiskey.
00:37:10.440 --> 00:37:14.610 Dave Angel: So, good question. Bourbon Alex I'll blow some people's minds here.
00:37:14.970 --> 00:37:27.060 Dave Angel: Bourbon is whiskey bourbon and scotch or both whiskies I get that settled on my service Scotch bourbon whiskey Scott has to be made in Scotland bourbon has to be made in America does not have to be made in Kentucky has to be made in America.
00:37:27.540 --> 00:37:35.040 Dave Angel: Bourbon has to be at least 51% corn has to be aged in a brand new chart American white oak barrel.
00:37:35.520 --> 00:37:48.120 Dave Angel: So once that barrels used you can no longer bourbon back in it. It's been used for bourbon, the first and only time the biggest buyer bourbon barrels are the Scots and Irish Scotch whisky Irish whiskey all goes and use bourbon barrels.
00:37:48.780 --> 00:37:53.520 Joseph McElroy: And interesting and why would Tennessee make bourbon first and then convert it into whiskey.
00:37:54.060 --> 00:38:03.450 Dave Angel: It's just the process they use the brand new charred American wine barrel most Tennessee Bert most Tennessee whiskey is or 75 to 85% corn.
00:38:03.720 --> 00:38:18.780 Dave Angel: So, and it's made America at least 51% corny, but in that brand new barrel, it's legally a bourbon. They go that extra step to say, well, we're going to char, we're going to run it through a charred maple filter and that transforms it into Tennessee whiskey.
00:38:20.880 --> 00:38:23.040 Dave Angel: It's all about marketing. It really is.
00:38:23.910 --> 00:38:27.600 Joseph McElroy: Yours is not a brand new Mar barrel you you get age barrels in
00:38:27.750 --> 00:38:34.320 Dave Angel: Right, we will we get both. We have bourbon that we have not released yet. It's super good at sitting in a barrel.
00:38:35.040 --> 00:38:45.990 Dave Angel: You know what I learned from other places. I'd love to tell you everything I do is my own creation but you know give a shout out to Maker's Mark they they barrel whiskey at 111 proof most distilleries
00:38:46.590 --> 00:39:04.530 Dave Angel: Barrel bourbon and the hundred and 20 125 proof range by lowering that closer to what you're actually want to drink, you get a more intense bourbon flavor. And that sounds good to me when I tour Maker's Mark and we barrel aged whiskey or bourbon at 110 111 proof.
00:39:04.980 --> 00:39:07.080 Joseph McElroy: And it's got an intense whiskey flavor. Yeah, I remember
00:39:07.080 --> 00:39:18.450 Joseph McElroy: That yeah it's got remember when we went to, to the ABC store, they were you know they recommended it. When you are they actually recommended when somebody was asking for, you know, pretty intense flavor. So that's good.
00:39:18.450 --> 00:39:19.680 Dave Angel: Yeah, good.
00:39:19.860 --> 00:39:29.490 Joseph McElroy: Yeah, so, so, um, so, what kind of competition friend co operators do you have in the region distilleries
00:39:30.390 --> 00:39:35.280 Dave Angel: Oh, there's there's several and I rely on a lot of like they come to me with questions.
00:39:35.700 --> 00:39:45.090 Dave Angel: When people come to the Smokies or to western North Carolina, you tend to do one of two things, either come in Asheville, North Carolina. We have a lot of people to go to Asheville
00:39:45.390 --> 00:39:53.430 Dave Angel: Going to see the Biltmore House that when a tour of the breweries. There's two or three distilleries there h&h distilling how many good friends of mine, they
00:39:54.120 --> 00:40:02.790 Dave Angel: Actually was talking with them. Just this week with. There's also add a Ryan, there's the chemists. Those are great distilleries over in the Asheville area.
00:40:03.240 --> 00:40:12.600 Dave Angel: People tend to visit them and then we're their day outside of Asheville, they come up to Maggie Valley, we, we like to brag you, Maggie. Where are the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, because
00:40:12.990 --> 00:40:17.280 Dave Angel: Nationals in a big base and you have to leave Asheville to get to the mountains and they come to Maggie Valley.
00:40:17.910 --> 00:40:22.740 Dave Angel: The other big place people tend to go is Gatlinburg Tennessee Pigeon Forge area.
00:40:23.250 --> 00:40:35.910 Dave Angel: A lot of people, when you say, Great Smoky Mountain National Park. They think Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I'll tell you right up front, the majority. The park is in North Carolina is not in Tennessee but Gatlinburg has done a great job of marketing.
