Andy Morton

Illicit stills and a dose of patriotism

By: Andy Morton - 6 February 2013 12:33

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Moonshine operations are on the rise in Oklahoma, but one newspaper is firmly behind the illegal liquor merchants. 

“Distilling moonshine for personal use is a God-given, American right,” the Oklahoma Daily thundered until it was red, white and blue in the face. Apparently, those meddling “wig-wearing” politicians refuse to drop the moonshine tax, much to the Daily's annoyance. As it says, “Would we tax a backyard vegetable garden or chicken coop making eggs?”

Last year, an analyst told me that Russia's low-value vodka makers are finding consumers either trading up to premium spirits or falling down into the illegal, non-taxed sector. With US beverage companies seemingly more fixated on premiumisation than ever, perhaps Oklahoma's moonshiners will find their customer base increasing correspondingly.

Then those wig-wearers might have something to worry about.

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