When creative specialty food producers visit their neighborhood distillery, beautiful things happen.
That is exactly the case with Appalachian Distillery in Jackson County, West Virginia. When distillery-owner Dwayne Freeman opened his little moonshine distillery in 2014, little did he know he would inspire a new category of specialty foods: Moonshine-flavored food products.
Moonshine food industry develops
Already, two boutique, Jackson County food producers have developed and introduced moonshine-flavored products inspired by their local distillery.
Shari Leavitt, of The Levitt Farm, was first out of the gate last year with her Moonshine Jelly. There is a shot of moonshine in every jar (though no alcohol, because it boils off during cooking the jelly). The moonshine flavor is left in and works well with the fruit.
It comes in Peach, Strawberry, Blackberry, Apple Pie and one other variety. The jellies were very hot sellers back during the holiday season. These moonshine food products are great gift items.
Leavitt’s Moonshine Jelly is quite prominently displayed on an end-cap at Tamarack, the state’s premier craft market showplace. They say it is selling very well. Leavitt Farm also has a Moonshine Barbecue Sauce. (You can read more about Leavitt’s Moonshine Jelly at this BrilliantStream.com link.)
Breaking News: moonshine goes nuts
In early 2016, Ginger Harmon, owner of Sassy Gals Gourmet Treats, introduced her Moonshine Roasted Pecans.
These candied pecans are covered with a crust that includes one of Appalachian Distillery’s flavored moonshines.
The first four flavors on the market are Apple Pie, Peach, Pina Colada, and Blackberry.
You can find Moonshine Roasted Pecans for sale at Tamarack, Charleston Farmers Market, Appalachian Distillery’s tasting room, and several other West Virginia specialty food retailers. Harmon says the initial response has been strong, and she expects many other retailers will pick up the line.
Don’t you love the synergy
We love the synergy between our craft beverage and specialty food producers. It’s a true win-win for both businesses and for the local economy. We hope to see many more specialty food producers using local beverages as ingredients in their food products. Moonshine food is here to stay.