00:40:35.910 --> 00:40:50.460 Dave Angel: That that spot, but over a Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge or so there's 20 distilleries are the most visited Distillery in the world. I'll give him a shout out old smokey and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, something like 2 million people a year ago to Gatlinburg to see that distillery.
00:40:51.720 --> 00:40:55.380 Dave Angel: It's, it's, if you've ever been to Gatlinburg, you get that it's it's a
00:40:56.250 --> 00:41:06.840 Dave Angel: Tourist. It's a tourist destination for sure, but you old smokey sugar lands is a big one over there. I got a good friend who runs one called Old Forge and Pigeon Forge area.
00:41:08.130 --> 00:41:15.660 Dave Angel: There's one junction 35 that I go check out I'm I'm impressed by them. But where there's literally 20 over there. But again, people that go
00:41:15.960 --> 00:41:25.830 Dave Angel: To Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge area, they want to go over the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to see the park that brings you to Maggie Valley, North Carolina, and so they they see us as well.
00:41:26.370 --> 00:41:38.040 Joseph McElroy: Yeah, we used it. Well, that's why I named the podcast gateway, the Smokies is Haywood County used to be called the gateway to the Smokies because, you know, that's how you used to get together, people do to get to it. So yeah.
00:41:39.240 --> 00:41:50.220 Joseph McElroy: So I'm talking about distilleries. There's also a lot of a lot of craft beverage is there, you know, beer, and even wine. Why is it so big smoke.
00:41:51.570 --> 00:42:00.000 Dave Angel: You know, it really comes back some I said earlier, it's the water we have fabulous water in western North Carolina anywhere from Knoxville as well just incredible water.
00:42:00.420 --> 00:42:07.980 Dave Angel: The beer industry really picked up on that. It's surprising, even the people that live in western North Carolina, but the biggest
00:42:08.460 --> 00:42:17.340 Dave Angel: Manufacturing industry in western Carolina is beer, wine and spirits manufacturing and there's something like 2500 people that work in breweries, wineries, and distilleries across
00:42:17.880 --> 00:42:29.310 Dave Angel: Western North Carolina, it's it drives our agribusiness, it would surprise a lot of people with the most visited winery in America, it's not Napa, and Sonoma. It's in Asheville, North Carolina.
00:42:29.430 --> 00:42:30.180 Dave Angel: Is a little bit more
00:42:30.930 --> 00:42:31.410 Joseph McElroy: Yeah.
00:42:31.770 --> 00:42:41.850 Dave Angel: If the if the most visited winery in America. So we are we're right there in the heart of all that was something like 35 maybe even 40 breweries Justin downtown Asheville
00:42:42.060 --> 00:42:49.470 Joseph McElroy: And and you know haven County is now starting to get a number of really good breweries there as well. Hey, Maggie has a brewery now.
00:42:49.560 --> 00:42:57.990 Dave Angel: Maggie has a brewery to bear waters and Maggie Valley there also. And can I have a bromance with these guys. I think the world of art and Kevin
00:42:58.740 --> 00:43:04.920 Dave Angel: They're the owners of bear waters. They're good buddies of mine. I do a lot with them. We make hand sanitizer together.
00:43:05.490 --> 00:43:10.620 Dave Angel: It's we found ways to work together and doing some business which is a lot of fun when it's fringe are working with
00:43:11.160 --> 00:43:19.590 Dave Angel: There's frog level brewing in downtown Waynesville there's boo jump brewing in downtown Waynesville we have a winery and Maggie Valley.
00:43:20.040 --> 00:43:37.770 Dave Angel: b&c winery. So yeah, we got a little Haywood County we got we got breweries. We got winery got distillery. We got a craft soda company Waynesville soda jerks. They're super good. A lot of fruit based sodas that they make. And we have some fabulous coffee shops to we're, we're in everything.
00:43:38.160 --> 00:43:46.290 Joseph McElroy: Yeah, so I mean it's a great place to visit for you want that that craft beverage experience. In fact, me and Dave are talking about maybe doing a craft beverage festival
00:43:46.650 --> 00:43:47.130 Joseph McElroy: Well, so, yeah.
00:43:47.520 --> 00:43:48.990 Joseph McElroy: We'll see, we'll get that together.
00:43:50.040 --> 00:44:00.630 Joseph McElroy: But so right now we're going to take another break and then we're talk a little bit more about the moonshine history when we get back. I am a Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
00:46:21.000 --> 00:46:27.570 Joseph McElroy: Hey this is Joseph McIlroy back with the gateway to the Smokies podcast with my good friend Dave angel. Hey day
00:46:28.080 --> 00:46:28.710 Joseph McElroy: So, yeah.
