Written by Moore Good Ink
Dawsonville, GA: When singer, actor, and film producer Roger Daltrey of the rock group The Who came to the States in September 2003 to narrate a documentary on the history of moonshine, Dawsonville, Georgia was his destination.
If anyone at that time had said ‘Dawsonville would be legally producing “white lightning” in 2012 and offering it for sale,’ it would have been cast aside as the ranting of a lunatic. But at 9am Saturday, October 27, 2012, during the 45th Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, the first bottles from Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery will do just that! Eighty-six proof, these mountain spirits are being produced at a rate of 10 to 12 gallons per day and bottled in .750ml jars, all in compliance with State, Local, and Federal licenses—it’s enough to make the originators of stock car racing turn in their graves!
Running the illicit corn liquor through the foothills of the Northeast Georgia Mountains was a way of life. Legislating morality had put the moonshiners in business and from the 1930s to the ‘60s moonshine was transported daily from the country roads of Dawsonville to the city streets of Atlanta. Some drivers would set off at 1am while others would carefully time their twice-daily runs to coincide with school traffic in the mornings and similarly mingle in returning traffic in the afternoons. Their cars were clean and always inconspicuous. The trade continued until recent times but lost much of its appeal during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when sugar prices escalated. Still today thousands of tourists flock to the birthplace of stock car racing to hear about storied legends, Lloyd Seay, Roy Hall, Raymond Parks, and Gober Sosebee.