published Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Moonshine makers set up shop in Georgia city hall

Distiller Dwight Bearden stands over a condenser barrel while making a batch of genuine corn whiskey in the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery in Dawsonville, Ga. Distillers are making their first batches of legal liquor in this tiny Georgia town, using the town hall itself. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Distiller Dwight Bearden stands over a condenser barrel while making a batch of genuine corn whiskey in the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery in Dawsonville, Ga. Distillers are making their first batches of legal liquor in this tiny Georgia town, using the town hall itself. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Moonshine distillers are making their first batches of legal liquor in a city hall in Georgia, not far from the nearby mountains and woods that once hid them from the law during Prohibition.

The moonshine makers and officials in Dawsonville say they’re preserving a way of life — and paying tribute to an era when moonshine meant extra income for farmers, medicine for their children and helped fuel the birth of stock car racing.

The smell of corn and alcohol fills the air, several yards and a few interior walls away from the offices of the city clerk, the mayor and other officials.

The city leases the space to the distillery. Dawsonville Mayor W. James Grogan says the idea was that the distillery would tie into the city’s history.

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