00:46:29.430 --> 00:46:41.190 Joseph McElroy: So, uh, yeah. You mentioned popcorn sudden, I think people would know anything, any knowledge of the moon shining at all know about popcorn set. And I think you got famous on the moon chatters TV show. Right.
00:46:42.090 --> 00:46:54.210 Dave Angel: hated the first few seasons. They talked the popcorn and actually passed away before the show got started, they use a lot of footage of popcorn up front. And I think that was a big key to the success of the show.
00:46:54.630 --> 00:46:57.540 Joseph McElroy: Yeah. What, what, why does popcorn so famous.
00:46:58.710 --> 00:47:08.610 Dave Angel: Yeah, he, he was he was great moon shiner he was an excellent marketer. He knew how to how to put his stuff out there and to get it known
00:47:09.240 --> 00:47:21.450 Dave Angel: What really made him famous. He wasn't a documentary called the last right and the last run was film and popcorn stop making his last run a moonshine.
00:47:21.930 --> 00:47:30.870 Dave Angel: It was filmed in 2002 for the next five or six years, people were desperately hoping to get a bottle that last run and he always happen to have this a few jar sitting around
00:47:31.440 --> 00:47:37.830 Dave Angel: It was some of the best marketing that he ever did. But when when that movie came out the last run at one to me.
00:47:40.350 --> 00:47:52.290 Dave Angel: From New York City to Miami. It was getting on the news on TV. It was that feel good story on Friday night on the news today and Maggie Valley North Carolina popcorn Sutton, and asked his last run of mood shining
00:47:52.650 --> 00:47:58.560 Dave Angel: And they called him the last of the rebels. It was great marketing. He knew how to get his name out there was stuff like that.
00:47:59.040 --> 00:48:06.720 Joseph McElroy: Oh, interesting. You know, it's a fairly tragic how you know he got in trouble at the end and signed to be an outlaw on end his own life, but
00:48:07.290 --> 00:48:09.660 Dave Angel: You know, he was a martyr for moonshine, he was
00:48:10.050 --> 00:48:24.780 Joseph McElroy: A he's a martyr for moonshine. But yeah, there's, there's a there's a little bit of controversy whether, you know, I remember a little bit of controversy about Tennessee trying to claim that popcorn Sutton was there, you know, I think he was in both places. Right.
00:48:24.810 --> 00:48:34.440 Dave Angel: He, he was in both places. It's a, it's a interesting story. You know, if you're not familiar with a we carry Maggie Valley, we're we're 20 miles on the interstate the
00:48:34.830 --> 00:48:39.030 Dave Angel: Tennessee border. I mean, as the crow flies were more like 10 miles. I guess maybe 12 miles.
00:48:39.690 --> 00:48:55.860 Dave Angel: But we're right there on the border. He went back and forth between sort of the Cosby parents will Tennessee area Maggie Valley, North Carolina, he, you know, Simon about his marketing and you mentioned earlier the the Maggie value restaurant popcorn drove a model, a four track.
00:48:56.190 --> 00:49:06.870 Dave Angel: And if he asked him why he drove it so I'm down to Florida. Florida anything fancier and this it was marketing when he pulled into the campground at nine o'clock. It was like the ice cream truck pulled in.
00:49:08.130 --> 00:49:13.650 Dave Angel: All the moms and dads like popcorn here, get your money. Let's go get a solution before he leaves you know it was
00:49:14.490 --> 00:49:18.450 Joseph McElroy: A classic mountain man character. I'll tell you what. Right.
00:49:18.480 --> 00:49:19.290 Dave Angel: He was
00:49:19.350 --> 00:49:19.530 He's
00:49:20.670 --> 00:49:21.900 Joseph McElroy: Right behind you right
00:49:22.440 --> 00:49:28.440 Dave Angel: Well that's, that's him. Right. That's a wood carving mount Mike's whetstone and Maggie Valley, they carve this out for me, but that's
00:49:28.440 --> 00:49:31.050 Dave Angel: Yeah, that's a rendition of popcorn set right there.
00:49:31.710 --> 00:49:34.710 Joseph McElroy: Yeah. So what do you think of that moonshiners TV show.
00:49:35.670 --> 00:49:42.390 Dave Angel: You know it's it's it's a great show. I'm familiar. I know everybody on the show. They've all been at our place February.
