Magazine articles

Making moonshine with Roger Lee “Buck” Nance

 by Glen Herbert

“Listen,” says Nance. “It sounds like rain on a roof.” And it really does. Large vats line the room, each filled with a roiling mixture of grain and yeast. The gas being released as bubbles is responsible for the sound and the smell, which is somewhere between beer and bread and turpentine.

5500816b00316-1.image On the right is Buck Nance standing next to one of the tanks that he made by hand. A professional welder, he made everything within the distillery by hand–tanks, pipes, coils–with the exception of the furnace. 

It’s an attractive facility, miles away conceptually and physically from the clandestine stills that come to mind whenever we think of moonshine. The Copper Barrel Distillery, which opened its doors this past April, is a boutique on par with the micro-wineries of Napa Valley. The building, once home to a furniture manufacturer, has been restored to bring out its…

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