Brooklyn yuppies are cooking up more than just artisanal pizza and nuclear reactors these days. Looking to cultivate their Great Depression chic schtick, "hipster kids" and "foodie enthusiasts" are making illegal moonshine. Ride the Williamsburg White Lightning!
The BBC today digs deep into the murky world of "high-end mixologists" — distillers of illegal alcohol. And you may be shocked to learn that some of them are operating in, of all places, Brooklyn! One anonymous Brooklyn resident told the BBC, "Growing up, me and my brothers watched our dad make moonshine in the bathtub. Now we do it." But these wily bootleggers are keeping one eye on their hooch, and the other on Johnny Law: "You've got to be careful about who you tell. I wouldn't go blabbing about it to someone I'd just met." Not a bad idea, since producing illegal booze can bring along a $15,000 fine and up to five years in jail.
So where do these new moonshiners buy their stills? Many look to Colonel Vaughn Wilson, who can ship you a copper still from his home in Arkansas for anywhere from $300 to $11,000. For instance, if you're looking to make good sized batch of booze, you can buy a 10-gallon copper Ozark Mountain still from Colonel Wilson for $895. Add in the ingredients, and you can be the coolest person at the next slow food dinner party when you bust out some homemade 180 proof liquor, and all for just over $1,000.
With this hot trend in full gear Colonel Wilson says demand for his products has doubled in the past few years, and he has a message for law enforcement: "The authorities will never stop moonshine. They are wasting their time trying."