00:49:42.930 --> 00:49:50.070 Dave Angel: The last set. I don't know what today is the last Saturday in February, from one to four almost the whole cast is going to be at the distillery.
00:49:50.850 --> 00:49:54.180 Dave Angel: They do a meet and greet the last Saturday, February with us every year.
00:49:54.540 --> 00:50:03.090 Dave Angel: Yeah. We get thousands of people that will go through the distillery. We're, we're limited because the coven how many can be in there. One time, but we'll get them through and make sure they all get to me.
00:50:03.570 --> 00:50:08.910 Dave Angel: Their favorite moonshiners from the show but they all live right in and around Maggie Valley.
00:50:09.270 --> 00:50:14.280 Dave Angel: I see him all the time. We had Kelly Williams. Some of the show came up to listen to music with me Saturday night.
00:50:15.960 --> 00:50:19.710 Dave Angel: It's, it's interesting what it's done to moonshine. So, you know, the moonshiners of the
00:50:20.160 --> 00:50:31.140 Dave Angel: 30s, 40s to you in the 60s and 70s. They weren't about making good product they're making about making good money. They wanted to see how cheap, they can make it and how much they could sell it for
00:50:31.860 --> 00:50:38.460 Dave Angel: That show has, you know, sort of rejuvenated the energy around moon shining and you've got these
00:50:39.360 --> 00:50:48.030 Dave Angel: Gourmet moonshiners today they want to use the best of the best grains. They want to make whiskies you can't buy anywhere else, or find anywhere else they're
00:50:48.450 --> 00:50:54.510 Dave Angel: They're really pushing the limits of what can be done and it's it's it's it's interesting to see what some of these guys are doing.
00:50:55.020 --> 00:51:07.110 Joseph McElroy: So, you know, for people listening and one of the adventure. You can do is come to Maggie Valley and see if you can find get a local who will introduce you to a moon shot here, but you have to convince them early trustworthy.
00:51:07.530 --> 00:51:08.280 Dave Angel: So that, yeah.
00:51:08.550 --> 00:51:10.320 Joseph McElroy: Sure of your lifetime. If you can do it.
00:51:12.090 --> 00:51:19.440 Joseph McElroy: Now, but yeah, you probably can find somebody to get your product, but the be maybe a little bit harder to find it so
00:51:21.090 --> 00:51:22.140 Joseph McElroy: great adventure.
00:51:22.650 --> 00:51:29.520 Dave Angel: I was back in the day. That's why people came to Maggie Valley, you know, now they're guys like me out there that are making legal moonshine.
00:51:29.760 --> 00:51:30.120 Dave Angel: Yeah.
00:51:30.180 --> 00:51:39.540 Joseph McElroy: Back in the 1970s, your place and get the legal stuff because you got a fun experience. You got all the music and things going on, you know, it's like it's a tremendous a
00:51:40.860 --> 00:51:45.480 Joseph McElroy: Facility and then then do some little ventures, because they are you talking about the water. It's great to go
00:51:47.520 --> 00:51:51.840 Joseph McElroy: To bat and fish and all sorts of things in that whole area graph.
00:51:52.650 --> 00:51:56.670 Joseph McElroy: With the waters that is it true that NASCAR came out of moonshine.
00:51:57.330 --> 00:52:02.850 Dave Angel: Yesterday a NASCAR definitely has its roots and moonshine. They were so if you make
00:52:03.150 --> 00:52:14.640 Dave Angel: If you make illegal liquor you're called a moon shiner if you transport your called a bootlegger so bootleggers are the that's the beginnings and asked her right there. They had souped up, they tended
00:52:15.360 --> 00:52:28.230 Dave Angel: super big shots in the back of the card spring so that when they loaded it down with moonshine. It didn't sink in the bottom and it looked like it drove right but they had to be able to run the law and they have big engines in those cars to be able to do it.
00:52:30.090 --> 00:52:36.840 Joseph McElroy: So we're gonna have to close up a little bit. Soon, where can we buy your product besides your, your, your, your distillery.
00:52:37.740 --> 00:52:46.170 Dave Angel: Well, we'd love to have you come to the story come visit Maggie valley, but we're available and ABC stores alcohol Beverage Control stores in North Carolina all throughout the state.
00:52:47.310 --> 00:52:53.850 Dave Angel: Where the bot will meet the coast at Wilmington, North Carolina at the distillery. It's the exact same price. That's one of the pros and cons of
00:52:54.510 --> 00:53:00.600 Dave Angel: A state controlled alcohol, but we're sold out to save North Carolina, we are looking to expand into some other states.
