Hatfields, McCoys Making Moonshine Together

This time, it's legal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2015 10:30 AM CST
Hatfields, McCoys Making Moonshine Together
Chad Bishop discusses the distilling process at the Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine distillery in Gilbert, W.Va.    (John Raby)

If their ancestors only knew: Direct descendants of the Hatfields have teamed up with the McCoy name to produce legal moonshine in southern West Virginia with the state's blessing. Production of "Drink of the Devil" has been in full swing at a distillery on original Hatfield land, bringing batches to the nation's store shelves using the original recipe of family patriarch William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield. Overseen by Chad Bishop, husband of Hatfield's great-great-great granddaughter, all the work is done by hand in a converted garage on a mountainside six miles from "Devil Anse" Hatfield's gravesite.

After going through fermentation and distilling processes at Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine, batches are bottled, corked, and packaged before being shipped to West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Ronald McCoy, a great-great grandson of McCoy patriarch Randolph "Ole Ran'l" McCoy, was a consultant for the distillery's startup and the product's testing and marketing. The feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky is believed to have begun in the 1870s over a stolen pig and escalated over timber rights. By 1888, at least 12 people had died as a result of the shooting war. The violence ended by 1900, and a truce signed in 2003 marked an official end to the conflict. Now, in the name of commerce, the families are banding together. (More moonshine stories.)

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