A new moonshine distillery in Southern Illinois is open! The owners were looking to compliment the thriving business on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail:
Moonshine has come a long way since Charlie Birger and his gang bootlegged in Southern Illinois.
Grand River Spirits is bringing grain alcohol out of the shadows and backwoods and onto well lit retail shelves in Carbondale and Marion as early as this week when it rolls out its Red Eye Moonshine, a smooth, clear, 80-proof liquor that’s as good for mixing as it is for drinking straight.
“I wouldn’t call (Red Eye) sweet,” Karen Binder, distillery owner, said. “It’s definitely smooth because of the still. When we distill it, what we’re trying to do is separate some of the bad alcohols from the good alcohols.”
The good alcohol is called the “hearts,” and it is the key to Red Eye’s distinctive taste. Getting to the hearts is a process worthy of a laboratory.
Located on the outskirts of west Carbondale, Grand River is no Shady Rest, the Birger Gang’s infamous prohibition hideout.