00:53:01.350 --> 00:53:06.870 Dave Angel: You know, we get visitors from in our, in our first six months of operating. We had a visitor from every state of Wyoming.
00:53:07.860 --> 00:53:18.600 Dave Angel: And there's not a lot of people in Wyoming. That's what I discovered later took a while to get one from there and they yeah yeah people come from all over. And so we're trying to figure out what states, make the best sense for us to move into
00:53:18.900 --> 00:53:20.850 Joseph McElroy: And what's uh, what's your website.
00:53:22.590 --> 00:53:28.050 Dave Angel: Elevated mountain com WWW dot elevated mountain, all one word all spelled out calm.
00:53:28.560 --> 00:53:37.380 Dave Angel: You can find us on Facebook, we probably got 14 15,000 followers on Facebook. That's probably the easiest way to keep up with what's happening elevated mountain distilling company.
00:53:37.770 --> 00:53:51.300 Dave Angel: If you're on Instagram or Twitter elevated MTN we do love to do things on there as well. But we're always putting our music we really go to Facebook is the place to publish what's happening.
00:53:51.480 --> 00:53:56.520 Joseph McElroy: So yeah, so it's a great resource. I want to mention some other things that another cousin of mine runs a
00:53:57.810 --> 00:54:04.890 Joseph McElroy: Big festival Maggie valid call hillbilly jam and you go to the hillbilly jam calm. To find out more about is to be on July 23
00:54:06.450 --> 00:54:11.460 Joseph McElroy: July 24 of 11pm and it's got the foods crap hillbillies it's
00:54:12.000 --> 00:54:19.980 Joseph McElroy: It's got moonshiners from the Discovery Channel got cars and bikes show. It's very much part of hillbilly and Mountain near moonshine culture.
00:54:20.370 --> 00:54:31.950 Joseph McElroy: And then I got a shout out to my things. I got a motel and Maggie Valley called the middle art motel. It's been in my family for 45 years we were a plastic roadside motel that we've renovated to be
00:54:32.460 --> 00:54:39.540 Joseph McElroy: Athletes and seek and we have a lot of craft of beverages. They're available for people to experience. Unfortunately we don't do
00:54:41.550 --> 00:54:45.270 Joseph McElroy: Days product there, but he'll come by and do a tasting. If you want it.
00:54:45.600 --> 00:54:47.370 Dave Angel: And we're a stone's throw away.
00:54:49.440 --> 00:54:57.840 Joseph McElroy: And we're working on getting the restaurants and then we can actually serve liquor, because you can't do like liquor without a restaurant, but there's restaurants all around us that you can get this product.
00:54:58.140 --> 00:55:03.900 Joseph McElroy: We have some of the top restaurants in the area right across the street next door. I own I also have a
00:55:04.530 --> 00:55:18.570 Joseph McElroy: site called smokies adventure, the plural calm, where you can get information listings about things to do in the Smokies and wedding venues and buy books and trail max and resources back soon. I have a book called from the jar.
00:55:19.470 --> 00:55:27.270 Joseph McElroy: Shining Great Smoky Mountains that supports and nonprofits and support that to help me on finance the Great Smoky Mountains operations.
00:55:27.570 --> 00:55:33.150 Joseph McElroy: So that'll be for people listening to this, you know, this is gonna be around for a while you'll be able to go there. It's not there yet, but it'll be there soon.
00:55:33.690 --> 00:55:47.970 Joseph McElroy: And then I'm part of the were traveler magazine network, we were building a great matte Smoky Mountain section that's going to beat your experts and and human interest stories about the mountains and
00:55:48.570 --> 00:55:54.810 Joseph McElroy: It's big sites get over 12 million visitors a year and the stories you're gonna be very much into
00:55:55.590 --> 00:56:14.130 Joseph McElroy: What, what, what are the things we talked about here and then remind you can find more about go to the gateway, the smokers podcast by going to facebook.com slash gateway to the Smokies podcast is going to be. It's every Tuesday from six to seven and we look forward to having you back.
00:56:15.360 --> 00:56:31.920 Joseph McElroy: And and finding out what's going on. Next week is going to be exciting show AND I WANT TO THANK YOU. Dave for showing up. And, you know, go get your daughter. Now he's he's he's he's in the middle of go from one place to the other. So
00:56:32.970 --> 00:56:34.650 Joseph McElroy: Bye for this week. See you next week.