Making Moonshine: A Renegade Art

Mile Hi Distillery on Country Music News Blog!

This summer sure did sneak up on us here at and as every summer does, this one seems to be packed full of festivals, campouts and bonfires. As we sat around going over our event calendars and telling stories from parties past, the subject of that evil little pass-around jar came up, and that got us thinking. For an activity that operates on the edges of the law, the moonshine trade is still running at full speed in the Midwest. We reached out to our friends at Mile Hi Distilling to ask what the current legal landscape is for shiners, and if they had anything to say on the matter, and here’s what we got back!   It may bum you out to hear that distilling in the comfort of one’s own home has been illegal since the years of prohibition, even though home brewing, or “craft brewing” has been legal since 1979. Don’t be bummed! Distilling is not straight out illegal; down to the root of it, distilling is separating a liquid through the process of vaporizing the liquid, condensing, and collecting the vapor put off. It’s the same process you would use to purify water, in fact! It’s a harmless, and legal, hobby so long as you follow a few guidelines.   What all the “illegality” talk boils down to is good ole’ fun taxes. 5% of the United States revenue comes directly from alcohol taxes. Such a hefty contribution keeps home distilling illegal, resulting in fines that can make you stop in your tracks, a visit or two to the nearest jail, and seizing of your personal property. And yet, moonshining in the hidden rooms of homes all around hasn’t let up one bit!   Of course, if you don’t have the intent to do anything naughty, this is purely academic. You’d probably be amazed to hear that there’s an estimated 200,000 US moonshiners in full operation. While we do not condone taking on home moonshining and risking it all for a sip of “white whiskey” made with your own two hands, there are some that are putting in all their innocence chips and getting their shine on! The equipment used for distilling is a work of art in it’s own right. To see for yourself, check out our website Mile! In order to produce this beautiful equipment, we have a team of artisan welders on hand that make their delicate work look easy. As we say at Mile Hi, “let’s take a walk in the moonlight.” So basically, our thoughts in the office were right… While it’s one of those things that where it’s fine to own the equipment, and fine to fail at the art, it’s getting good at it that gets you into dangerous territory. Of course when has that ever stopped the party? Now we want to know… When did you last get YOUR shine on?

Meet the Moonshine Bandits: Interview

Meet New On The Scene, Duo Moonshine Bandits – Exclusive Interview! Take some Johnny Cash and add little bit of the Beastie Boys, and you have The Moonshine Bandits! Although, you can’t really compare them to anyone because obviously, they are in a lane all to itself. Tex & Bird are two California boys just trying to make a name for themselves in the world of music. What genre you ask? Well, it’s safe to say they’re avoiding labels and have decided to do things their own way. Their music is country with a hip hop flavor, and that’s just how they like it. Their video “My Kind Of Country” made it to the #1 spot on CMT, and the fellas have also reached the No. 65 spot on the Country Billboard charts. I refer to their music as “cali country” or “country hip hop.”, I enjoy it because I feel it’s real. They’re just being who they want to be. They work hard and play even harder, and that’s heard in most of their music. So, I decided to ask the boys a few questions so we can get to know them better, check it out below. How do you know each other? We went to high school together in a small town called Los Banos, California. What genre do you consider yourself? There is no genre for our style of music……Yet. How long have you been performing together? Since 1999 we started performing at house parties and country parties. How many tattoos do you have? Way too many to count. We have a sponsorship deal with Dos Changos Locos Tattoo in Modesto, California. Whenever we find free time, we pop in there and they hook us up. They have very talented artists and they are like family to us. What do you usually do in your free time? We bbq, spend time with our familiy or visit our Shiners Bar we just opened. We don’t have much free time really. What artists influenced you growing up? Beastie Boys, Kid Rock, Johnny Cash, a lot of West Coast Hiphop as well. Is there anything you want the world to know about the Moonshine Bandits? Yes, there is a huge family that is growing world wide and it’s known as Shiner Nation. It’s a group of loyal people that has helped our career crush obstacles and we are forever grateful for them. Come join the Shiner Nation family and see that the hype will become a reality for you as well. The Moonshine Bandits are nothing short of rowdy outlaws that like to party! So, for all you party animals out there be sure to join Shiner Nation at If you haven’t had a chance to check out their music, I would totally recommend it. It’s wild, crazy and has plenty of personality! Watch their video for “My Kind Of Country” below, and hear for yourself. Moonshine Bandits, “My Kind Of Country” Official Video.